12 ways to save on groceries, even without coupons

No two retailers, or even two of the same retailer’s locations, are the same. Befriend store employees to learn when the stores mark items down (and when the freshest shipments arrive). “My meat department managers let me know when they go through the meat case and mark them down — one store does it first shift and another does it last. This lets me be one of the first to get the newest markdowns,” said Jessie Alonzo of Moola Saving Mom. Target generally marks down items each day Monday through Friday, with different departments taking a day. I’ve found the yellow clearance tags can provide clues to the schedule. Look for a date (for example, 03/07) near the bottom. If March 7 was a Tuesday, odds are that department does markdowns each Tuesday. According to Joanie Demer, co-owner of The Krazy Coupon Lady, Walmart doesn’t have a set markdown schedule, but you’ll find the best selection of clearance items during the first five days of the month.

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