Save Money At The Grocery Store By Shopping The 'Bad Cut' Cheese Bin

What is there to say about cheese? This rich, fatty, creamy dairy delight brings joy to our meals in so many ways it's hard to keep count. There's soft, tangy goat cheese, which helps our salads sing when it's crumbled on top of them; milky fresh mozzarella, which brings mild ooziness to our pizzas and pastas; and sharp cheddar, which enlivens our grilled cheese sandwiches and paninis. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

If you, too, love cheese, then you know that there can be one drawback among its many blessings: Its price. Especially when we're talking about specialty or small-batch cheeses — such as some blue cheeses, many imported cheeses, and those from rarer milks such as buffalo or donkey — grocery store bills can really add up when it's time to restock the cheese drawer.

What to do? Instead of cutting back on cheese purchases or choosing cheaper varieties you might not necessarily like, let us suggest the ingenious option of browsing the "bad cuts" that many supermarkets with in-house cheese sections offer.

Grocers such as Whole Foods have a section for small or uneven cuts of cheese

If you've ever perused the expansive cheese counter at Whole Foods – which offers a range of delectable delights, from Brie to Gouda to Gruyère — then you may have noticed a small section offering misshapen or miniature portions of cheeses. These off-cuts of cheese result from the store's cheese mongers breaking down large wheels of cheese, and sometimes being left with a weird cut that, say, offers plenty of rind but just a little cheese, or simply smaller portions of cheese. While larger portions of the cheese might still be pricy, these little cuts can be a more cost-effective way to try out a fancy cheese before committing to shelling out for a large portion.

Many stores that break down cheeses in-house, such as Kroger's, offer this type of cheese section. If you don't see it, it's worth asking the store's cheesemonger if they have any off-cuts to sell. With these tips, your next delicious cheese plate might end up costing way less than you would think.