The Sales Cycle — What and When to Stock Up!
In order to get the best deals and save the most money it’s important to follow the grocery sales cycles. I remember when I first started couponing, I’d jump and run to the store for every sale. “No way the price will EVER get that low again!”. However, once you dive in and get your feet wet you realize the same sales come around again. Although, there is no need to buy 10 years worth, just stock up enough to get you through til the next sale.
Have you ever noticed that produce prices vary wildly throughout the year? For instance, strawberries are crazy high in my area right now, about $5-$6 for a pound. All spring and summer I could get them for about $1.50 per pound. You can either:
- Stock up and attempt to freeze extra produce. I have not personally tried this so I’m not sure what the quality will be like.
- Or, choose fresh fruits and veggies that are in season and priced lower.
In this article, we’re going to show you what to expect each month of the year: what produce is in season when (keep in mind some regions of the country there can be variations.) Certain products get deeply discounted each month of the year and typically, manufacturers are in sync and put out coupons.
January: National Oatmeal Month, Get Organized and Get Healthier!
Sales cycles often revolve around different monthly ‘celebrations’. For example, in January it’s National Oatmeal Month. Therefore, Oats tend to be on sale. Furthermore, it’s the start of a new year which often brings people to make New Years Resolutions. So, healthier food options will be on sale this time of year. Below are some great examples of items you will find in the sales cycle in the month of January. Combine with these savings with coupons and you won’t believe how much you’re going to save!
Seasonal Produce: oranges, pears, grapefruit, tangerines, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, kale, kiwi. Furthermore, items like avocado, cabbage, spinach.
National Oatmeal Month: You can expect sales and coupons on instant oatmeal single serve cups, boxes of single serve pouches, old fashioned, rolled, and steel cut oats. So, basically all things OATS !
Diet Foods: cereal, frozen entrees, protein and granola bars, diet shakes.
Fitness: workout DVDs, home workout equipment, scales, and activewear.
Organization aids– shelving, plastic tubs, containers
Super Bowl Sunday: With the big game this month all things that you might eat at super bowl party will more than likely be on sale. Therefore, items like Soda, chips, dips, cheese, sandwich items, crackers, snacks, wings, prepared fruit & veggie trays. Furthermore, baked goodies such as cake Mixes, frosting, brownie mix, and cookie mix you’ll likely catch on sale. Additionally, many grocery stores run specials on their bakery cakes and cookie platters.
Clearance to watch for: Anything Christmas! So, decorations for inside and out, Christmas-themed clothing, stocking stuffers, artificial trees, ornaments, gift wrap, gift bows, gift bags. Additionally, keep an eye out for New Year’s party supplies. Things like noise makers, hats, party favors, wines & sparkling juices.
Winter Health: Keep an eye out for cold medicines and vitamins, cough syrup, cough drops.
February: National Canned Food Month, National Hot Breakfast Month, and Valentine’s Day!
February is not only the month of love, it’s also the month of all things Valentines day. Thus, this is the month to stock up on Chocolates and other things associated with Valentine’s days ( see below ). Furthermore, it’s the month of the BIG game. Therefore, this months sales cycle you’ll see lots of sales for chips and soda. So, it’s stock up time for those items!
Seasonal Produce: During this sales cycle some fruits and veggies go more on sale in the winter months. Keep an eye out for artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, raspberries and carrots. Furthermore, yummies such as, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, grapefruit, kale, kiwi, oranges, parsnips, pears, potatoes, turnips, and spinach will be marked down.
National Canned Food Month: canned fruits, veggies, pie fillings, and soups.
Super Bowl Sunday: It’s stock up time on some great non-perishable food! So, keep an eye out for great sale son things like Soda, chips, dips, cheese, sandwich fixings, crackers, snacks, wings, prepared fruit & veggie trays. Also , brownies and cookie mixes, cake mix and frosting usually are marked down right now too.
National Hot Breakfast Month: Didn’t get enough oatmeal last month? So, because it’s National Hot Breakfast month items like oatmeal and Cream of Wheat will likely be on sale. Also, yummies like frozen waffles, syrup, waffle & pancake mix, hash browns, bacon, sausage will also be on sale!
