Extreme Couponing Tip: Buy Reduced Products to Save

Extreme Couponing Tip: Buy Reduced Products to Save

This week’s Extreme Couponing Tip is on taking advantage of reduced items for quick sale at your local grocery stores!  While grocery shopping, I love casually browsing the clearance or reduced end cap to see what goodies I can snag for a great price!  This is a great, easy way to save and most of the time you don’t even need coupons to score a great deal!

I was at ShopRite the other day and picked up a bunch of ShopRite Brand beans that I like to have in the house for making traditional chili and white chicken chili (so good!) for only $0.44 each without any coupons!  I also love stocking up on tomato paste, canned tomatoes and tomato sauce from the reduced section to make homemade sauce.  I recently stocked up on some ShopRite Brand evaporated milk for $0.25 each.

Often some of the products in the clearance section of your store are damaged or dented.  I’ve just recently discovered that some dented cans can in fact be dangerous if eaten.  Please take this into consideration when buying reduced items for quick sale.  There are signs you can look for when buying dented cans as to which ones to avoid, which I’ve borrowed from NewLifeonaHomestead:

  • The most obvious way to tell if a can of food has spoiled is by pushing on the top and bottom of the can. If the top or the bottom of the can moves, or pops, the seal has been broken and it is not safe to eat.
  • If the can is bulging in any way, discard it. This is a sign that dangerous bacteria has been growing inside of the can, and the gases it is giving off is causing the can to swell. DO NOT open a can which is bulging. Breathing the gases inside is toxic.
  • If there is rust on the can it probably isn’t safe to eat out of. Rust can be a sign that air has penetrated the can, which will cause bacteria to grow inside.
  • When buying dented cans try to avoid the ones with dents along the seem of the top or bottom of the can.
  • If when you open the can it sprays out, spurts, or somewhat explodes, this is a bad sign.
  • And most obviously, if it’s leaking, it’s not safe.

If you follow these precautions, I’m sure most dented cans are safe.  I’ve been buying them for many years and have never suffered any ill-effects! 😉

Another benefit to browsing the clearance section often is seeing what brand name products are on clearance so you can stack with a coupon for a very good deal.  If you don’t carry a coupon binder with you and can’t stack the clearance item with a coupon right away, take a picture of the item or write down what’s on clearance so you can check the LRWC Coupon Database when you get home to locate the matching coupon, clip or print it, and then head back to the store to score a sweet deal!

This simple yet effective tip will hopefully help you to continue in your journey of Living Rich with Coupons!

Do you have an idea for an Extreme Couponing tip you’d like to see addressed?  Leave your ideas in the comments!

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  • Chris D.

    I’ve never been in a SR here in North Jersey that offered had a clearance/damaged goods section. Stop & Shop – yes…but their prices are generally so much higher it’s not worth the trip.

  • Arielle

    I like to check the damaged/dented goods section of the grocery stores I frequent, but try to stay away from any dented cans just for good measure. No bargain in the world is worth getting sick 🙂 Oftentimes damaged goods sections will be right next to the store’s bay doors to the back section, so keep an eye out whenever you shop. Stores also put their expired seasonal products here, so keep an eye out after Christmas to stock up on decorations for 2013!

    A good tip, however, is don’t think the product is a “deal” just because it’s in the damaged goods section. In some stores, I’ve seen the original retail price of a damaged item marked up, so that the damaged discount isn’t as steep. I’ve seen this a lot more often in pharmacies (Walgreens, etc.) than grocery stores, but it happens there, too.

  • Sandy

    I live in southwest Pa. Do u know of any coupon match- ups for any stores in my area? Thank you

    • Michelle T.

      Sandy, above, hover over “Find my store” and see if any stores in your area are listed. Click on the store name and it will take you to match-ups for that store 🙂

      • Sandy

        Thank you Michelle. I have found a few stores that way but the sale items aren’t usually the same at my stores.

  • Anonymous

    I love marked down meats and poultry it usually good that day or fine for freezing. Its the fastest and cheapest way to stock up on meat which rarely has a coupon.

    • Kim D.

      I’ll second this- I usually put any meat I buy right into the freezer anyway, so it makes no difference to me! Plus, sometimes there are $1 and $2 off coupons on the packages at Stop and Shop. But my favorites are the little yellow stickers at Shop Rite- I make a beeline for them!

    • Janelle S

      I completely agree with that…Jus last week my store had a great in-store special on fresh chicken tenders…I got hem for $0.59 a pound and loaded my freezer up with these.

