Rising grocery store prices have been taking a big bite out of people's budgets in 2022. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of eating food at home is up 13% over what it was last year.
In response, people have been sharing ways to save money on groceries. Over on Reddit, a post about Costco's $5 rotisserie chickens being "loss leaders" led u/progress-competitive to ask people for other items grocery stores use as "loss leaders" that shoppers can stock up on for less.
In case you're not familiar, a "loss leader" is an item that retailers sell for less than it's worth to get people in the door to buy other, higher-priced items.
First, u/talik1978 shared three solid tips for spotting a "loss leader" in the wild, writing, "Which items are loss leaders usually varies from store to store, but there are common trends to look for."
And people shared the specific loss leaders they've come across in the thread. Here's what they had to say:
1. "Frozen turkeys at the holidays are usually considered one of the bigger loss leaders."
2. "I work for a beer distributor, and therefore, know the wholesale price that the store pays. I will often see stores lose a dollar or two, even four or five dollars, on a 12-pack. Guess they figure you'll buy enough chips and other stuff to make up for it."
3. "Hot dogs from Costco."
4. "In the US, it has to be bananas. How you gonna get a tropical fruit to cold ass New England in the middle of winter and then charge $0.49 per pound?"
5. "I know in my local area, the generic milk and generic bread are the biggest loss leaders."
6. "I was a manager in a meat department at a grocery store. Any meat that's advertised on the front page is a massive loss to the stores. We would sell a prime rib roast for $6.99/lb when the actual cost was about $13/lb."
7. "In stores with real bakeries (as in they actually bake the bread), the whole bakery is often a loss leader. That doesn't mean the products are cheap, but the bakery itself makes little to no money, or even loses money. It's there to draw in customers so they shop the whole store. You come in for fresh donuts or bread or a custom cake, and you pick up the week's groceries while you're there. It may not seem like a great deal on the sticker, but that fresh loaf of bread would be way more expensive if they were trying to make money."
8. "I used to be very, very broke. But I would still go to Whole Foods because they had very good deals on the end caps closest to the registers. Those have got to be loss leaders. Also, whatever big sales a store runs in their weekly flyers. A loss leader doesn't work if you don't know it exists. They're going to LEAD with it."
"The sale prices at more expensive stores are very often cheaper than the sale prices at a cheaper store on the SAME EXACT ITEM. The cheaper store just has a cheaper REGULAR price."