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Want in on a little secret? Grocery Outlet stores offer great prices that rival chains like Walmart and eCommerce giants like Amazon. If you’ve never been to a discount grocery store like Grocery Outlet, you’re missing out on killer savings.
That said, I’ve included some awesome Grocery Outlet store secrets that can save you money on your next grocery haul. Read up and download the KCL app for more ways to save everyday.
1. Save an average of 60% on your Grocery Outlet purchase without coupons.
Grocery Outlet doesn’t accept manufacturer coupons, because they negotiate lower prices directly with consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers. When a CPG manufacturer has excess inventory or the packaging — not the actual product — is damaged, discount grocers like Grocery Outlet buy these products for pennies on the dollar.
Meat, milk, and eggs, (not CPG goods) on the other hand, are sourced the same way regular supermarkets source their perishable products, so you may not find the discounts as deep. Look for the “Elsewhere Price”on price tags for easy cost comparisons.
PRO TIP: Cash-back rebate app Ibotta has general offers that apply to any grocery store, like $2 cash back for eligible wine purchases. Select these offers in the app before you buy to get money back on your total.
2. Inventory is 50 – 80% less than traditional grocery stores.
Unlike traditional grocery stores that stock the same items weekly, discount stores stock items depending on what they get in (mostly overstock from other stores). So when you see something you like, stock up and stock up fast, because it might not be there tomorrow.
3. Follow Grocery Outlet’s Facebook and Instagram accounts for updates on the best deals.
Since Grocery Outlet doesn’t offer online shopping at the moment, the best you can do is follow their social media accounts, where they give frequent updates about deals and products.
For instance, on Grocery Outlet’s Instagram in July they posted a deal for blueberries: 18-ounce containers for just $3.99. I saw the same size at H-E-B going for $4.51.
I also found this great deal on Sour Patch kids in August on Grocery Outlet’s Facebook page where you could buy three five-ounce bags of Sour Patch kids for just $1 ($0.07/ounce).
Compare that to Amazon, where you’ll find same-size Sour Patch kids bags for $0.20/ounce.
4. Learn the difference between “Sell By,” “Best if Used By,” and “Use By” dates at Grocery Outlet stores.
Grocery Outlet often purchases overstocked products from bigger stores, allowing them to offer significant price cuts. However, this strategy often means that certain items are close to the expiration date.
Knowing what the expiration dates mean will help you determine whether you can use a product before the quality starts to deteriorate:
- “Sell By” means buy the product before this date.
- “Best if Used By” is about peak flavor and quality, but the food is still safe to eat after the date has passed. For example, hard cheese can be eaten even after mold has formed — just cut off the mold.
- “Use By” indicates when a product will start deteriorating in quality and flavor as determined by the manufacturer.
5. Stock up on the frozen foods at Grocery Outlets and other discount grocers.
Frozen foods are great deals at discount grocery stores, because they can live past their purchase dates as long as they’ve been kept frozen.
6. Save 40 – 70% on organic and natural brands in Grocery Outlet’s NOSH section.
Buying your organics and health foods at low-cost grocery stores can translate into big savings — as much as 70% off when you shop Grocery Outlet’s Natural, Organic, Specialty, Health (NOSH) section.
Big brands you can find include:
- Seventh Generation
- Annie’s Homegrown
- Kettle Brand
- So Delicious
- Food Should Taste Good
- Nature’s Bakery
You’ll also find organic canned black beans to specialty items like Chia seeds, too!
7. Sign up for WOW alerts to save up to 70%.
Grocery Outlet sends “WOW” alerts to you inbox when you sign up for their email list. These alerts are only for unadvertised, top-selling products at your local store. Products that get alerts must have a high inventory and a minimum savings of 50% — however, expect to see some savings up to 70%! Occasionally, you’ll even get access to generic coupons, like $5 off a $25 purchase.
For instance, I saw a promo in August 2020 where you can get $3 off a $25 purchase for signing up, so be on the lookout and save!
8. Don’t mind cans with small dents–you get the same quality product for a fraction of the cost.
According to the USDA, cans with small dents are safe to eat, but cans with deep dents (i.e. deep enough that you can stick your finger into it) should be discarded. So if you see cans with small dents and banged-up boxes, it doesn’t mean the food is bad; it just means traditional stores can’t sell them. And when you see the discounts on these dented items, believe me, you won’t mind the cosmetic flaws.
9. Find name brand makeup around 50% off.
Find top health and beauty brands at Grocery Outlet — from cosmetics to skincare. Products like Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara for about $7 at Walmart, while at Grocery Outlet you’ll find the same product for just $3.99.
Big brands you can find include:
- Tom’s of Maine
- Clean & Clear
- Physician’s Formula
10. Wine and beer go on sale frequently.
If you’re looking for a good deal on wine, The Grocery Outlet has great prices (use the Wine4.me app to help you choose the best). You’ll even see wine sales with an additional 20% discount, which makes some bottles 80% off, and beer going for 20% less than what you’d pay elsewhere. For instance, I found a 12-pack of Coors Light at Grocery Outlet for just $9.99.
Various stores across the country have “Wine Wednesdays” where you can mix and match a case of 12 bottles and get 10% off. Not into wine? You can find local and national brand beers at these stores, too.
11. Flowers, plants and potting soil often cost 50% less.
Like traditional grocery stores, Grocery Outlet stocks up on fresh potting plants, flowers, and fruit and vegetable plants, but for much less.
For instance, I found a three-pound bag of fertilizer for $4.99; the same bag of Dr. Earth Pure Gold fertilizer is $8.99 at Ace Hardware.
12. Buy quality brand-name pet products.
An 11-pound box of Milk-Bone Original Dog Biscuits is $11.64 at Walmart, but I found the same exact box at Grocery Outlet for just $8.99 — that’s nearly $3 in savings.
13. Over 60? Get a senior discount.
Grocery Outlets that offer senior discounts offer it on a specific day, like the second and fourth Thursday of every month. Seniors over the age of 60 can get 5 – 10% off during a specific time block. Call and find out if your store has this added bonus.