Today’s Guest Post comes from Stephanie from Couponing 101. She taught me something new today…can you guess what it is???
Many people believe that coupons are only for junk food and boxed, processed food. It is also common to hear complaints that there are never coupons for fresh produce or meat. Neither is true! You can eat healthy and still save money!
When you think about buying produce you typically just think of what variety you are going to buy. What you may not notice is that there are different brands of produce. Chiquita, Del Monte, Green Giant, and Driscoll’s are some popular brands of fresh fruit and vegetables. Take a look in your refrigerator, what brands of fresh produce, meat and dairy do you see? Once you know the brands your store carries, you can start looking for coupons.
I have seen coupons for fresh foods in the newspaper and online though they are fairly uncommon. The best source of coupons for fresh food is directly from the manufacturer. Go to the manufacturer’s website and look for a “contact us” link. Send a short email asking if they have coupons available or have a coupon mailing list that you could be put on. They will more than likely send you a few coupons! You can repeat this every 3-4 months to get coupons regularly.
Winetags are another way to save on fresh food. If your grocery store has a wine section then go over and browse. You are likely to find coupons hanging around the necks of the wine bottles called “winetags.” Most will be for savings on the wine, but occasionally
you find coupons for fresh food! These rare coupons are for savings like $2 off any meat or $1 off any produce. Read the coupon carefully to make sure no wine purchase is required to use the coupon. If no wine purchase is required (be sure to read the fine print!), you are free to take the coupon off the bottle of wine and use it!
Store coupons are the most common way to save. Look for these coupons in the weekly ad, stuck on the package, or printables on the store website. Make sure you are on your store’s mailing list. Most stores occasionally mail coupons to their loyalty card
holders. These mailers may include coupons for fresh food.
Shop the Sales
The number one rule for buying fresh meat and produce is to buy what is on sale. Buying the foods that are in season is a way to get
variety as well as save. Look on the front page of your ad circular for the “loss leaders.” Loss leaders are the deeply discounted items that the store puts on sale to lure you into the store. The front page is usually where you will find the best deals on fresh food. If you see a rock-bottom price on a cut of meat that you like, stock up and freeze it for later use.
Manager’s Specials are the beautiful discount stickers stuck to packages of meat, cartons of milk, or bags of produce. Managers mark down the fresh food when it is close to expiration and they don’t think it will sell before the “sell by” date. 50% off the regular
price or better is what you want to look for with the markdowns. Make sure the food has not gone bad yet before you buy it. Then cook it or freeze it as soon as you get home to ensure it doesn’t spoil before you use it.
Match up your coupons with the sales and you can get great savings on fresh food!