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Buying Items That Have Been Reduced For Quick Sale


palo
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Do you ever buy reduced foods at the grocers because the "Best Before" date is the current date or tomorrow's? I've seen price reductions of 30 - 50% off the original price. Items that come to mind are meats, vegetables and bakery goods.

I've seen posts here from a few well respected members of this board who practise this buying strategy.

What's your take/opinion on this habit?

p

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My goodness, around here there are at least three stores that carry almost nothing but expired goods.  Two are run by local Amish.  We all just call them Scratch and Dent  Stores.  If you make the effort, you can usually find plenty of stuff that is still not expired.  Lots of us grab that and take it to the local Food Pantry.  They are not allowed to pass out anything with an expired date.  But, they will accept it and put it in the "help yourself" box. 

 

When a local grocery store signed up to carry a new house brand, all the former house brand items showed up a our S and D store.  It was all still good for a couple of years so people went crazy stocking up on basics like soup and canned fruit.  .  I like the idea of being able to try new things at a cheap price.  If it turns out we hate it, no guilt at all about tossing it.  One thing that shows up all the time are cans of artichoke hearts and cans of palm hearts.  No one around here has a clue as to what they're missing and I'm not about to tell them. Of course, those same people would run me over with their shopping carts if I so much as reached towards "their" canned spam.

 

Few people around here cook Mexican food at home so imagine who snagged all the Rick Bayles stuff?  Yup, me and none of it was past the use by date.  If you're lucky enough to have a store like ours, check it out and you might find some amazing stuff.  My daughter still talks about the large jars of Nutella we found for $1.00 each.  

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I'm with IowaDee.  We shop at the expired foods store (run by Mennonites) all the time.  We've nicknamed it "the used food store" lol--obviously the food isn't used.

 

One of the first places my husband visits in the regular grocery store is the meat section that has been discounted.

 

Nice score on the Nutella Iowa!  We talk all the time about getting Velveeta for $2 a box.  It's usually around $5.

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palo, saving money sensibly is an excellent habit, don't you think? For me, any anxiety about what other shoppers think is vastly outweighed by my joy at having scored a super bargain.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Shelby. "used" is what we call the day old bread store!  Those Mennonites and Amish folks are pretty crafty.  Even though the Amish don't use electricity, they have huge freezer cases which are powered by generators.  Also the building has really big sky lights.  Most shopers carry small flashlights though.  

 

I feel sorry for people who have the Whole Food idea of shopping.  I have a SIL who insistes that nothing else is worthy of her family and spends money they don't have to shop there.  I think "the hunt" is part of what makes grocery shopping enjoyable rather than just a chore.

Plus being open enough to try new stuff.  Right now I have a couple of cans of conch soup that I'm anxious to sample.  It will be a first for me.  Paid a quarter each for them.  

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Whole cuts: buy it -> vacuum seal it -> pasteurize sous vide -> store in the fridge for a few weeks until I want to eat it.

Ground meat or off cuts: buy it -> freeze it (optional) -> pressure cook it and make stock. Whenever I see bones, spare ribs, or oxtail marked down, I buy them all for this purpose.

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I had food poisoning in the 1980s where a relative had purchased a cake without realising the date code had expired and there was a deep layer of mould (mold) on the base.  I went round for a visit and out came the tea and cakes.  Needless to say, I was extremely ill.  

 

If you are purposefully purchasing date expired food (or close to the date code), it is different as you know it is out of date code /nearly out of date code and can examine it and make a judgement.  Remember fish, game and meat are often 'dressed' i.e cut into retail cuts and packed on a tray under plastic wrap.  That can make it harder to judge if the item is safe.  I always avoid fish (and especially shellfish) that is near it's date code.  Although, if it was a skin on fillet and I could pick up and examine it, I might buy it.  However, that is not possible in our local supermarket.

 

Other items, such as canned soup and dried products etc, the date code is more of a quality issue. Fresh fruit and vegetables too would not concern me too much.  I prefer them ripe to be honest.  I have tried a bottle of cola 20 years out of date LoL.  It was flat! However, apart from lack of gas, was safe.  You have to make the judgement call yourself, but if you are sensible then it can be fine.  However, avoid tea and cakes from my relatives LoL

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there used to some of this in my area's usual places.  it seems to have disappeared.

 

back when, the deli counters used to package all the meat end cuts in a package and sell them dirt cheap.  I used to get these

 

and make soup.  all the cheese cuts went into different packages, and Id some times get these, grind them up together in the cusinart etc

 

especially if there was any 'blue' in there and make Fromage Fort

 

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fromage-fort

 

fantastic stuff if there was any blue in there at all.

 

then Home Aged.

