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Deal or No Deal? Where the Real Savings are at the Grocery Store

Next to the rent or mortgage payment, our food bill at the grocery store is often one of our biggest monthly expenditures. Before we go any further, let’s get this out-of-the way, this blog is NOT about extreme couponing. While I’ll use coupons here-and-there, from time-to-time, some of those people on TV who spend hours and hours clipping and organizing coupons, have excess, overflow groceries stacked and stored all over their houses, just seem a little…excessive to me.

These are just a few tips and tricks on how to save a decent amount of money during your trips to the grocery store and highlight what is, and isn’t, necessarily a deal, when shopping for food.

DEAL!

Most retail grocery stores have many discontinued items – even meats, poultry and fish – either marked down, in a special clearance section or plastered with a red sale tag that says “Manager’s Special,” stating 25%, 30% or even 50% off or more. These packages containing food are usually about to “go out of code,” or will reach their “sell-by” date and are on the verge of being “shrank.” (Translation: they’ll soon be thrown out or returned to the manufacturer.)

These are great buys, considering meat is one of the most expensive items in the store, but there is a trick to these purchases, you must either eat it or freeze it almost immediately. Fish fact, you should never re-freeze fish, so if you buy from the bin, you must eat it that night, just to be safe.

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NO DEAL!

Often purchasing store-brands, generic or other non-name brands can offer significant savings, but there are some exceptions to the rule. Two of my brand-name favorites that I never substitute are:

  • KRAFT Macaroni and Cheese: I’m sorry, those generic brands just don’t come close to the taste and texture of America’s favorite.

  • DAWN Dishwashing Soap: Two reasons, they contribute to saving wildlife, and surprisingly enough, there is truth to their advertising, one drop goes a really long way and kills grease on contact.

Since both of these have a pretty long shelf-life, I usually just wait until they go on sale and stock up.

MAYBE DEAL?

Many of us will go to the “Dollar Store” to save a few bucks on our grocery bill, but be careful. Just because it’s only a buck doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. This came to light when I went there before Halloween last year to snag some candy for the kiddies at a buck a pop. But I quickly realized that the much smaller size bags were not a bargain compared to the bigger bags at the grocery stores for $2 and $3 each.

Look for other great deals on groceries? Check out DubLi’s “Grocery & Gourmet” section to find speciality items and score Cashback on your purchases.

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