Lincoln, NE - Coupons are usually easy to find for packaged or refrigerated food by the can, box or bag. It is sometimes more difficult to find extra savings on fresh meat products.
A package of meat can stay on a grocery store shelf for a short time. When it is nearing the end of the safe time span or the store needs to make room for more products, you'll see the meat products marked down. At Hyvee grocery stores, they call them manager's specials.
Fred Holbert works in the meat department at Hyvee Lenox Village in Lincoln, near 70th and Pioneers.
"I'm semi retired, this is literally a hobby for me. I come in here because of the relationship I've developed with my customers," said Holbert.
He recommends checking the refrigerated shelves of the meat department before you shop at the meat counter. He said that if you can't find what you're looking for in one spot, you'll likely find it in the other. He recommends always comparing prices if you want to be a smart shopper.
At this Hyvee store, you'll see red stickers that read, "manager's special." The sticker means that that particular product is up to 50 percent off.
"When the meat cutters come in in the morning, they take the meat out of the trays from the prior night and package that as a manger's special. All of that is subject to quality control and so if it's not there, it doesn't go out, it goes in the garbage," said Holbert.
When looking for manager's specials, there isn't always something available or there may be limited quantities.
But when you shop, always be aware that the meat is still safe and meets all of the strict health and safety standards that Hyvee sets for all of their products.
"This is what I eat. When I go home everyday, I look to see what's left in the manager's specials, if there's something I can use that's good quality.... and the price I want, then that goes out the door with me, of course after I see the checkout gals up front," said Holbert.
To make sure that the meat does not go bad, if you're buying in bulk, you'll want to freeze it correctly. That means that it is air tight and wrapped in the proper materials.
If you're keeping raw meat in the refrigerator, only count on keeping ground beef for two days and poultry or fish for a day before cooking it or freezing it.