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Saving $ Favorite Marked Down/Reduced Food Finds

In an effort to economize, I am wondering if people are willing to share their favorite marked down food finds/places. Fruits, vegetables, baked goods, etc. You know, those hidden carts in the back corner of the market with reduced stickers on them.

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  1. I find it's worth checking out the "gourmet" foods section at T.J. Maxx (yes, there is one!)

    Like anything else there what you find is hit or miss, but I've gotten very good deals on things like Antica Italia olive oil, Dave's Gourmet pasta sauces, and a variety of Melinda's products like habaƱero bean dip and habaƱero ketchup.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BobB

      Picked up a 16.8 fl oz bottle of Reims Champagne Vinegar for $5 at a Marshalls on the 4th.

    2. Ocean State Job lots has large selection of canned/boxed goods, snacks, condiments, etc. It can be hit or miss as the stock changes quite a bit. They do have a huge selection of Bob's Red Mill grains. I think the Quincy location is the closest to Boston; it's not a long walk from the North Quincy T.

      1 Reply
      1. re: EmmaFrances

        I always buy my olive oil at Job Lot. They also have extremely cheap spices.

      2. Wilson's Farm in Lexington has several smallish carts throughout the store with marked down produce. I've bought some wonderful red & yellow peppers and squashes. Their Litchfield NH farm has medium sized bags of vegetable combos for insanely low prices.

        Edit: Just remembered reading, on CH, about PriceRite on the Lynnway in Lynn. I've never been, but apparently their prices a very low.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          If you want to buy ripe tomatoes at Wilson's, the cart with marked-down veggies is exactly where to look. Last week I got six (three packages of two) tomatoes that were dead ripe, had nothing wrong with them, and were priced at $1.49/lb. Sooooo good!

          1. re: PinchOfSalt

            That mark-down cart at Wilson's is toward the back, just in front of where the bakery starts. Some unbelievable deals there, especially before and after Tuesdays when they are closed.

        2. The Allston Shaw's occasionally has things on an unmarked sale. I went over to pick up a couple boxes of arborio rice recently during their current remodel and discovered that they both rang up at $1.15 per box, which was half price. (The boxes were the tiniest bit shopworn -- a slightly loose glue flap, that sort of thing.) So I wheeled back to the international food aisle and picked up the remaining four boxes as well.

          Hey, we eat a lot of risotto in this house. It's nice to not have to worry about running out of arborio for a while!

          1. Russo's has packages of produce ripe and ready for $1.00 per package at the far end where chinese vegetables are located. Usually good deal if you use them that day. Made a great batch of guacamole for example.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gourmaniac

              Christmas Tree Shops also stock food- some hit (Olde Cape Cod jams, dressings; neat shapes/sizes of pasta) or miss (Peeps... in July..?). Worth a shot!

            2. The Shaw's on Mt. Auburn Street in Cambridge, near the Watertown border, has a shelf at the far end of the organic section with 50% off discontinued items. I've gotten some Amy's Organic salad dressing, Tazo tea, and Green and Black hot chocolate for $1.50-2.

              1. Big Lots in Danvers on Rt 1 South has great deals on cereal, lots of Roland condiments and organic canned goods, tomato sauce, crackers, jams and jellies, pickles etc. I usually find some treat from the south like White Lily flour or grits. The selection is very "hit or miss" but the prices are great. I got Cascadian Farm organic whole grain cereal for $2 a box.

                I go to the Ocean State Job Lot in Danvers, near BJ's, for Bob's Red Mill grains and flours. The prices are good and they have a huge assortment. They usually have a nice selection of chocolate, coffee, teas, maple syrup, organic cereal and a random lot of other stuff, some good, some a little scary.

                1. Oops, forgot to mention Shaw's in Saugus puts their marked down produce in the last refrigerated section before the cold cuts. The other day I found organic baby spinach for 62 cents. Their marked down food products are right after the meat dept. The other day they had the $9 organic spagetti sauce jars for for $2, and lots of other ethnic and natural foods in that section too. Worth a look!

                  1. I do check out those shelves, but usually the markdown does not follow the quality of the produce. Some stores have "day-old" bread prices after 5pm (Via Lago in Lexington used to do this, Formaggio don't think til the next morning).

                    You are better off going to Haymarket: go early and pick vendors who will let you select the fruit for better quality... or go later and search out the "one case for a dollar" bargains.

                    Right now if you want tomatoes, Chelsea produce vendors are selling them out Roma tomatoes cheap due to the scare because they can't get them into restaurants (most from Florida which is supposed to be ok). A lot of chelsea produce vendors do cash and carry, but there are some roadside stands that will sell yes including Melons Melons. Tends more towards fruit offerings than vegetables. Holden Fruit definitely does cash and carry and sometimes has smaller quantities, but is usually by the case.

                    If you are doing canning or don't worry about looks, talk to farmers at farmers markets about 'B' produce. Some larger ones will be able to oblige right after they grade their produce.

