Hello cheese fans. And when I say "cheese fans," I mean those who like/love cheese of all kinds, not those who love cheesy jokes and such. (You know who you are.)
I love cheese. It's one of my favorite food groups, right up there with bacon and chocolate. Any time I make a trip to my local Ingles grocery store, I check out their little gourmet cheese section looking for markdowns. Why markdowns? Have you ever looked at the regular prices of that stuff? Then you shouldn't have to ask.
A few weeks ago, I came across a small block of cheese marked down to .99. It was going out of date the next day, which is of course why it was marked down. How drastic was the markdown? Well, this little block of cheese normally costs $14.99lb. Yep, you read that right. $14.99 for a pound of cheese. Don't know who actually pays that much, but it sure ain't me. :)
Anyhoo, the cheese I got to try that day was from a German company called Kaseberg, and the cheese is Butterkase. Buttery cheese? Well heck, I knew it had to be good. And for just under a dollar, what have I got to lose?
What indeed? OMG, I was in heaven. This cheese is so creamy and oh-so-freaking-good. And of course, I knew it would be a long time before I could ever get it again. Every trip to Ingles took me over to the gourmet cheese to see if maybe, just maybe, they had more marked down. But alas, it was not to be. Not for weeks and weeks.
Then, there it was. The beautiful image of an orange "Special Today" sticker on several packages of the wonderful cheesy goodness. I immediately rushed over and picked them up, only to find that the "Special" was a markdown to $7.99. There were several days before the sell-by date, and I guess they were trying to get them out of there as fast as they could. But still, $7.99?!?! Not this cheese eater. So I put the packages down, noting the sell-by dated listed. I had a plan.
The day before the sell-by date, I made a trip to Ingles. There were two "Special Today" packages left. Just two. And they were still marked $7.99. I grabbed my booty and approached a deli worker. I explained the situation. The cheeses were going out of date the next day and would not be able to be sold. I had bought some for .99 before and wondered if they might mark these down as well. He took the packages, thought for a moment and proceeded to affix a sticker for .99. I thanked the polite young man profusely and left the store that day a happy camper.
For $1.98 I got two packages of a wonderfully delicious cheese that would normally cost a bit over $11 a piece. Now that is what I call a cheesy great deal. (I did also check the other packages and the next date is mid-August. I will be watching.)