Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I stalk some people...

But only those staff in the supermarket holding the price gun in their hand!!

I won't deny it is much more appealing to buy fruit, vegetables, meat and other foods in perfect, pristine condition, but I have definitely found it pays to buy foods marked down to a reduced price or day old rack. In some cases, these can be the sweetest, tastiest pieces for eating. I hunt for those tickets saying 'reduced' or 'But I'm still good'.

Going into the supermarket the other day, the grocery department had two staff out with a trolley full of 'bits and pieces' fruit, vegetables and herbs for customers to bag themselves at discount. Chatting to them, as I do, the most common reason this produce could not be sold at full price as there had been a rotten piece in the bag making all remaining contents unable to be returned to the shelf as loose stock in case mould had spread or because the bag was now underweight

Buying reduced price tomatoes works better than buying the fresh, firm tomatoes, especially if you are planning to make sauces or salsa for use in winter when tomatoes are more expensive and less flavoursome. The softer, overripe tomatoes provide a sweeter, tastier sauce, and are usually a fraction of the price

If you're intending to make pickles or chutney, buy the limp cucumbers, crushed capsicum or the sad looking squash and zucchini. Get the scungy looking onions. Grab the bruised fruit if you make up a stewed fruits. Bottling up pears using the soft, fully ripened fruit or the plump, soft plums. *sobs* I missed the plums. Low cost, squashed and bruised produce can really be a winner - both in flavour and savings. 

If you're planning on making soup, virtually any veggie that has been reduced in price for becoming a sad, sorry looking shade of its former crisp self will work fine. Making soup at this time of the year - or during summer - means you've got some home-made wholesome rich winter meals ready for quick heating and avoiding the urge to splurge on fast foods.

Bakeries also have day old shelves or racks, where yesterdays bread, pastries and goodies are sold at  reduced prices. If you don't bake your own bread, you can save half price on many items. I'll admit - I've not mastered the art of bread-making. However, I never use packet crumbs or croutons - I use the food processor to crumb those last few slices of the sandwich loaf, preferring the grainy type over white bread. Thick slices of bread drizzled with oil, garlic and herbs before toasting or pan frying and cut makes the most delicious croutons.

The results of a successful stalk...
Remember tho', bakery items need to be eaten up, cooked, or frozen immediately. If made without preservatives, they will go stale and off a lot quicker than some of the supermarket breads and then there is no saving to be made - only waste

Local butchers often have a "seconds" shelf or section, where the chicken and meat coming up a few days old is sold at great discount. I regularly walk into the butcher, ask if there is any mark down produce and buy it - it tasted just as good, freezes well but has a much gentler hit to the purse. Same with supermarket meats. Seriously, I have been known to stalk the staff with the price gun - often asking if they are going to be marking down meat.

~ SO ~ : Do you buy from the marked down part of the supermarket? What will you buy at reduced cost? Do you find shopping by 'reduced stickers' worthwhile?  Or are there foods you just won't buy unless its in tip-top condition?

Another delicious dinner! 
A little more than the usual $1-$2 per head. Tonight I used three pieces of steak ($4.50), pate (79c), one and half sheets of pastry (50c?), broccoli (free), peas and honeyed carrots (50c?) to make individual beef wellingtons ~ an extravagant $3 per person meal *chuckles*  SmallBoy was feeling a little flat and everything tastes better when wrapped in pastry. It was going to be a stir fry with left overs for lunch but hey - it was a delicious splurge which brought a smile to everyone's face!


Don't forget to pop back to the GiveAway post with your entry to win a Bosisto's Eucalyptus Pack designed especially for readers of Mands On A Mission. You could be one of three winners receiving the new Bosisto's washing powder, oil and spray freshener. As a lover and user of the oil for many years, the washing powder is a great new addition to our cleaning cupboard!!

OK ~ it is bed time. The SmallBoy is asleep ~ MRI scheduled on Thursday, but we see the support services people tomorrow to ensure he is not suffering any panic or stress about having surgery and then how studies will be covered for the next term as, operation or not, he's off his foot for 8-12 weeks and it must be elevated. It's great they do this type of thing for children ~ all we keep hearing from medical professionals is that being such an unusual fracture, especially in a child, no chances can be taken with its care. 


  1. another fabulous post by mandy... love your blog... need to chew your lovely ear about all things financial and housey buying... best done sans 3 year old I believe... can you email me you re availability xx Kim Halpin

  2. I love a bargain too Mands and I'm often following the staff around as they put those discount stickers on.
    Lots of great tips to do more with less in your blog.
    Rosemary xo

  3. What an awesome theme for your blog! I am a new follower from the Totally Tuesday hop. I'd love for you to follow back at KylaKreates

  4. What a great blog! Found you via the blog hop. Not only am I following you via GFC, but I'm going to put you on my blog tracker column thingy, so I keep checking in.

    Follow back at http://jothome.blogspot.com

    Happy Wednesday!