      Everyone should try to become aware of what days there store does in-store specials on meat….My store does them on Saturday and they do dairy (yogurt, cream/cottage cheese, etc.)on Thursday

  • the original Rosanne

    Yes, this is a great tip. The dented cans should be looked over, but I have never seen any that are anything but dented (no leaking or puffiness). Also, Pathmark usually has 50% off deals on last day stuff in their bakery. It is great to use immediately or to put in the freezer for later

  • Linda

    I’ve never seen any clearance areas in my ShopRite in NY. Where are they usually located? Sometimes they have a shopping card filled with holiday items near the door, but that’s it!

    • Jaime

      At my Shoprite (Carmel, NY), the clearance stuff is on a cart outside the main entrance. Also, sometimes there are shopping carts filled with stuff near Customer Service and the registers.

  • Jaime

    I think this is a great tip, and one I practice practically every time I go shopping! I have gotten so many things for free and even with overage at A&P. The great thing about the packaged grocery/canned goods/HBA clearance section at A&P is that the items are not priced with new bar codes. They simply have a “Manager’s special” 50% off or 75% off sticker on them, which the cashier must calculate the discount on. Sometimes the items are on sale or already 1/2 price, plus another % discount, plus my (doubled) coupons, plus any Zavers ecoupons, and the final price is next to nothing. It’s like a treasure hunt every time!

  • Liz V

    at my SR there is nothing worth buying in the clearance section. The food isn’t much cheaper than shelf price and there is often too many small packs of napkins and weird pieces to weird items. Very rarely they have a bread overflow. I got a bunch of english muffins for .66 and bread for .88.

    I also always check the reduced produce shelves at stop and shop. They often have some not so bad fruit or vegetables that can make a meal. Maybe a pack of mushrooms I could put in a stroganoff, or apples that aren’t really bruised, or a pile of carrots for half the shelf price.

    • Arielle

      And see, I rarely find any clearance items at Stop & Shop! They have bakery items at my local S&Ss but rarely does any meat or dairy items go on clearance. (Either that, or all the college students buy them up before I ever see them!) And the only produce they ever have on clearance is a myriad of apples. Shoprite on the other hand always has a ton of breads, produce and prepared foods on clearance.

  • claire

    I just made a couple bucks at pathmark on dented stuffing boxes. They were on sale for. 88 and the manager special for the dent was 1.00 off a box. I bought 10 plus a couple of other items that were similarly priced. I always pick up the manager special meat, cheese, and yogurt and stack with a coupon if possible. Its helps cover the cost of fruit which often I don’t have coupons for.

  • Meli

    ive seen everything but dented cans at my sr… i go right to the clearance section every time i go in lol

  • Katie Coupon

    In case you are wondering why barely dented cans or boxes that the corner is pushed in (AKA: Perfect good items that we wouldn’t call ‘damaged’) are in the damaged/clearance section, it is merely because they will not stack properly. I asked the grocery manager before and he said it is not worth their time and effort to work around a can or box or two to fill the shelf, especially in a smaller store, so they go to the reduced price cart in the back. I personally go to that section in my SR and love when I find boxes of diapers with a dented corner (who cares!) or baggies/foil/plastic wrap with a dented corner…I have a dozen boxes of trash bags in my stockpile right now with dented corners (again, who cares!…they’re trash bags!)that I got for 25 cents per box…ahhh and this week I picked up 8 boxes of Pillsbury cookie mix with dented corners for free. They were marked 50 cents each and I had $1/2 coupons. It was a nice score!

  • Peggy Ann

    Last night I browsed the reduced shelves in Stop & Shop and they had over a dozen jars of Smucker’s Orchard’s Finest jams reduced to $1.59 for a 12 oz. jar. The expiration date is for mid 2014. Maybe they are not carring this item in the store any more. I picked up a bunch. They will make a nice Christmas gift paired with some homemade scones or bread. The Stop & Shop in Stratford CT has better clearance food and bread shelves than our ShopRite store.

  • Amy

    My Shoprite does not have a clearance section, and I wonder what they do with the spoiled/damaged goods? My Pathmark does have a clearance section – 50% off of their retail price, which the store usually hikes up. But sometimes, there are some good deals. Like last week, they had the Hormel Compleats on clearance 50% off, and they rang up as $2 each, then minus $1 (50% off), and minus $1 (coupon)=free! Pathmark also clearances their yogurt 50% off in the refrigerated section when the expiration date is coming close. Really good deal for for stacking coupons with and then freezing them!