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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I always ALWAYS stock up on canned veggies in November and December. Here, they are 4 and sometimes 6 cans for a dollar. This will happen right around Thanksgiving and Christmas and I will buy extra for food drives during this time also. Just a thought!!
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. But I can’t get any of these to print.
What happens when you try Lisa? What error do you get / see?
Thanks for sharing such valuable information. I look forward to your posts
So glad to hear that Lisa!
You are my new favorite person!!
Oh, well that is quite the compliment! I’m glad you found the post helpful!
I loved this. Knowing what is available in what month will be of great help for me. Thank you
Good information. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the kind comment Melva!
I like your blog. I don’t have a lot of time to do cycle shopping, so I just go to Aldis. Do you have any suggestions for me?
Aldi’s is a great place to shop in general Julie. Good prices generally. But cycle shopping shouldn’t take any more time than regular shopping. You just pick up a few extra of whatever is on sale when you are then. Then, the next time you need that item – you don’t have to run to the store for it. After a few months, it should actually SAVE you time!
Thank you so much for this information! We have our own “home store” and stock up when things go on sale. I HATE paying full price when I didn’t stock enough of that item! We downloaded an app for our smartphones called “list ease” that lets us keep track of our pantry inventory. It’s great in the fact that if hubby takes something from the pantry, he subtracts it on the app and it will show up on mine too because we are synced. It has come in handy at the store when something is on sale, and we can check to see how many we have at home of that item.
Another thing that we have done is have a “till” for our home store. When we take something out, we put money in the till (if we can) so that when a sale comes along, we can use the till money to replenish the stock.
Thank you again for all the wonderful information!!
Those are fantastic tips Bonnie. I love the “til” idea!
I hope you and your family are done well.
Thank you for your website, and emails, they have helped me so much!
I love your binder. I am starting little by little, and do not feel overwhelmed.
I have shared this valuable information with like minded, close family members. Your time, and knowledge are unmeasurable treasures!
I cannot say thank you enough for all the wonderful information you are giving.
Oh Janiece! You made my day! Thank you for such a kind comment. I’m thrilled to know you’ve found the information I send helpful!
I found you through Pinterest and am so glad I did!
Your website contains truly helpful information I can use on a daily basis. Actually yours is the most helpful site I’ve found altogether; whether I’m prepping or just putting food by for emergencies or use during the winter when my garden is done producing.
I ordered a can consolidator and can’t wait to receive it so I can start getting my pantry in better order. I’ll be trying out some of your recipes soon too.
Thanks again! Janine
Janine, thank you so much for your very kind comments. I apologize that i didn’t respond sooner. Somehow this comment missed me! I’m glad you have enjoyed the site!
stumbled upon your site from pinterest and shared it on my FB page. Am a disabled veteran and I really appreciate the information you’ve put together! Even though my children are grown and away from home, it still looks like a great plan to help properly stock my pantry for whatever/whomever may come and any tips on saving money is a big bonus! Kudos to you!!
Thank you so much for all this info. I really appreciate you taking the time away from you family to put this together for all of us! I also have noticed, here in Texas, water is SUPER cheat in the summer. Like 50 cents for a 3L bottle. That is when we stock up. Just an FYI…
Thanks for the tip Sarah!
Wow. That sounds very interesting! Thanks for sharing!
I have a question: do you have a budget for all the other things – for example cleaning products etc – would love to read about it! Thanks!
I’m not exactly sure what you are asking….cleaning supplies are most often at their best price in January and March. Is that what you were wondering or something else?
Thanks so much! Very specific with items. I am also looking for a list toiletries sales cycles. Any suggestions?
You are welcome Anne! Personally, I never followed toiletry cycles as closely as I regularly found them for free / next to free at drugstores year round. My favorite drug store is Riteaid and my favorite site for helping you learn how to really shop Riteaid is “For the Mommas” You can find it here: https://forthemommas.com/category/drug-store-deals/riteaid
Thats Amazing! Great to know. Printing this ASAP!!! Thanks 🙂
Glad you found it useful Sharon!
What a great post! Thank you for sharing such valuable info!
You are welcome Deanna! Thanks for stopping by!
What a great resource! Pinning this! 🙂
Thank you Marci! I really appreciate that!
Wow. What great information. Thank you so much for the heads up!
Of course Marcia! Thanks for saying thank you!