What is a loss leader? A loss leader is a product sold by the store below cost. This is meant to get you in the door in the hope that you will buy other more profitable products at the same time. It also gets you in to the store more often thereby increasing the likelihood that you'll buy more stuff each time you're there. For instance, I usually only grocery shop once a month, but if there are some cheap sale items I need that week, I'll go again. The store only has a few of these items in their flyer each week, because they want you to come in on a weekly basis. Typically, loss leaders are found on the first or last page of a store's flyer. The price will seem unusually low to you. Better than the typical sale price.
In order to benefit from these extremely low priced items, you need to do several things. First, you must avoid the temptation to buy other items that are not available for a good price. Second, if the loss leader is an item you use regularly, you should buy as many as the promotion will allow. When something is on sale for a great price, and I am the only one in the family who uses the product, I will ask other family members to buy some for me too. Lastly, don't drive all over town to pick up one or two items that are on sale. That will just eat up all your savings in wasted gas. Plan to stop at each store when you will already be in the area on another errand. Try to plan the most efficient route to hit all your stops.
Don't forget, you can still use a coupon on these heavily discounted items to maximize your savings. If you don't have one already, check the online coupon sites. I usually just do a web search "coupon kraft macaroni and cheese" or whatever the product is. Make sure you check the date of the resulting hits. You will find some outdated ones too.
Hopefully, this post has inspired you to check your sale flyers, head to your nearest grocery store, and fling open the door, shouting "take me to your loss leaders!"