End of the day markdowns on grocery items

Tonight I got some great buys on chicken and meat, and it reminded me that I haven’t written about the potential advantages of shopping towards the end of the day.

At this late point in the day, I’ve found that you can often get reduced prices on bakery goods as well as poultry and meat.  At this point, bakeries want to get rid of whatever they have left because no one will buy day old baked goods the next day!  Since we baked from scratch, even reduced bakery prices are more expensive than what it would be to make it myself.  So if we buy the bakery goods, it’s only as a small amount as a special treat (eg to treat the  child who comes along with me to be my shopping buddy).  If you have a bakery section in your local supermarket, check it out – in the supermarket that I shop at, every night a couple of hours before closing they announce that the prices are being marked down by about 50%.

Tonight I was at the supermarket when I heard an announcement over the loudspeaker about something being marked down 50%, but both times I didn’t understand what it was that was being reduced.  The second time I asked the woman cleaning the floor if she had heard, and she told me it was the rotisserie chicken.  I right away headed over and scooped up the last chicken – too bad I didn’t understand the message the first time around!  The rotisserie chicken was less expensive than the whole chickens on sale at the same store, and to buy the sale chickens I would have been limited to buying just four kilos and only then if I bought 150 shekels of other non-sale items.  The manager told me that any night that they have rotisserie chickens that are still left, they mark them down.  It’s nice when you can get ready made food for less than it would cost to cook it yourself!

I also got ground meat and chicken wings on sale, both marked down 30% because it was the end of the day.  Usually really good sales are limited by a minimum purchase necessary and a limited quantity that can be purchased at the sale price – usually it’s a four kilo limit where I shop.  Four kilos is only about two chickens, so this isn’t really a substantial amount.  However, when I go at the end of the day or on Friday afternoon, I can get unlimited quantities at sale prices.   One time I bought about twenty chickens because the price was amazing (that was the maximum that my freezer could hold); I had to take a taxi home since there was no delivery service at that time of day, and the taxi driver exclaimed over what a great deal it was once he heard the price!

Not only are there often lower posted prices, there’s more flexibility in the pricing.  For example, last week I asked the butcher how much the chicken bones were.  (I make a lot of broth so I buy a lot of these.)  The butcher asked me how many I wanted – I told him how much I would buy depended on the price.  He told me it was the same for him, the price per pound would depend on how much I bought. When I said I would be interested in buying all that he had left, he was motivated to mark them down by 50%.   This doesn’t take hardcore bargaining; I’m not much of a bargainer but later in the day all you have to do is comment that you’ll buy if the price is right.  Earlier in the day these kinds of deals are harder to come by.


2 thoughts on “End of the day markdowns on grocery items

  1. In out town the markdowns on meat and poultry are put out first thing in the morning of the day that a new delivery is expected. I find good bargains on Wednesday, with dates good for cooking for shabbos. For baked goods, the local kosher supermarket always has something marked down, and more so on erev shabbos (maybe Sunday morning, too, but I avoid the store at that time!)

  2. In our area (SW WA) several stores mark down meat regularly, but I haven’t figured out a pattern for them. They also have clearance items in the back of the store, & I’ve found some good things there, like natural items I wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford.

    Trader Joe’s doesn’t mark things down, but they donate to the food banks, which is one of the reasons our food banks actually have fresh food.

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