Today I took ds3 for a dentist appointment, and afterwards we had some “together time” shopping for Pesach vegetables. Most of our food shopping is done, though I’ll need to buy more vegetables right before Pesach – we use a LOT of produce on Pesach!
I’ve periodically mentioned buying bulk amounts of food and enjoying the discount that usually comes along with that. Most people think that I have these secret sources of shopping and that there’s no way that most of them could enjoy discounts like what I get. It’s true that I’ve found good sources for some things, but it’s also true that I find discounts at the same stores that everyone else shops at that they wouldn’t think of as a likely source. I’ll give you an example of what happened today.
When I stopped at the vegetable store, I asked about buying a 50 lb bag of carrots. They didn’t have any left and told me to stop back in on Thursday. I asked how much it would be, and he estimated around $33- 35, since the price fluctuates and at this point, it’s always more each week than the week before. Three years ago I was buying a 50 lb bag of carrots for $12 and thought $14 was a lot! That’s inflation for you.
Right after that we stopped in at the large local kosher supermarket that just about every Jewish family in this area shops at. When I got there, I asked someone working in the produce section if they had 50 lb bags of carrots for sale, and if so, how much would it be. She didn’t know, and when she didn’t emerge after asking the question, I asked someone else working there the same thing. In he went to inquire, and after me waiting about 10 minutes for a response, he came out and said the person in charge who could answer that wasn’t there. Off I went to complete my shopping, but just a couple of minutes later the worker rushed after me and said they could sell me a 50 lb bag and it would be $35. That worked for me – I’d get what I needed right then without having to make a trip another day- so I asked him to load it into my shopping cart.
Note: in this store, loose carrots are selling for $1.19 lb. I paid .70 per pound. As you see, I’m shopping at the same store as everyone else, at a time when many people are buying massive quantities of groceries – but from the response when I asked about buying a bulk bag of carrots, I’m guessing that it’s not a question that comes up often. Lesson? If you don’t see what you want, ask!!!
Almost all of my great sources have been created by me asking the person in charge if I could buy an item they offered in bulk and get a discounted price. Does this always work? No. (I once asked at this store about buying raw cheese in bulk and they said they wouldn’t discount it.) But it’s worked enough times that it’s worth it to spend a few minutes to ask about something that interests you.
Remember, the store still makes a profit selling to you in bulk – you save them the work of unpacking the groceries, stocking the shelves, etc – they hardly have to do anything to your bulk item except mark it up from the price they bought it at, and sell it to you. So don’t feel embarrassed to ask – it benefits them just as much as it benefits you to sell to you in this way!