                    1. Ditto on Christmas Tree Shops, Ocean State Job Lot and T.J. Maxx for gourmet items. I also have good luck at Marshall's and Home Goods. Although I usually prefer to grind coffee just prior to brewing, I tend to like the (ground) flavored coffe selection at Marshall's/Home Goods, as well as T.J. Maxx. I frequently find Nonni's Biscotti at Ocean State at a good price. For all these items I always check expiration dates but they're usually not a problem.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Betty Boop

                        Ocean State is usually pretty good on the expiration dates, whereas Building 99 is often a lot closer or sometimes past. I do like the oddball things you find at Building 99. Ocean State you can do a shopping worth of dry goods (pasta, canned goods). Marshalls and clan tends more towards specialty even gift items, so keep that in mind if you are trying to do a "shopping."

                        Price is relative, $1.49 marked down tomatoes at Wilson's are more expensive than retail in some places depending on where they are from and what type of tomato. B tomatoes from local farmers can be had for a bit less than that. In Chelsea right now you can probably get about 2lbs of Romas for $1. What makes sense if you think the quality is worth the expense.

                      2. Believe it or not, CVS sometimes has good food buys. They often have sales on cereals (2 boxes for $4 or something of that nature), coffee, etc. I usually check their circular online and if I see something interesting that is discounted, I may get it.

                        1. Star Market aka Shaws in Chestnut Hill on Rt. 9 is closing on the 17th while a new store is built. A lot of stuff is 50% off. Some of the shelves are bare but there's still a lot left. Not everything was marked down, and I managed to save $78 off of $203.

                          1. Today at Shaw's in Saugus all of the Bob's Red Mill grain products were clearanced at 50% off. They still had a good selection of brans, grains, hot cereals, etc. They are still on the shelf in the Wild Harvest section. Back on the markdown shelf near the meat counter, they had $10 tiny bottles of Balsamic vinegar from Modena for under $3.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: PrincessBakesALot

                              i just had TWIN 1 1/4lb lobsters (cleaned em too, with out us asking) for 24$ or a single for 14$...at ...embarrassed to admit it...Whiskeys on Boylston

                              1. re: Debbiedoesfood

                                Whiskey's is known for the twin lobster, but Mount Vernon in Somerville is a lot cheaper. I think its $16.99 currently and after 9pm they usually knock a few bucks off. If you want to overlook a Marina, their Revere location also offers it. Cheap raw bar items too, although I have had mixed luck with those (good little necks, forgettable oysters) and their prime rib. For home eating Market Basket is $5.99/lb for lobsters right now (although that was their softshell price before, it said $1 off so insist on hard shells which were $6.99 -- in some MB stores they have separate tanks but not all).

                            2. McKinnon's market in Davis Square always has great deals on meat (beef, chicken, pork, and some lamb), TJs in Coolidge Corner has had chicken drumsticks at $1/lb recently but they go quick. Something that I do in late summer is buy piles of tomatoes, they're cheap then, and make a bunch of tomato sauce which I freeze in aliquots and use throughout the rest of the year.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: steinpilz

                                It's not often I have to look up a word but you got me with aliquots. From context I thought it would be some kind of container (exotic cousin of a Mason jar?) but it turns out to be fractions, or in this case, portions. Thanks, you just made my day! A day without learning something new is a day wasted.

                                1. re: BobB

                                  You['re welcome Bob. It's a word that is common in labs, making up solution X once and then freezing in aliquots for later use saves time.

                                  1. re: steinpilz

                                    and I was even more puzzled by "aliquots" because I thought they must be some kind of fruit like kumquat or pluquot....

                                2. re: steinpilz

                                  Another thing that can be done with tomatoes in season (and, I think, just about any veggie or fruit) is to dry them in the over, on the lowest temperature setting. It's easier with a dehydrator, but I used my oven with good results (it takes a long time, and you have to keep a bit of a vigilant eye to prevent cooking). Plan to get local tomatoes in season and do up a few batches.

                                3. Trader Joe's for wine, definitely.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: BackBayGirl

                                    So true, always get my wines at Trader's, cant beat the prices and they carry one of my favorite Chianti's.

                                    1. re: LovesFoieGras

                                      Which one is that? I have a favorite pinot grigio there (Kris winery), but don't know their Chiantis.

                                  2. Target stores usually have decent food prices, but the selection isn't very big. We usually just stock up on the basics, like cereal or yogurt. Just last week we got 4 big boxes of Cheerios for $7, which would be close to $20 at a regular supermarket.

                                    1. Though not marked down per se, I just picked up gorgeous pluots at the 88 in Malden, 3 for a dollar. That's cheaper than limes at Shaws.

                                      1. The Lambert's Rainbow Fruit location on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester has a damaged section in the way, way back. You can get huge bags of fruit for a couple of dollars. Yes, some of it is bruised or smooshed, but often most of the fruit in a bag only has cosmetic damage. It's the perfect place to get bananas for making banana bread.