 

now I rarely get skinless boneless CkBr  ( for the SV'er, plain or stuffed ) for more than $ 1.77 / lbs

 

its the same stuff that goes for 4.49 ++

Edited by rotuts (log)
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I always buy  Brie, Camembert and other similar cheeses  on sale since the are perfect then,

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Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Many years ago the local grocery store hired a real smart ass produce manager.  He knew everything or so he thought.  One thing he didn't know was avocados.  As soon as they got a wee bit soft, he considered them spoiled and marked them way down.  He was such a jerk that no one was about to correct him.  Nope, we just scooped those babies into our carts and went off snickering at his stupidity.

Mixed emotions when he didn't last through the second avocado season!  And I totally agree about buying "old" cheese.

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Recently I have found spring mix and spinach that have been discounted.  Bought them and culled, washed and spun. Rolled in paper towels and they lasted almost two weeks after I bought them. Meat for sure if it isn't too far out.  Either partially process or take out of the package and repackage.

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I always look for the good deals. I bought these a few days before the sell by date and put them right in my deep freeze feezer. They were "choice" grade but for $1.30/lb worth every penny.

100_6280.JPG

Edited by FeChef (log)
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As it happens I was in the produce section this afternoon when I noticed someone selecting an item from the expired shelf.  Mindful of this thread I went over to see what bargains could be found:  lots of apples and one package of something I could not determine what it was.

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Do you ever buy reduced foods at the grocers because the "Best Before" date is the current date or tomorrow's? I've seen price reductions of 30 - 50% off the original price. Items that come to mind are meats, vegetables and bakery goods.

I've seen posts here from a few well respected members of this board who practise this buying strategy.

What's your take/opinion on this habit?

p

All the time. My local Giant stores offer 33% off on meats that are near their sell by date. Yesterday, I bought ground turkey for $2.25/lb and cooked it up as soon as I got home.

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It has been several years since local Super Fresh went out of business.  Was favorite place to shop... close, clean, good prices/selection and BIG areas of what I called "less than perfect" produce.  First section I'd come into was produce... but guess that's how all supermarkets work, huh??  They always had a bunch of produce (veggies & fruit) that were just no longer picture perfect, imo?!?  One day bought a BIG bag of small artichokes... had a few outside leaves that I was gonna THROW OUT anyway... t least a dozen for maybe $2.  One day bought 3-4 bags of assorted tomatoes for next to nothing.  Nothing GROSS though a few that had gotten a bit squished by larger ones.  I peeled, chunked and canned for next to nothing.   In the meat section, they's often have stuff reduced.  NEVER with yesterday's or even today's date... usually 2-3 days from sell-by date.

 

Stopped at Acme today for a few things.  They had 2 packages of sirloin chunks... like for soup/stew r grinding for burgers.  Sell-by date was tomorrow, each was marked 50% off and they were BOGO!?!  HOW could I possibly NOT buy them both!?!

 

I really can't remember last time I checked date on something that I'd sorta consider non-perishable for a LONG time... canned, jarred, packaged, dry stuff.  I try not to get to crazy with my "pantry" items and periodically do a reorganization to make sure things get a bit of a rotation.

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my local supermarket has some shelves in a back hallway area next to the dairy dept...OK, so it's also the hallway back to the restrooms, but I try to overlook that.

They put canned and boxed items on those shelves at huge discount. Often it is a seasonal item or brand that is discontinued. I will buy those items because they are completely sealed up and not past any kind of sell by date. Produce it dicey, I've looked at that rack but unless I was making something where I was cooking the fruit or veg down (because much of the items are badly bruised and would need a lot of trimming), I pass. Although a co-worker goes that route for her homemade baby food, since she's just going to cut it up to cook down/puree anyhow.

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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My local supermarket always overstocks on sv-packed whole raw foie gras before Christmas, then bumps them down to around 15€ each a couple of days before they're due.  

 

They freeze well, which is lucky as a whole liver is way, way too much for two people.  It is, however, great for a party.

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I don't buy "reduced for quick sale" meats, seafood or poultry. I don't care at all what other people think about what's in my cart and I'm fine with saving money but I've opened those reduced packages only to be greeted by the ol' funk of doom enough times in the past to no longer trust it. Anything else, I might take a chance. Actually, yeast would be another one I won't do. I bought a can of yeast last week that has this month as the expiration date, something I didn't notice at the time of purchase. Used it yesterday to make pizza dough and... pretty much dead. Tossed some in a bowl with warm water and sugar just to be sure and 20 minutes later there was still very little happening. I let the dough proof overnight just to see if it would kickstart with extra time. Nope. It wasn't reduced in price but it still taught me a lesson about checking expiration dates.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I normally check expiration dates and stay away from items whose date is close. I made an exception today as Costco (yet again!) recently introduced a product only to discontinue it. I found out one of the other Costco's in our area had it and so I went out and bought some Skyr yogurt, the best yogurt most people have never had. The expiry date is April 9th and I may not get through it all, but with my luck I'll never see it again (cue the violins) so I figured WTH.

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