my other trick, with expensive produce...
at trader joe's (where i shop) some of the fancy produce is pre-packaged. like my beloved organic baby broccoli, which is like 5$ for one serving of broccoli.
well, i pickup 2-3 packages and then puncture them with my car keys on a spot where the broccoli is a little yellowed (which sometimes happens with baby broccoli) and then bring it up to the counter, and tell them "i'll buy this... but the packaging is ripped on 2 of these, and it made the broccoli yellow..." and then i usually just get those two for free. and only pay for 1.
also works with haricot verts, baby zuchinni, etc.
OR you can find a loaf of bread with those plastic tags that hold the bag shut, with the exp. date on it. yeah. i take one of those off some crappy about to expire bread, and then clip it onto some nice 12 grain artisan bread. because trader joes checks that.
then they say "oh, here, this bread actually is gonna go on the spoil rack at the end of the day, i'll get you a new one" and i say "oh no, that's fine. i'll just take it as is".
of course you can only do 2-3 of these tricks at one go.
or else it's skectchy.
but some brie and trail-mix under your purse, punctured baby broccoli, and a handful of dented lentil cans, and you can save like 30$.
i am so vain. and yet, so masochistic. how can the two coexist?