Shopping at the Co-op on a Budget

We know that there is sometimes a perception that products at the Co-op are too expensive. And while we do everything in our power to offer the lowest pricing possible, as a single community owned store competing against corporations with enormous buying power, this can sometimes be a tall task. Our commitment to local, high quality, sustainably sourced, and healthful foods also plays a part in pricing. With all that said, there are many ways to save at the Co-op without sacrificing quality that you may be unaware of…

Believe it or not, there are affordable ways to shop at the Co-op.

We want to show you all of the tips and tricks for saving money at the Co-op so that you can still fit high quality products from a community owned store into your weekly shopping budget. 

In our Ends Statement we vow to provide “Access to healthful, local and high-quality food” and we understand that access is something that cannot be achieved unless it is also affordable. In addition to cost savings information at our store, we also share some information about local organizations whose resources make food even more accessible in our community.

Sales and Discounts at the Co-op

There are deals to be found every day at the Co-op.

Here you will see what the signs look like and what they mean.

Co+op Basics

This program is a selection of staple foods and household goods, including natural and organic products that are priced below the suggested retail price all the time. This helps save you money, without having to sacrifice quality.

See the current list of Co+op Basics here.

 

Co+op Deals

These bi-weekly sales are on selected organic and natural favorites from across our store. We have flyers available online or in-store.*

Find the latest sales here.

*Some items listed on the Co+op Deals Flyer may not be available at the Davis Food Co-op.

Weekly Specials

Freshen things up with our Weekly Specials where you will find great deals all throughout the Co-op. These deals change each Wednesday and flyers can be found in-store and online.

Find the latest sales here.

Owner Extras

Each month, we have a selection of products throughout the Co-op that are exclusively on sale for Owners only. Discounts can be up to 20% off listed items.

Find the latest sales here.

Manager’s Specials

Managers select a variety of certain items within their department to put on sale exclusively for you!

Community Discount Program

Owners of the Co-op who are current college students, make less than $36,450 a year, or receive any sort of government assistance could be eligible for the Community Discount Program. Learn more here

Co+op Coupons

Along with the savings you get on selected Co+op Deals, there are some items that also include a Co+op Deals Coupon, that help save you even more $$.

Manufacturer Coupons

Other coupons you can find around the Co-op are manufacturer coupons that will be attached directly on the product, or displayed in front of the products.

Before Your Shopping Trip

An easy, everyday way to save is by having a plan before you arrive at the store. 

1. Take Inventory of your Fridge and Pantry

This eliminates the possibility of purchasing something you already have in your home.

2. Make a List, Check it Twice

Jot down things you know you need, before you go shopping. Make it one that you can easily access/use while shopping and be sure to specify quantities. That can be through your notes in your phone, the classic pen and paper, or a grocery shopping list app.

3. Meal Plan

Plan out a few days or weeks worth of meals. This narrows down exactly what you’ll need to buy and have you less likely purchasing things you will not be using right away.

Need some help figuring out your meal prep for the week? Check out our 10×10 recipes here.

How to Save $$ in each Department

Wellness & General Merch Clearance

In front of the Wellness desk, you can find shelves dedicated to Wellness and General Merch clearance items. Discount prices can range from 10%-50% off selected items.

Meat Department Clearance

At the end of Aisle 10 (Frozen), the ⁠Meat Department staff fill this bottom shelf with fresh meat, poultry, & seafood before the “freeze by” date so you’re getting quality meat at a nice discount (usually 20-30% off).

Cheese “Nubs”

In the Cheese department, you can find a basket of “nubs” that are great for sampling new cheeses without having to commit to a big piece.

Cheese Discount Basket

Located in the Cheese Department, look for the basket that is filled with discounted cheeses. Each cheese will be labeled with red stickers with the discount percentage ranging from 10%-30% off.

Bulk Department- Buy a pinch, or a pound!

Hundreds of items are available in our expansive Bulk department. We welcome and encourage you to only purchase exactly how much product you need.

See all of the items we currently carry in Bulk here:

DFC Bulk List March 2023

Special Orders

Order by case or by the pound for your favorite products that you use on a monthly basis and save extra money when doing so*! Visit the Customer Service Desk to learn more about special ordering.

*Owners will receive 10% off their order(s).

After Your Shopping Trip

Once you make it home with your food, you can also take steps to ensure that your food lasts as long as it possibly can to avoid unnecessary food waste.

Prep/Clean Your Foods

Extend the life of your foods by prepping and storing them correctly.