Valentine’s Day: Anything that has to do with Valentines Day and LOVE will be on sale before, and especially after Valentines day. So, things like chocolate, lubricants & KY jelly, perfume, cards, stuffed animals, gift sets, wine/ sparkling cider. Futhermore, great items like fresh flowers and candles will be on sale during this sales cycle!
March: Frozen Food Month, St. Patrick’s Day and Get Ready for Easter!
Who knew there was a frozen food month? Big items like chest freezers even go on sale this time of year. Moreover, watch for great coupon stacking with these sales on lots of frozen foods. Again, this month snacks like chips and dips will be on sale. So, if you missed it last month, this month is the time to stock up!
Seasonal Produce:artichoke, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cabbage, carrots,
celery, grapefruit, grapes, lemon, lime, mushrooms, onions, peas, radish, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries.
Frozen Food Month: Again, stack those coupons for the sales cycle of March! Many times you will be able to get frozen meals and entrees for free or for pennies. Furthermore, other yummy frozen foods like veggies, side dishes, desserts, juice concentrate. In addition, be watchful for modest sales on chest freezers. This is the time of year I bought mine.
March Madness: soda, chips, dips, cheese, crackers, sandwich fixings, snacks, wings, prepared fruit & veggie trays, cookies, brownie mixes, cake mix and frosting.
St. Patrick’s Day: decorations, corned beef, cabbage, Irish soda bread.
Clearance to watch for: Winter is slowly coming to an end and we are moving toward spring. Therefore, winter clothing such as hats, gloves and mittens will be going on clearance. Furthermore, snow shovels, snow blowers, and even winter sports equipment.
Spring/ Easter: After Easter ( and sometimes before ) decorations, baskets, candy, ham, eggs and egg dyeing kits, gift sets, dresses and accessories will be on sale.
Think all things Easter this month! Therefore, things like candy and even baking items are going to be on sale. Also, did you know that Earth Day is in April? Therefore, thing that have to do with being enviromentally friendly will be on sale. More over, sometimes you can stack these Earth Day sales with harder to find coupons ! So, keep those coupons for LED light bulbs handy because April is the month to use them!
Seasonal Produce: Artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, grapefruit, mushrooms, onions, peas, rhubarb, strawberries.
Easter: This month is all about Easter! So, think of things like Ham, eggs, dyeing kits, toys and “Easter basket filler toys”. Also, other goodies like candy, chocolate, baskets and decorations will be on sale.
Baking supplies: sugar, spices, cookie and brownie mix, cake mixes, flour, chocolate chips, refrigerated cookie dough.
Earth Day: natural and organic foods and personal care products, reusable bags and water bottles, Energy Star appliances, CFL and LED lighting
Spring: gardening equipment and seeds, bird feeders, spring cleaning supplies, over the counter allergy relief.
Clearance to watch for: Easter items! Buy ahead as high as 90% off for next year’s baskets!
May: Mother’s Day, Cinco De Mayo, and THINK SUMMER!
Seasonal Produce: lettuce, artichokes, asparagus, beets, blackberries, corn, green beans, onions, peas in the pod, potatoes, raspberries, strawberries
Cinco De Mayo: salsa, tortillas, tortilla chips, shredded cheese, canned beans, refried beans, frozen Mexican entrees & snacks
Mother’s Day: gift sets, perfume, chocolate, jewelry, candles, clothing (stores like JCP & Kohl’s often have great clothing sales!)
Memorial Day: ketchup, mustard, relish, BBQ sauce, salad dressings, charcoal, potato chips, dips, paper plates, plastic utensils,
Summer Items: insect repellent, sunscreen, outdoor furniture, sun hats, beach toys, bird feeders, lawn mowers, barbecues and grilling utensils
Gardening: plants, flowers, seeds, watering cans, plant food, soil, weed killers, mulch, compost buckets, water hoses
June: National Dairy Month
Seasonal Produce: corn, lettuce, cucumbers, grapes, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, peaches and apricots.
