1. Buy a whole chicken on sale and ask the butcher to cut it into 8 pieces for you. You’ll get smaller pieces that you can cook in more dishes than roasting a whole bird. Butchers are often happy to do this, though it’s best to ask when the counter is not busy. I bought two chickens yesterday at $.59/lb. You can’t beat that price when it’s cut up!
2. Search out the about-to-expire bread rack. I’ve seen artisan loafs for $.99. Just make sure to eat within 24 hours or freeze to avoid a mold takeover.
3. Get a loyalty card even if you’re not loyal. It’s free and gets you what is generally the “regular” price. Without it you’re paying an inflated rate.
4. Bring your own bags. Stores are starting to charge for paper/plastic and it’s better for the environment. Go for canvas or burlap for durability. The re-enforced nylon ones are crappy.
5. Ask for a rain check. If a sale item is out of stock and they don’t have any “in back,” get a rain check.
6. If a store wrongly refuses coupons, print out their coupon policy from their website and bring it with you next time you shop.
7. Look high, look low. Manufacturers pay to get their products placed at eye level, which can boost prices.
8. Stock up when prices are low so you can ride out the high prices.
9. Be open to new brands so you can be loyal to low prices.
10. Check out markets that cater to Latinos. In Los Angeles, Vallarta and Food 4 Less are full-sized markets with incredible prices but they often fall below the radar.