Ripped open my latest copy of ShopSmart (March 2011), the magazine put out by Consumer Reports, only to find a bizarre tip on saving money on groceries. Auctions?!!!! Here’s how it works.
Supermarkets and warehouses reject pallets of food because one or two boxes are damaged, or they have overstock to unload. Grocery prices at auctions can be amazing. ShopSmart saw three DiGiorno Cheese Stuffed Crust Three Meat Pizzas for $14 – that’s half off what you’d pay at your local grocery store – and Kellogg’s Rice Crispy Treats were 78% lower than Amazon.
Sites like AuctionZip.com and Craigslist have listings for auctions that detail the contents to be sold, including groceries. Make sure to check the local auction rules so you know what rules to play by.
ShopSmart recommends using a smartphone app like RedLaser or Google Shopper to compare prices on the spot. These apps work by scanning the product’s UPC bar codes and looking up prices at online merchants.
Review “sell by,” “use by” and “best by” dates so you know how quickly you need to eat or freeze an item. Auctions can go quite late so bring coffee and a cooler to stash perishables that you win!