Have you heard of grocery sales cycles?
In my former life, I was a “couponer.” I’ve mentioned it before. I loved getting my groceries for very little. I will admit to being a bit obsessed. I could buy all our groceries (including diapers and toiletries) for less than $50 a week. Pretty good, right? I even wrote an entire database to track grocery prices. I knew exactly when everything in the grocery store was on sale for it’s very lowest possible price.
Well, while I haven’t abandoned couponing altogether, I have backed off a bit. However, I still use coupons for the items we eat a lot of, and I still shop in cycles. Shop in cycles you ask? Yes, in grocery sales cycles. Groceries go on sale in predictable cycles. Many common grocery items are on sale for their lowest price about the same time of year every year. That’s a grocery sales cycle.
This is a great concept as it applies to building a food storage. For example, with four young kids, we go through a lot of crackers around here! Truth be told, I’m not up for making all those crackers from scratch. So, I keep a large stock of crackers. The same is true of most condiments, spices, etc. I’m sure you can think of lots of items that fall into this category. And what about toiletries? I sure wouldn’t want to be with out toilet paper or shampoo for very long!
But who wants to pay full price when stocking up on these items? Not me! So, instead of just stocking up on items randomly, get a bit organized. Figure out grocery sales cycles, and stock up on what is on sale each month of the year. But don’t lower your budget! Spend the same amount of money each month, just come home with more stuff! Doing this is what will allow you to stock up on items important to your family without increasing your grocery budget.
So want to know what the grocery sales cycles are and what is on sale each month? Here is a list to get you started.
You can download and print the list by clicking here.
Grocery Sales Cycles
- Post Christmas: decorations, toys, wrapping paper, etc. on clearance. Also look for regular food items packaged in holiday packaging that will be on sale (refrigerated cookies, breads, crackers, etc.)
- Super Bowl: soda, chips, cheese, sandwich items, condiments, crackers, snack foods, dips
- National Oatmeal Month: most Quaker items will be on sale (not just oatmeal–look at Life cereal, syrup, etc.)
- Winter Health: cold medicines and vitamins
- Seasonal Items: canned soups & chili, household cleaners
- National Canned Food Month: canned fruit & veggies, pie fillings, canned tuna & other meats
- American Heart Month: aspirin, cholesterol meds, low cholesterol “butter” spreads/sprays, etc.
- Chinese New Year: soy sauce, crunchy noodles, teriyaki sauce, ramen, stir fry sauce, stir fry veggies, water chestnuts
- National Hot Breakfast Month: Malt O Meal, oatmeal, Eggo Waffles, syrup, frozen potatoes
- Valentines: chocolate, Hershey’s, KY
- Other: dog foods, push on store brands
- Frozen Food Month: All things frozen
- Seasonal Items: household cleaners; gardening supplies (occasionally earlier depending on where you live)
- National Peanut Month: peanut butter, peanuts
- St Patrick’s Day: potatoes, corned beef
- Easter/Passover (sometimes not until April): eggs, ham, horseradish, spices, sugar, chocolate chips, coconut, butter, baking mixes, marshmallows
- Easter/Passover (if not in March): eggs, ham, horseradish, spices, food coloring, sugar, chocolate chips, coconut, butter, baking mixes, marshmallows
- Daylight Savings: batteries, smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, light bulbs
- Earth Day: organic foods, energy saver items, eco-friendly items, reusable totes/grocery bags, natural cleaners
- Post Easter: decorations, toys, wrapping paper, etc. on clearance. Also look for regular food items packaged in holiday packaging that will be on sale (refrigerated cookies, breads, crackers, etc.)
- Other: olive oil, popsicles (change of inventory this month), Kelloggs cereal, ConAgra products
- Memorial Day (most will be on sale again in late June/early July): soda, charcoal, grilling meats, salad dressing (often free with a coupon), potato chips, s’mores items, dips, grilling meats, hot dogs, hamburger meat, buns, marinades, juice drinks (like Capri Sun)
- Allergy Meds: Alavert, Zyrtec, Claritin, etc. (and generics)
- Paper Products: plates, utensils, insect repellant, sunscreen
- National Pet Week: dog & cat food and treats
- Cinco De Mayo: salsa, tortillas, taco seasonings
- Other: General Mills cereal
Stay away from full priced summer items early this month that were on sale last month (and next month) such as allergy meds, paper plates, sunscreen, insect repellant, BBQ items, etc.
- National Dairy Month: eggs, milk, ice cream, cottage cheese, sliced/shredded/block cheese, cream cheese, butter, yogurt, sour cream, whipping cream, whipped cream, Cool Whip, Drumsticks
- Father’s Day/July 4th (end of June): BBQ items again: BBQ sauce, condiments, grilling meat, charcoal, potato chips, hamburger/hot dog buns
- National Headache Month: aspirin, sinus meds, other painkillers
- National Ice Cream Month: ice cream, popsicles, Drumsticks, etc.
- More 4th of July BBQ Sales (beginning of the month): hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ sauce, ketchup, condiments, charcoal, salad dressing, potato chips, dips
- Back to School Sales (sometimes at the end of the month; sometimes not until Aug): lunch meat, Lunchables, bread, cold cereal, waffles, lunchboxes, crayons, pencils, folders, binders, granola bars, fruit snacks, pudding cups
- Back to School (may continue into September through Labor Day): lunch meat, Lunchables, bread, cold cereal (especially Kelloggs), waffles, lunchboxes, crayons, pencils, folders, binders, markers, glue, paper, granola bars, fruit snacks, pudding cups
- Clorox Classroom Cleanup: sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizers
- Seasonal Clearances: insect repellant, sunscreen, charcoal
- Diabetes Products: Bayer Glucose Meters, Glucerna cereal
- Tomato Products: tomato sauce/paste/juice, spaghetti sauce, canned tomatoes, tomato soup, ketchup (occasionally)
- Other: honey, oral care (typically more at drug stores than grocery stores), condensed soups
- Halloween: candy, fresh pumpkin
- Holiday Baking Sales (end of month especially, but wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas week for the best deals): canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, baking chips
- Daylight Savings: batteries, smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, light bulbs
- Adopt a Shelter-Dog Month: dog foods and treats
- Other: National Seafood Month
- Great American Smoke Out: Nicorette, Commit, etc.
- Post Halloween: candy clearances, costumes, etc. Also look for regular food items packaged in holiday packaging that will be on sale (refrigerated cookies, breads, crackers, etc.)
- Peanut Butter Month: peanuts, peanut butter
- Holiday Baking Sales: nuts, chocolate chips, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, cake mixes
- Canned Holiday Items: soup, broth
- Thanksgiving Items: turkey, canned pumpkin, Stovetop Stuffing, boxed potatoes, gravy mixes, frozen pies, cranberry sauce, Jello, marshmallows
- Christmas Dinner: gravy mixes, frozen pies, egg nog, deli platters, instant potatoes, cranberry sauce, Jello, marshmallows, sour cream dips, crackers, chips, soda, ham, turkey
- Baking: flour, sugar, butter, cream, chocolate chips, cake mix, brownie mix, muffin mix, breads, pie crust, marshmallow, whipped cream
- Post Thanksgiving: Look for regular food items packaged in holiday packaging that will be on sale (refrigerated cookies, breads, crackers, etc.)
You can download and print this list by clicking HERE
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