Thursday, December 13, 2007
Frugal Friday: Discount Dairy
I have recently begun checking expiration dates on dairy products when I'm grocery shopping. Not because I'm afraid of spoiling--yogurt in particular can be kept weeks past the "sell by" date--but because I can often get nearly-free food this way. If I find items that are already expired or are within a couple of days of the expiration, I will point it out to an employee and ask I could get a discount on the almost-expired goods. I have never been refused. They usually charge $.25 to $.33 per box/carton. The policy at our local Kroger is to mark down dairy items when they are within a week of the expiration, so I definitely wouldn't ask for a discount on an item that was fresher than that. Their marking down frequently doesn't happen on schedule, which means you may be able to hit quite a stock of cheap yogurt. :-)
When I was at Kroger recently, I found about ten boxes of kids' yogurt snacks that had either already expired or were to expire in the next couple days. I asked an employee in the dairy department if I could have a discount. I was charged about $2 for all ten boxes. I had a $.55 manufacturer's coupon, which Kroger doubled up to $1. All told, I paid about a dollar plus tax for ten boxes--and the stuff usually runs about three or four dollars a box. Here's part of what I picked up...
Edit: I wrote this a couple weeks ago and, as Murphy's law would dictate, it hasn't worked the one time since that I've asked. But I'd still advise you to try it--the worst they can say is no! :-)
Check out Crystal's blog for more frugal ideas.