I was at the grocery store yesterday, and I passed the marked down “manager’s specials” section twice before I went in. Why? Because there was someone else shopping in the little alcove where they’re kept.
I could chalk it up to the fact that the alcove is legitimately small, and it’s tough to get two carts in there and still have room to look at the shelves. But the real reason is that there’s this sort of rule I have: I don’t crowd another person shopping in there, and I don’t want anyone to crowd me. Why?
I realized it’s because I’m still a little bit embarrassed to be buying the almost expired stuff.
Don’t get me wrong: I have started buying those sorts of things more and more regularly. It’s become part of my shopping routine to stop at all the little nooks and alcoves throughout the store where they stash the “manager’s specials” to check for deals.
And I’ve gotten some great deals! A while back, a friend and I found a dozen or so packages of already cooked and shelled organic chestnuts back there for less than a dollar apiece and we cleaned them out. (She made gluten-free cream puffs with chestnut cream… Mmm…)
Just yesterday I bought: wild-caught shrimp, blueberry bagels, whole-clove garlic bread, slightly bruised organic bananas, and a tray of pre-cut veggies that I was only too happy to put in my fridge for healthy snacking.
Shopping in the markdowns is a bit like going to a thrift store or a consignment store: you can’t really have any preconceived ideas of what you’re looking for. But if you go in with an open mind (and keep in mind what you can use up right away or freeze for later) you can find some outstanding deals. It’s a great way to help you eat healthy on the cheap—as long as you can avoid the boxes of cookies, pie and day-old doughnuts!
In fact, I’ve decided that I shouldn’t be embarrassed about going into that little alcove any more. It doesn’t make me look poor or cheap—it makes me look like the incredibly savvy shopper that I am!
Do you buy the mark downs and day olds and manager specials?