Shopping early in the morning can prove to be beneficial for finding great deals in the meat section. I have save a lot of money purchasing packages of meat that were marked down that morning. The meat is still good, but the date the store can sell it by may be the day you are buying it. I have bought pork roasts, chicken and hamburg. I immediately freeze it when I get home. I have never had a package that was spoiled when I went to cooked. When you buy it, make sure the color is still good.
My local market usually puts out the marked down meats around 9:30 - 10:00 am. They place a SPECIAL tag on it and put it with the other meat. Some times they put a SPECIAL tag on the meat, however, it is still the same price. You have to watch for the new label which they put over the old label and then they put the SPECIAL tag on it.
Every store is different. Ask the butcher if they mark down meat that is close to the sell by date and what time they put it out. I know Sam's Club is another store that usually has really good deals on marked down meat first thing in the morning.
If you are unsure about the types of dates listed on the package and what they mean, you can click here to learn more from the USDA. Below I have listed some information I found on their site.
Types of Dates
- A "Best if Used By (or Before)" date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
- A "Use-By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.
- "Closed or coded dates" are packing numbers for use by the manufacturer.
Spend a little more time in the meat section and make friends with the butcher. It could save you more money at the register!
If you have any other tips for shopping in the meat section, please post a comment and let us know.