Extreme Couponing Tip: Save on Deli Meat with These Strategies!

Deli meat can be an expensive item on a shopping list, and the deli counter is the number one location where you might overspend on sliced meat. Save by learning when and where to buy it at the best price:

Sales and coupons: Buying at full price is never the best option, so keep your eye out for what types and varieties are on sale each week in the weekly ad circular. Know the price-per-pound you’re willing to pay, and stick to that budget. Manufacturers will rarely offer coupons for meat or cheese from the deli, and they typically have a poundage minimum.  Recent coupons include $1.00 off any half-pound of Sara Lee deli meat and $1.00 off a half-pound of Columbus deli meat.

Small quantities: The deli is a good spot if you’re looking for a limited quantity, whether you just need three slices of meat a week or you want to try something new before committing to a larger amount. If you only need a bit, you’re likely to save more buying a small amount at the counter rather than buying pre-packaged meat and having most of it expire before you get the chance to eat it. You also might want to request a little less than the amount you’d like, as deli personnel tend to go over the customer’s desired amount.

Pre-packaged: Buying at the refrigerated meat section is often cheaper than regular deli prices, not to mention they’re much more likely to have a coupon! Contrary to popular belief, the meat in the deli and many in the packaged section have the same nutritional value and preservatives. You can always opt for minimally processed options, including organic, all natural, and no added nitrites or fillers. Plus, you don’t have to stand in line and wait for your selections to be cut, weighed, and wrapped.

Closing Time: Many delis will discount their meats 10-15 minutes before closing to make way for fresh selections in the morning. Next time you’re shopping in the evening, swing by and see if your store offers this more affordable option, and consider buying extra and freezing it for future use.

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12 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Save on Deli Meat with These Strategies!”

  1. Alice says:

    Here sometimes my Giant Eagle will put up a sales board on top of the counter and will have certain meat and cheese for 1.99 and 2.99 a pound I think it is close to experation date but if you bring it home and freeze it it is good One time it was for lean generation ham and happen to have a coupon for a 1.00 off so it made it like 1.99 lb so look around while you are in the stores

  2. MirandaG says:

    I buy the rolls of lunch meat and cut them myself and vacuum seal the bags and freeze them.

  3. Lisa says:

    Be careful with some sales ads when they list deli meats, make sure it says sale.  Sometimes they will list meats in the ad and it is at the regular price.  Tricky tricky.  Makes you think it is on sale because it is in a “sales” ad. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Because I am a vegetarian, buying meat at the deli is not something I do.  However, I have heard that sometimes you can get some good deals by buying the ends of the rolls of meat and cheese.  Don’t know how much this would save but it is worth asking.  It can be tough slicing the meats and cheese when you get to the end which is why the ends often get shoved to the side in the case.    At Central Market (a natural/organic chain operated by HEB in Texas and maybe other places) the ends are often packaged and placed in a display cooler near the deli counter with other presliced meats.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great tip! Thanks, pyrmom!

      • Anonymous says:


        Ya’ll have a great site and I often forward the emails received to friends who might find the info articles useful. Your readers are great and I look forward to the topics they address. Such a variety.
        It goes without saying- which I believed was covered in the deli article- to compare the unit prices of the deli counter and the pre-packaged counter and choose the lower unless one has a distinct brand preference. When and if I do buy lunch meat for the non-vegetarians in my house (my husband thinks if he goes vegetarian he will become a hippie!), I like to buy the brands that come in those plastic containers that come with lids. I think the containers are made by Glad. I use them to store leftovers. I don’t have to buy these small storage containers anymore.

  5. Anonymous says:

    At my King Soopers, if you pre-order your deli selections at the deli kiosk at the start of your shopping trip, you typically can get 1$ off a deli purchase of 5$ or more. I say beginning of the shopping trip because you have to allow at least 15 minutes lead time before the deli processes the order. Well worth it, though.