Before You Buy Day Old Groceries…

by Andrea

Frugal Tips, Grocery Shopping

The article I wrote about Freegans who dumpster dive for food, brought to mind my habit of purchasing day old groceries.

You see, I regularly purchase day old groceries.


Early one Monday morning while shopping for groceries, I noticed that the entire meat section had these orange and red stickers on them. The store was selling these items for a much lower price than the original sticker price.

These items were usually 40% to 50% off retail price.  I looked at the expiration date on these items and realized they were dated for a day or two off.  I purchased as much as I could afford.  Then, I brought my bounty home and put it in the chest freezer.

As we consumed these discounted foods, I paid close attention to the quality of the foods and watched for signs of premature spoilage.

What I found was that if I cooked or froze the items within 2 days of bringing them home, then they were perfectly fine.  Just like day-old pastries from your local bakery that are marked down if they do not sell the day they were baked, these food items were leftover but still good to eat.

I now make it a habit to visit the local grocery stores at a time when I know foods have been marked down.  I have been most fortunate after major holidays and early on Mondays.  If I get to the grocery early enough (or at just the right time), I can get pre-cooked chicken, mozzarella sticks, pastries and dairy products at great prices.

Not all stores mark down day-old groceries at the same time, however. And the days and times may not always be convenient for your schedule. For example, a store across town does it Wednesday evenings, so if I am ever in the neighborhood around that time, then I make it a point stop. Otherwise, I wouldn’t go out of my way.