Having a food allergy I’ve had to shop at Health Food Stores for years. Long before they became Natural Food Stores and were so popular I frequented, no stalked these types of stores, and hunted the shelves to find soy-free vitamins, supplements, and baked goods to name a few things.
This was what started me on a path to cooking from scratch.
20 years later these Health Food stores have now morphed into well known brands such as Whole Foods, New Seasons, Natural Grocers, and a host of other brand name stores that demand big bucks from those wanting to eat healthier and avoid certain fillers and ingredients.
I’ve always wondered why less ingredients meant more money but we know it’s the quality and that those “other” ingredients are cheap fillers designed to fill you up and keep you guessing.
Now most of these healthier food stores are more than my limited grocery budget can handle. To just buy basic staples, and even shop only on the perimeter (you know fruits, veggies, meats, etc) of the store would bankrupt me. For the most part there is no way I can make these stores my regular grocery habit.
But using just one tool I discovered those 20 year ago I found that if I used it regularly and correctly it could pay off big when I did cross the threshold of those stores.
That one tool?
I know. Don’t be mad but it’s true. Use your eyes and use them well. Hunt and pay attention. You never know when you may find a great deal!
It’s not a science. It’s not guaranteed. In fact some days you may find nothing at all but when you do find something it could pay off big.
In fact I’m not fond of browsing when I go grocery shopping. My friends and I were sitting around just discussing this. I’m not a browser. I go in with a list and a plan and I get out.
But in doing that I had been missing some great deals!
I still don’t like to browse but I’ve modified it into scanning.
Here are some examples of unadvertised grocery savings in the past 12 months.
- My favorite yerba mate tea, normally $9+ a bag discounted to $.99 a bag!
- 3 Pack frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs normally $16+ for 3 pack discounted to $5 per 3 pack (I had to move fast on this one and after picking up 3 packs and deciding as I was checking out I wanted more, the case was empty! Gone!).
- Ground turkey $5.99 a pack discounted to $.99 a pack
- English Muffins 10 for $10 or $1 a bag
- 40 lbs of apples for $5
- 40 lbs of pears for $5
- A gallon of apple cider $.99 (I was standing over the person as they changed the price tags).
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts $.99 a pound.
These are just a few of my grocery savings but they’ve allowed me to stock my freezer and pack my pantry.
How to Use this Tool Effectively at Any Store
- Continue to shop with your regular grocery list. This is not extra shopping you are doing. You are just keeping your eyes peeled when you do your regular grocery shopping.
- Carry about $10-$20 extra cash with you for these unadvertised specials
- Keep your eyes peeled. I’m not a browsing shopper and like to get the job done. That being the case I have to have a sharp eye so I don’t miss something. I shop with my mother who actually has a better eye for this than I do but together we do pretty good.
- Don’t be bummed if you come away empty handed. Pocket the cash for another time.
- Do check the circulars. Sometimes these specials are advertised but not always.
- Have a plan for perishables. Since I’ve forgotten the details of the amazing potato deal I landed on about a year ago I didn’t list it but it was a bushel box or about 40 lbs of potatoes for…I think it was less than $5. I just remember the women with carts piled high calling family to come get them and their boxes. But I need a plan for putting these potatoes up. I wasn’t comfortable enough with canning them so I chose to pre-bake and freeze. It was also right before Thanksgiving so you know where plenty of those potatoes went.
My regular weekly grocery shopping store is a local Natural Produce store. There are only two branches of this store in my town so I get some good deals on produce often.
Their prices are comparable to our Kroger/Fred Meyer but they have more organic and natural foods so I’m able to find plenty of soy-free items.
But these deals are not limited to them. I have found these deals at Whole Foods, Fred Meyer, and New Seasons. Meaning you can find them at any grocery store if you just…