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.
I have been a certified tightwad since I became pregnant with my first child and decided to find a way to stay home with him. I enjoy sharing my experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future — which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.