Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Savings and Deconstructing Deli Trays

The school year is over and I am officially on Summer Break.  YAY!!!!  I really enjoy the perks of being a substitute teacher. ;)
I do however really miss the income that my job brings into our household so I really try to concentrate on ways to cut back on our expenses even more during the Summer and early Fall while I wait for my next paycheck to arrive. 

Luckily for us, we live near 2 major college towns and when the students leave for the Summer, great deals can be found in the grocery stores.  The stores need to get rid of excess merchandise and this includes food items.  Two days ago I stumbled on a half off the last clearance price on frozen foods deal at one of the local Walmarts.  I was shocked to see Sara Lee Pumpkin pies marked down to $1 each and even more shocked to realize that it would be even cheaper with 50% off that.  So I spend a whopping .50 on the pie above and made hubby a very happy man. :)

Another place I look for mark downs year round is in the meat section.  I found trays of boneless, skinless chicken breasts marked at half off.  I bought 1 tray of them and packaged each breast up in a sandwich sized bag and then put those in a heavy duty freezer ziplock bag.  I would have bought more, but my freezer is pretty packed at the moment.  Jeff and I will use one breast to make meals like Orange Chicken, Lemon Chicken and Pasta, Chicken Kabobs, etc..

One of the most overlooked areas in the grocery store where I feel you can save the most money is in the deli section.  I have found some great deals there including marked down whole baked chickens, salads, prepared meals like tamales and Chinese style dishes.  Within the past few weeks I have found some amazing deals on prepared deli trays.  Last week I bought 2 Pretzel Pizza trays for $2.49 each.  We had one for dinner when our grandson Bradley spent the night and I froze the other one for a future meal.  This week I found fruit trays and meat and cheese trays marked at half off  their original price.  These I deconstructed and ended up with bags of grapes, fresh pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon for a fraction of the price that I would have paid to by them in the produce section.  I also separated and bagged up the deli dry salami, pepper jack, colby jack, cheddar, and Swiss cheese, the lettuce that was used to line the trays (it was still in great shape and perked back up after a rinse in cool water) and set aside the sleeves of crackers.  These make for great snacking or a quick lunch.  Today I had watermelon, some Swiss cheese and some of the salami for lunch.  It was really good and I loved that I was able to save money and have a delicious and varied lunch.


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