Fabulously Frugal: Treasure hunting at the grocery store

A good deal on quality products can help round out your weekly menu without breaking the bank. Photo by Sarah Cronk/Kingstonist.

Every grocery store has items marked down for fast sale. These reduced price items can be a bargain hunter’s dream!

Scouring not just the regular flyer deals, but in-store marked down items can really help a budget stretch. Meat, produce, and even dairy can be had for much less!

I recently got four turkey legs at 40 per cent off, as their expiry date was the next day. Those went right into my freezer. Shortly after Easter, I found some marked down cranberry sauce and had it stored in my pantry at the time. I also found a package of turkey gravy that was on sale for $1 a few weeks ago. On the marked down produce shelf the other day, I found some carrots, and half a bag of apples that were not-quite-so crisp, so not perfect for eating out of hand.

Friends, this is the meal I made for four:

Roast turkey legs, half a baked potato each (they were HUGE), carrots and gravy. For dessert, we had apple crisp. (Find the recipe here: https://www.budgetbytes.com/easy-apple-crisp/). I had a little bit of coffee cream in the back of the fridge that was also nearing its best before date, so it went onto the apple crisp. This entire meal for four cost less than $20, and it was very good quality food.

If you happen to find coffee cream with carrageenan in it as a thickener, it freezes perfectly for the next time you have friends over for coffee – or make apple crisp or a cream soup.

Make sure to check the shelves for marked down items close to their “best before” dates. Photo by Franki Chamaki.

Also, have a look at the odds and ends in pharmacies. You can sometimes find things that have had packaging and marketing changes that are still fine, just being sold off at a low price to make room for the newer stock. Or opened packages — an open pack of diapers is still going to do the job on baby’s bottom and for less.

Have you seen the apps you can download to take advantage of some money savings on food that’s closer to expiration dates? My favourites are ‘Too Good to Go’ and ‘Flash Food,’ as they have quite a bit here in the Kingston area.

Image via Too Good To Go.

Too Good to Go works like this:

This app gives excess food a second chance by putting it in a surprise bag for shoppers. It can be grocery stores or restaurants, cafes, etc. Each bag cost is a set amount. You reserve your bag using the app, pick it up in the time slot, and enjoy the deals. Some participating shops in Kingston are Circle K, Metro, and Tim Hortons. The assorted cut fruit and prepared salads available at Metro today for $6.99 was one that I found interesting. The Circle K for $4.99 might make a quick and cheap lunch (or two), too!

Flash Food works like this:

After downloading the app, search nearby before creating your account. Once you see some locations close to you (it doesn’t make a lot of sense to look at far-flung deals as your travel costs to get there will outweigh any savings), browse items the participating stores have available on the cheap. You buy using your phone, then go and pick up your items. I searched it the day I wrote this and found Jalapeño Cheddar dip was $0.99, a fruit box $5, and hummus for half price. Since I was having company over later, I used this app for cheaper snacks!

Use these tips along with the deals you find in flyers, and your own treasure hunt is sure to lead you to some great finds for less than you might expect! Speaking of which…

Flyer deals beginning Thursday, Jun. 27, 2024

Summer is here and grocers have lots of great deals on barbecue and picnic fare this week. My mouth is watering thinking of ribs and bacon cheeseburgers, as those are the deals this week!

Now that’s a delicious-looking burger! Photo by Mali Maeder.

Here’s a look at some of the best sales and deals from the flyers for Kingston area grocery stores:

No Frills

  • Chicken legs – fresh, backs attached, in-store butcher: $1.77/lb
  • Hot dogs – Schnieder’s brand “Red Hots”: $2.99/12
  • Tuna – canned, Cloverleaf brand: $0.99/170 g can
  • Watermelon – fresh, whole: $2.99 each
  • Oranges – fresh, Farmer’s Market brand: $2.88/3 lb bag
  • Asparagus – fresh: $2.99/lb

Giant Tiger (who now Ad Match!)

  • Pork ribs – frozen, Butcher’s Selection brand “Stampede Barbecue”: $6.97/680 g
  • Bacon – Bob’s brand: $2.47/375 g package
  • Grapes – fresh, red or green: $3.88/2 lb package
  • Cheese slices – cheddar, Black Diamond brand: $2.48/410 g package
  • Miracle Whip or Heinz Ketchup – assorted sizes: $4.97
  • Pasta sauce – Prego brand: $2.27/645ml jar

Food Basics

  • Burgers – fresh, 1/4 lb ground beef patties: $4/package of four
  • Pork sausages – Authentic brand: $4/package of four
  • French fries – frozen, Cavendish Farms brand: $1/1 kg bag
  • Buns – Selection brand: $1.77/eight

Metro

  • Pork Ribs, fresh: $3.44/lb
  • Hanging baskets: $11 (they have some nice white and red ones for Canada Day)

Happy Frugality!

Kingston resident Sarah Cronk offers tips on money-saving strategies and the best deals to be found in local grocery stores in her bi-weekly Kingstonist column, Fabulously Frugal. Have any questions for Sarah or things you’d like her to investigate in terms of cost savings? Let us know! Email Kingstonist Editor-in-Chief Tori Stafford at [email protected].

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