Here is a detailed list of how certain types of produce should be stored: Produce Storage Guide

Know How to Read “Expiration” Dates

What we often refer to as expiration dates are often more appropriately sell-by dates. While some foods’ sell-by date is also pretty true to its expiration, most often foods remain well past this date and you can tell if a food is actually spoiled if it has an off odor, flavor, or texture.

With that in mind, here are some recommended expiration date guidelines for common foods thrown away too early:
Eggs Eat within 3 to 5 weeks when refrigerated
Yogurt Eat within 2 weeks when refrigerated; within 2 months when frozen
Milk Drink within 1 week (opened) when refrigerated; within 3 months when frozen
Butter Eat within 3 months when refrigerated; within 6 months when frozen
Bacon Eat within 2 weeks (unopened) or 1 week (opened) when refrigerated; within 1 month when frozen
Cold cuts, packaged Eat within 2 weeks (unopened) or 5 days (opened) when refrigerated; within 2 months when frozen
Hot Dogs Eat within 2 weeks (unopened) or 1 week (opened) when refrigerated; within 1 to 2 months when frozen
Ketchup Eat within 6 months (opened) when refrigerated; can store in pantry for 1 year (unopened)
Mayonnaise Eat within 2 months (opened) when refrigerated; can store in pantry for 3 months (unopened)
Jams and Jellies Eat within 6 months (opened) when refrigerated; can store in pantry for 1 year (unopened)
Rice and Dried Pasta Eat within 2 years
Beer, bottles and cans Drink within 1 day (opened) when refrigerated; can store in pantry for 9 months (unopened)
Soda, bottles and cans Drink within 2 days (opened) when refrigerated; can store in pantry for 6 months (unopened)

Other Ways to Save at the Co-op

Waste Reducing Tips

As we mentioned already, reducing Food Waste= Saving $$. Check out some useful waste reduction tips we put together with the help of a DFC Owner here

Subscribe to the Heirloom Newsletter

We post our weekly sales and big store sales happening in our weekly email newsletter that we call The Heirloom. Sign up for this email list here

Follow us on Social Media 

We post the majority of our weekly sales on Instagram and Facebook. We also do giveaways on our Instagram, some including gift cards! You can find us on both @davisfoodcoop

Customer Survey

Co-op customers will often be chosen at random during checkout, to receive a Customer Survey that gets printed on their receipt. If you fill out the quick survey of your shopping experience, you will get a special code that can get you $5 off of a $30 or more transaction. (Code is valid for 30 days from day of transaction)

Free Food in Davis/Yolo County

The Davis Food Co-op Holiday Meal

Each year, on Christmas Eve, the Co-op provides a free and festive dinner for the entire community. We provide a dine-in experience or you can opt to take it to go!

The Freedge

Located on the west-facing side of the building to the left of our entrance and exit doors, Co-op staff fill the Freedge daily with products we are otherwise unable to sell. Anyone is welcome to donate food and take items from the Freedge at no cost.

There are 4 other Freedges in Davis:
UCD Memorial Union
UCD Silo
1221 Eureka Ave
2013 Whittier Dr

The Night Market

At Central Park (4th & C street) each weeknight from 9pm-11pm, the Night Market folks distribute leftover foods from local restaurants and businesses that would otherwise go to waste! This is for anyone in the community.

Food Not Bombs

Food Not Bombs is an all-volunteer movement that recovers food that would otherwise be discarded, and shares free vegan and vegetarian meals every 2nd and 4th Sundays at Central Park (4th & C street) from 1pm-2pm

Aggie Compass

Aggie Compass provides basic needs resources for students. Stop by with a bag for Fruit and Veggie Up where you can receive free produce on Mondays from 10:30am-12:30pm and Wednesday from 12pm-2pm

The Pantry

The ASUCD Pantry is a student-run, student-led organization that provides food and other basic essentials to UC Davis students and staff who need support in acquiring food and other basic necessities. Find their current schedule and hours here

Yolo Food Bank

Yolo Food Bank offers free food distribution for those in the Yolo County area. For the distribution calendars and sites, visit: Find Food Here

The Mercy Coalition

The Mercy Coalition offers free lunches Monday-Friday from 11am-12pm at 500 Jefferson Blvd, West Sacramento

Davis Community Meals and Housing

Davis Community Meals and Housing Offers free meals on Tuesday/Thursday evenings from 5:45pm-6:30pm and lunch on Saturdays from 11:30am-12:15pm at 640 Hawthorn Lane, Davis

Falling Fruit

Falling Fruit is an interactive map that shows you the location of edible plants throughout the world. Enter in your location and foraging locations will be pinned with dots. 

Check it out HERE