Eating the Manager’s Special


Our friend Kay just loves a bargain.  But frankly, when I went grocery shopping with her the other day, I got a little grossed out…

She had graciously invited me and my kids over for dinner after our shopping excursion, but I had been cringing my way through the store as she bought all her perishables right before they were supposed to perish!  She sought out every single ‘Manager’s Special’ cut of meat, dairy product and grabbed up the produce ‘on special’ – namely sort of sad looking peppers in cellophane bundles.

Now, I know that Manager’s Specials can also be new items that the store just got a great deal on, but in this case, it was the other kind – namely that stuff was getting close to the expiration date, and they had to move it out!

While I respect her desire to save money, I have to admit, the idea of buying almost expired food really doesn’t whet my appetite.  And the idea dinner that night made me gag just thinking about it…

Kay thinks I am being ridiculous and says that the store wouldn’t sell an item if there was anything wrong with it.   She says that I am wasting money, and insists that she is just a savvy consumer!

Am I silly for losing my appetite over Kay’s frugal food ways?  Or is her fridge filled with cheap food and a stomach virus just waiting to happen? Tell us what you think!

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5 Responses to “Eating the Manager’s Special”

  1. Christie says:

    I am total comfortable with the mgr special markdowns on meats. I don’t think the quality is any different besides I typically use the items within a few days.

  2. I don’t see how it’s any different than buying the produce at full price and putting it in your fridge at home for a few days until you’re ready to cook it up.

    Of course, Grandpa Poorhouse used to call steaks that were expiring “aged.”

    It doesn’t make sense to buy expiring stuff unless you’re planning to cook it up right away though. Can’t save money by throwing food away!

  3. Penny Ray says:

    I think there is a balance here, but I must admit that I don’t eat steak or beef. I usually don’t find a managers special on chicken and fish. But your experience raises another question: How often does the store offer managers specials that are about to expire? Having extra food that may become waste could be a sign of poor management or not enough foot traffic. I personally must stay conscious of what I eat due to hereditary high-cholesterol, so I don’t mind paying a bit more to eat better, and without details of your friends situation, I can’t comment.

    P.S. One idea for future use: offer to supply the groceries for dinner that night in exchange for their hospitality. That’s the Baller way!

  4. Barbara says:

    I buy the manager special but I cook it as soon as I get home. I don’t freeze it or wait one day to cook it. I think its a waste to let it ruin. there are so many hungry people in this world.

  5. Donna says:

    I have a friend who has been a manager at a big chain grocery store for ten years. According to him, the expiration date that is used for most manager specials (at least where he works) is the sell by date for the store and the product still has plenty of “shelf” life left. I’ve used manager specials for years and have not had any bad experiences so far. You just have to use common sense, if it looks or smells bad it is bad, if you purchase a manager special use it before you use the other items that you have purchased. That way your saving money and still eating well.

Any Thoughts?

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