I've never had so much fun buying meat at the grocery store. I mean, wouldn't you be a little excited to get veal for 47-cents? If you notice the yellow tags, that means the food is on markdown at Harris Teeter. But... for less than a cup of coffee?
Let me tell you the 3 things I learned tonight at the grocery store.
1. Be a cart gazer: Look around, particularly at what other people are buying.
Why? Tonight, I happened to look at another woman's cart. (Sounds scandalous!) I saw her with a boatload of meat. I noticed her pre-purchases were on sale... by the yellow tags. So, I took a few steps back to the meat aisle and stumbled upon my own meaty treasure trove.
2. Negotiate...and smile.
Did you know you could bargain? Notice I didn't say haggle. For example... the organic rib eye had a yellow, $5-off tag, but there wasn't a tag with the original price. The woman at the register (Marlene) told me she thought the steak originally cost about $16, but she called over the manager anyway. I told her it was unnecessary... but now I'm glad I didn't stop her. The manager said to me, "How much would you like it to be?" I responded with, "Um, well, I was hoping it would be like the other meat on sale." And then I smiled! Honestly, I didn't even want it that bad, but when he rang it up for $1, I wished I had been brave enough to ask if I could buy the rest on the shelf!
3. Listen to what grocery store workers have to say about the best deals.
When the manager rang up my meat, he said, "You know, I grabbed what was left and put them aside for myself." And then the woman at the register (Marlene) jokingly asked, "Oh, so you didn't leave anything for me?" So... that tells me I got a good deal. If anyone knows what's sweet or sour, it's the people who work there. It's also good to ask them questions every now and then about how the sales work or when they get a new shipment in... or if they collect coupons, too. It's really nice 1) to talk to the people around you, and 2) to learn something that could impact your everyday life.
So... why was the meat on sale? It needed to be sold by the 20th. I happened to be there at 11:30 p.m. on the 20th. The meat is fine... if you know anything about the food industry, you know that buying meat on the sold-by-date is probably the least of your worries. I saw the documentary Food Inc. and couldn't eat meat for a week.
But, let's turn back to happy thoughts. My parents raised cattle, pork and chickens at various times throughout my childhood. Unless you're getting your meat straight from a known-farm, you might as well save some change.
And, I should mention... that while I was writing this post and waiting for the pics to upload, my dinner for Wednesday baked in the oven! Nothing beats saving money and multi-tasking!