Friday, May 9, 2014

Frugality and the Luxuries of the Van Life

For folks that are unfamiliar with manager's special, allow me to enlighten you. Manager's special, as a term is specific to the Kroger line of stores, however, the concept is used by many chains. Manager's special, is usually massively marked down grocery items that are about to expire. This can include but isn't limited to: veggies, fruits, baked goods, vitamins...well pretty much everything that has an expiration date stamped on it, or is drastically out of season.

Manager’s special is the socially acceptable and sometimes slightly more costly version of dumpster diving, unless of course it's paired with a coupon. Dumpster diving being the hide and seek game of finding edible foods that have fully passed their expiration date and have accordingly been tossed in a dumpster despite still being edible, particularly in the case of processed foods. Manager’s special items are typically identified by bright yellow and orange tags in the Kroger stores or by designated areas that will contain just baked goods or vegetables or refrigerated items etc. 

Additionally, these markdown items are almost always 50% off of their regular price or better.
As a result of this markdown, dirtbags and penny pinchers alike can enjoy the edible luxuries that are also enjoyed by people with a reliable and healthy income. We can appreciate and enjoy the aromas and flavors of cold pressed organic olive oil, imported Wensleydale cheese with cranberries or handmade hummus with fire roasted green chilies.

People that I have worked or lived with know that I love to flaunt the rack of ribs I've recently picked up for six bucks, or the ½ gallon of the aforementioned olive oil for $7.49. If you don’t care to rub your savings in the faces of friends, but still wish to bask in the glory of finding a delicious deal. Simply peel that still discount sticker off your great find and share. Let your friends and family ooh and aah over whatever delectable dish you’re serving and smile to yourself, knowing you only spent pennies on it!

So next time you go grocery shopping swing by the markdown sections first, especially if you’re a fan of baked goods as they seem to be plentiful, and snag some stuff that’s on your list…or not (be careful though if shopping on an empty stomach as the impulse purchases can be most costly despite the savings). Save yourself a couple bucks here and there, toss time in a piggy bank and I’ve found that in a relatively short amount of time you can tack on an extra month to your road trip with your manager’s special savings!
Yes a few spontaneous purchases made their way into the cart...but JACKPOT!

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