Learn how to hustle
“Hustle” as used as a verb is defined as “To sell or get by questionable or aggressive means,” as printed so thoughtfully in The American Heritage Dictionary. If you ask me, the definition is a little skewed, because questionable can refer to something not agreed with in the norm, such as buying 300 cans of tuna fish for $20 from a man selling from a pickup truck bed. Aggressive is looked at only negatively in a physical sense or by those in positions who do not want them threatened by those looking to make gains (yet will counter those moves with aggressive actions of their own).
No, aggressive should not be confused with taking the initiative. That is what you’ll be doing here. There is (most of the time) a superabundance of food, and with lowered sales, a superabundance of wasted food. Here is the way to handle this to your advantage. Visit your local grocery stores. Make the rounds and make your contacts. Meet the department heads, and have it cleared (if you can) through one of the assistant managers or general managers.
It’s all about the connections
The objective is to pick up fresh produce and meats on the fringe or just passing the fringes of the expiration dates. You can do it. Check, for example, with your fresh produce manager. Ask him to sell you vegetables meant for the hog farm or the dumpster on a markdown special. He’ll be more than happy to oblige, nine times out of ten. The reason for this is that it is better for the company to take in a little bit on a product rather than throw it out. Then it’s just a matter of your own personal standards. A small present for them every so often can sweeten up the deal and make him or her even more amicable.
Does this sound “questionable?” It shouldn’t. Here is JJ’s point: If you won’t think out of the box now in easy times, you will not when the times are tough.
There are plenty of types of stores with managers that will sometimes even say, “Well, we have to throw it out…but I’ll put all of these bananas and string beans in a cardboard box and look the other way when I take it out back in five minutes.”
These guys are your contacts. Wanna learn about barter? Here’s your chance, nitty-gritty, style of da city! Slip the guy five or ten dollars every once in a while. He’ll be grateful, and then he’ll be more than willing to give to you what would have been thrown out, and you make his life a little better in the process.
It’s amazing what you can find if you just look around for it. Here in the area where we live are potato farmers that’ll sell you a 100 lb. bag for $10. The last time I checked, you might be able to get about 20 – 30 lbs. for that amount in the grocery stores. The only limitations are the ones either you place upon yourselves or opportunities that you do not seek out. Look in your thrift stores…they sometimes have a grocery section. Forget the expiration date. If you research it, with the exceptions of medications and dairy products, the date is simply the date that the product stays freshest…a sort of informal limit.
All of this activity will augment what you already do to save your pennies. Many times you can even find sales on canned goods that you can use for your preps. Your job is to find as many avenues as you can for you and your family to make ends meet and preserve one another. The methods outlined here are not questionable…they’re unconventional, and require you to think with other than normative thought. You’ll come up with a plan. Just the fact that you read ReadyNutrition is evidence that you do not follow the crowd. So, happy hustling for those groceries, and let us know about techniques and adventures that you have found to benefit you and yours. JJ out!