In fact, I can probably literally count on the fingers of my hands the number of times I’ve stopped to buy anything there over the past two decades.
The reason is that the prices there are often substantially greater than they are for the same or a similar product elsewhere in the store. For a single person or couple, it might not seem like a big deal, but for a family, the price difference can really add up.
And I've also never understood why people would want to stand on line to get a product that is available to them in another department of the grocery store with no wait time and for a much lower cost.
It just makes no sense to this practical, frugal-minded person at all.
So my suggestion is to give yourself and your wallet a break and skip all that.
Instead, I recommend getting your cheese in the dairy refrigerator section of the grocery store.
Now I don’t mean the refrigerated displays usually found at the front of the store near or just past the produce section with the expensive gourmet and artisanal cheeses that are the most expensive cheeses of all.
No, I’m referring to the refrigerator sections that are typically found at the back of the store, or far removed from the deli area.
That’s where you will find the cheapest available cheeses. They are usually, though not always, the ones that come in unsliced bricks or blocks.
You can see an example to the left of a Dairy Dept. cheese, which is priced $4 per pound cheaper than the Deli Dept. version of the store brand of cheese. Those are no small savings.
It's a simple matter to use a cheese plane or slicer to cut the cheese yourself for sandwiches or snacks, as needed. Really, paying an extra $4 per pound seems a pretty steep price for someone else to slice some cheese for you.
As for cold cuts, the cheapest ones are found in the display cases near the meat department.
Now, as I’ve mentioned in other blogs, I don’t generally recommend cold cuts at all for budget conscious or health conscious consumers, but if you do have them on your grocery list, you’ll usually find a brand or two of pre-packaged sandwich meat at much lower prices per pound than the deli options.
An example would be the ones pictured above for $1.14 per pound. You would not be likely to find a price anywhere near that low at the deli counter.
With deli department price mark-ups on these products of $3-4 per pound or more for essentially the same ingredients, there are substantial savings to be realized every time you buy a pound of cheese or sandwich meat. It makes sense to keep that money in your own pocket rather than paying an inflated premium.
So, the next time you’re in the grocery store and are thinking of heading to the deli section, steer yourself away.
You’ll save money on the purchases you would make there, and you will also get your shopping done faster.
That's another plus. Because the less time you spend in the store, the better.