Extreme Couponing Tip: Buy Close-To-Expiration Foods to Save Big

expiring food

Extreme Couponing Tip: Buy Close-To-Expiration Foods to Save Big

One thing I am never scared to do is look for close-to-expired food that is being sold at a reduced price that I know I will use before it expires or goes bad.  This is a great way to save on your grocery budget!  Many times we find close-to-expired deals on store-made items such as bakery items, pre-made sandwiches, etc. which if purchased at the proper time, can work out to be a great deal.  My local ShopRite always has a huge selection of reduced bread and bakery items and I make it a point to look through it each visit.

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What’s even better than just looking for clearance prices on close-to-expired products is being able to pair a coupon with a close-to-expired deal!  I love when this happens because you are able to save a huge amount!

Just this week I was browsing the refrigerated section for a Jell-O Deal.  I had $1/1 Jell-O Refrigerated Snacks, exp. 7/7/13 (SS 06/09/13 R) coupons on me and I was determined to find a good deal.  Jell-O Products are one of the participating items in the Kraft Spend $75 Get $25 Gas Gift Card Deal at ShopRite.  The Kraft Offer is the only offer of the 3 brands I’ve been buying for.  I had a ways to go still to hit $75 so I was happy when I found 8-packs of Jell-O Refrigerated Pudding on clearance for $3.49 (shelf price $4.49) because it was expiring in just over a week.  My coupon brought the cost down to $2.49 or just $0.31 per cup and $4.49 tracked toward my gas card deal.  Even though the savings seemed minimal in this situation, pairing with a coupon brought my savings to 50% plus I was buying a product I knew would help me earn even more savings down the road.

Be sure before you buy close-to-expired products that you know you will be able to use the item before it does expire.  If you ever find an item close to it’s expiration date that isn’t already marked as clearance, consider bringing the item to customer service to request a discount.

What types of items do you buy that are close-to-expired?

If you are new to couponing, you may want to check out the Couponing for Beginners section where you will find a lot of answers to your questions.

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  • Marlene

    My ShopRite has a discounted bakery section for 50-75% off. But buyer beware – it’s always full because the items have a stale taste. They look great but don’t taste so good. I have been burned one by buying this stuff and so have all the other shoppers. That is why it sits full and no one buys it. I have been in line where someone grabbed a pie and another shopper spoke up and said don’t buy it, I concurred.
    Sometimes cheap is not so good and not worth possibly getting sick.

  • Marlene

    P.S. There is a sign that says “absolutely no return.” So you can’t even take it back if there is something legitimately wrong with it. Sad.

  • john

    If you find an expired product at my ShopRite in Montague you get $1.00 catalina for each product found.

  • kabby

    My 2 local shoprites NEVER put reduced tags on meat, bakery, or fruit. It makes me wonder what happens to that food. I very rarely purchase meats from my shoprite…for some reason their meats just do not look appealing. Yet at A&P and Stop & Shop they put numerous stickers on bunches of products, including meat, dairy, fruit,and household products. Typically I do not do my full shopping at these 2 stores but I do purchase their meats(even with no reduced stickers)…just the week before at Stop & Shop they had italian sausage on sale for 2.99 with a $2 reduced coupon attached. That was dinner for the night and 2 more packages went into the freezer. Scanning the meat department at these stores always fills my freezer. Great tip!!

    • Karla

      Kabby a lack of reduced tags could be many things. More than likely they have a strong awareness of their sales and are able to put products out in a timely fashion to sell them. In other cases they may choose to donate items to local soup kitchens or emergency pantries in order to get tax credits.

  • I am very lucky to have an Entenmanns outlet in my neighborhood baked goods are 3/6$ and the best deal is bread 3/3$, one time the bread had mold on it they told me I could bring it back … this place does so well there is usually a line outside before they open!

  • Mary G

    My ShopRite has some bakery items reduced, although they tend to be things I don’t buy (pies, muffins, etc.). I do check the organic meat section for “Manager’s Special” tags, which have their price reduced by 30%. My ShopRite doesn’t mark down produce anymore, which is too bad. However, a smaller chain market near me has daily markdowns on produce and bread/bakery items. Last week I bought some reduced organic English muffins. I almost always find some produce marked down that looks good (peppers, berries, salad greens, etc.).

  • claire

    My favorite close to expired foods are. Meat, cheese, yogurt, salsa/guacomole, fruit/veggies, cans/cereal, and misc. It works really well if I don’t have time to coupon much that week…just browse the store with radar eyes for those yellow/orange/purple tags. If I see alot of a item that is on clearance I write in a notepad and then when I go home look online for printables and swing by the store onmy way home the next day.

  • Cheri

    I was told at my Shoprite that I could not use a coupon on a clearance or marked down item. Is this correct ?

    • Cynthia F

      Cheri, NO, NO, NO! It is NOT correct! I had a manager at SR in Old Bridge try to tell me the same thing. i KNEW she was wrong! She tried to tell me to go onto the Shoprite website and read their policy. I had done that already. SO, I called SR corporate and they got back to me (a few days later) to confirm. He told me that I COULD use a coupon. If the amount of the coupon is greater than the item they had to adjust it down. NO overage BUT it would make the item free(I already knew this) He said they would call the store (or email them, I can’t remember which) and let them know! I then went in with a copy of the store policy (Which says NOTHING about NOT accepting coupons on clearance items). I went up to the manager that told me that and showed her the policy (the one SHE told me to look at by the way) and told her about my phone call to corporate. She didn’t like that I had corrected her, I was nice about it.But she said ok thanks. I asked her if she wanted to keep the coupon policy I printed and she said no. I told her to keep it and read it to review! HE HE HE! Nicely of course! Needless to say I haven’t had an issue with using items on clearance again! (Other issues with couponing there yes, BUT that’s another story!!
      Cheri, I know it seems like a lot of work and take some time BUT, the ONLY way it is going to change is if WE call corporate and they call or email the stores! I suggest you do the same. Call SR and if the person you get doesn’t knowt the coupon policy he/she will (or should) ask some who does. After they tell you the policy I would go to the store, speak with a manager and tell him/her what happened AND take a copy of the coupon policy. Good Luck!!SORRY to write so
      much. HTH!

      • Guest

        I’m glad you mentioned this. On a recent trip to a different Shop Rite while on vacation, I was told by the clerk it was “less than honest” to use more than one coupon deal per customer on the same item. I was purchasing 2 bags of Utz potato chips and I had a coupon for each bag!

  • Larry

    A few years ago at A&P in Carmel NY (store since closed) I found some jugs of snack nuts (in the produce section) that were past the expiration date. I showed the produce manager. The next week I went back to the store–the jugs of nuts were still there–with the expiration dates rubbed off! I told the store manager and he gave me a blank stare.

  • Jane

    I buy lots of almost-expired dry goods and then put them in my freezer. I don’t have to worry about them going bad before we eat them, including meat. I do the same when I find a good sale on something that I don’t use a lot of – ex. I bought eight shakers of seasoning for chicken that was on sale (which rarely happens) and I had coupons for. When I run out, I have plenty more!

  • laura

    At Price Chopper, there are always reduced dairy items! The price reductions are in the form of store coupons attached to the packages (can only be removed by cashier) I’ve gotten some great deals, since the coupons can be used on top of store sales