Sunday, May 16, 2010

Buying from the Reduced Rack

These are some pretty sorry looking bananas, aren't they?
You might then be surprised to know that I purposely bought these bananas already in this condition. Why?
They were 1/4 of their original price because they were mushy, bruised, and brown. Overripe bananas are sweeter and tastier, much better for making banana ice cream, banana bread, and banana based breakfast shakes.
I simply took the bananas, cut them up, froze them on a cookie tray, and removed as needed to make my shakes.

While its appealing to buy fruit and other foods that are in pristine condition, it often pays to buy foods from the reduced price or day old rack.
If your plan is to make homemade tomato sauce, buying reduced price tomatoes works better than buying the fresh, firm tomatoes. The softer, overripe tomatoes yield a sweeter, tastier sauce, and are usually a fraction of the price.
If you're intending on making pickles, you can buy the limp cucumbers.
If you're planning on making virtually any cooked fruit or veggie that doesn't result in crisp veggies, the reduced price, sorry looking veggies will work fine.
Butchers often have a "seconds" rack, where their day old chicken and meat is sold at great discount. I routinely would buy this as it tasted just as good but didn't hurt my pocketbook as much.
Bakeries also have day old racks, where their cakes, breads, and cookies are sold at a reduced price. The difference in freshness is negligible, and if you haven't yet started baking your own baked goods (you should, as it is much cheaper!), it pays to buy these day old baked goods.
Keep in mind though that these either need to be eaten up, cooked, or frozen immediately, otherwise they'll go off, and you will have wasted that money by buying things that spoil before being eaten.

Do you ever buy things from the reduced rack? What do you buy at lower prices? Do you find these purchases to be worthwhile?

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