Monday, October 29, 2012

31 Days:: Shop the Clearance Rack

**Want to win a paring knife and vegetable peeler?  Don't forget to enter the's open until Wednesday**

I've always shopped the clearance rack for clothing, but only in the last few years did I realize that there are clearance racks for food as well!

The "clearance racks" at the grocery store are usually department-specific, so look for one in the meat department, produce, bakery, and general grocery.  Some stores have specific days or time of day that they load up the reduced-for-quick-sale racks.  Ask the department manager or employees what days are best for shopping the clearance rack in their department.
Meat is generally marked down when it nears its "sell by" dates.  It needs to be used or frozen TODAY, or maybe tomorrow.  Keep that in mind when purchasing the marked-down meat. 
Produce is put on the "reduced for quick sale" rack when it's starting to look a little questionable...although there are times when I can't really figure out why the fruit/veggie was put on the rack.  Again, use it or freeze it ASAP and you won't even know you got it on the reduced rack.

Reduced bakery items are probably getting a little stale, although there have been times when I've scored some perfectly good cakes or breads.  Bagels or anything else that can be toasted are things to snatch up, and french bread that's getting a little hard is perfect for garlic bread or baked french toast.

Grocery items are sometimes put on the rack because they are nearing their sell-by date, but more often they are items that are discontinued or overstocked.  This rack is not always setting out, but when it is, I make sure to check it out.  I've picked up a wide variety of items this way, from pasta and canned goods to cereal and paper products.

Picking up items on the reduced-for-quick-sale racks is a great way to save money in the kitchen!*

*Disclaimer:  I'm not encouraging you to buy anything that's spoiled, rotten, or otherwise expired.  Check the date, do the sniff test, etc. to make sure that you're not buying something that's dangerous to your family's health.

Do you shop the reduced racks at your store?  What have you found on those racks?

Looking for more ways to Save Money in the Kitchen?  Check out the rest of the series, here.


  1. I always shop the discount items! My greatest deal was about a month ago when I got six 3 quart containers of organic milk for $1.50 each. I figured they must have gotten them in their store by mistake because I couldn't find it on the shelves. When I went to another grocery store they were selling for $6.19. I told my kids we were drinking gold. :-) I go to Food 4 Less here in CA - it has the cheapest groceries for me. I did look to see if they had stores in MI and they do but under a different name. Fred Meyer Jewelers - have any of you ever gone? But usually when I do go a good part of my cart is mark downs. As always it is hit or miss. Milk for us is $2.75 for non-fat and that is the cheapest. Costco is cheaper but I only go ever so often with my Mom.

    1. We have Kroger in's in the same family. Some of the Krogers double coupons to $1 also. But they do have some of the best markdowns ("manager specials") on packaged veggies and fruits, not to mention meat.

  2. I love hunting for marked down items! I've never seen discounted meat at our store, but they do sometimes have marked down produce, dairy, often bread, and then a cart full of random stuff.

    I regularly buy a whole bag of over-ripe bananas for 99 cents. I've gotten some great dairy deals. My favorite discounted bread scores are packages of pita bread for 69 cents and a package of a dozen English muffins for 69 cents--great for making mini pizzas!

  3. I like to shop at the Aunt Millies stores as well. They offer breads,bagels, buns and other things that are cheap and are either get to/near/at their dates. You can score buns for $.69, bread for $.89. My favorite deals there is their cinnamon swirl bread I get it for about $1.50(i think) and use it for french toast. My family loves it. And their pita breads, we use as little personal size pizzas with our favorite toppings. I stock up when I go as it is a little drive for me and I pop them in the freezer.

  4. I always shop the clearance racks! Haven't found anything notable lately, though. It's a good way to try something new.