The deli counter is the number one location where shoppers can overspend on meat and cheese. Know when to buy and what to skip by reading below.

Small quantities

The deli is a good spot when looking for a limited quantity, whether it’s just a few slices of meat needed each week or wanting to try something new before committing to a larger amount.

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 flier. Know what price per pound you’re willing to pay, and stick to that budget. There are manufacturer coupons for meat or cheese from the deli, though they are rare and have a poundage minimum.

Beware the apron

The deli’s “apron” is the section in front of the case that is filled with tempting selections to go along with those sliced purchases, ranging from tiny bread loaves, overpriced gourmet condiments, and sandwich fixings. Visit the condiment aisle, the fresh bakery, and the refrigerated cheese stations for a wider (and more affordable) selection.

Pre-packaged

Buying at the refrigerated meat and cheese sections 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. But it is still possible to find minimally-processed options, including organic, all natural, and no added nitrates or fillers. Plus, you don't have to stand in line and wait for your selections to be cut, weighed, and wrapped.