National Dairy Month: eggs, milk, ice cream, cheese, butter, yogurt, Cool Whip, (keep your eyes peeled for in-store dairy coupons)
End of month brings 4th of July sales: hot dogs, hamburgers, condiments, BBQ sauce, ketchup, charcoal, salad dressings, chips, dips
July: National Ice Cream Month, anything and everything summer!
Seasonal Produce: Plums, pears, corn, green beans, blueberries, cucumbers, grapes, nectarines, red onions, watermelon, bell peppers, summer squash, kiwi.
More 4th of July BBQ Sales: hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard, relish, hamburger & hot dog buns, charcoal, salad dressings, chips, dips. Graham crackers, Hershey’s Chocolate and marshmallows.
Look for Back to School sales starting month end: paper, pencils, backpacks, folders, crayons, etc.
August: Back to School!
Seasonal Produce: Avocados, blueberries, cherries, corn, cucumbers, grapes, onions, peaches, pears, bell peppers (sweet bell), plums, summer squash, tomatoes, watermelon
Back to school supplies: paper, binders, backpacks, erasers, pens, crayons, pencils, pencil cases, notebooks, markers, note cards
Cleaning supplies: Clorox and Lysol wipes & sprays
Clearance Items to Watch for: insect repellent, sunscreens, charcoal, swimsuits, gardening supplies and seeds, fans, camping gear, outdoor and beach toys.
September: Back to School
Seasonal Produce: apples, artichokes, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, onions,bell peppers (bell and chili), squash, tomatoes
Back to School sales: pens, pencils, paper, binders, backpacks, erasers, folders, dividers, post it notes, markers, highlighters.
Labor Day Sales: Many clothing & shoe sales.
Clearance: camping gear, gardening supplies, bug spray, fans & air conditioners, BBQ supplies– grills, charcoal, lighters
October: Halloween and All About Autumn!
Seasonal Produce: apples, artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbages, cranberries, pears, pomegranates, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, squash, turnips, yams
Halloween: candy, costumes & accessories, makeup.
Baking sales start: canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, baking soda, chocolate chips, cookie, cake and brownie mixes.
National Seafood Month: fish, shrimp, lobster, crab
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: promotions & deals featuring participating “pink” products
November: Halloween Clearance, Gear up for Thanksgiving & Black Friday!
Seasonal Produce: Apples, Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, collard greens, chard, kale, pears, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, yams.
Baking goods: nuts, chocolate chips, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, cake, cookie and brownie mixes.
Canned foods: soups, broth, canned vegetables & fruits, pasta sauce
Holiday staples: turkey, canned pumpkin, stuffing mix, boxed potatoes, cranberry sauce, canned gravy, gravy mix packets, ready-to-bake rolls, frozen pies, gelatin, marshmallows.
Halloween Clearance: Get everything for next year if you can! Costumes, make up, accessories, candy-alternatives (like small party favors: bouncy balls, pencils, erasers, stickers, etc). Candy bowls, spider webs, silly string, decorations, lights.
Black Friday/ Cyber Monday: Crazy deals on doorbusters and advertised items ranging from clothing and toys to electronics and appliances. Check Creative Couponing and Yes We Coupon daily for all the best deals laid out for you!
December: Christmas is here!
Seasonal Produce: beets, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, tangerines, kale, parsnips, pomegranates, potatoes, radishes, sweet potatoes, turnips, and winter squash.
Holiday Dinner: Egg Nog, sparkling cider, deli platters, instant potatoes, gravy mixes, ready-to-bake rolls, frozen pies, cranberry sauce, Stove Top, Jello.
Baking needs: flour, sugar, condensed milk, butter, cake, cookie, muffin and brownie mixes, breads, pie crusts, marshmallows, whipped cream
Canned foods: soups, broth, , vegetables, fruits, spaghetti sauce
Thanksgiving Clearance: Thanksgiving decorations at the beginning of the month
Christmas Clearance: Gift wrap supplies and decorations at months end
Before you stock up on an item, be sure to check this list to see if it’s the month it will be at it’s lowest price. Remember, you don’t need to buy enough to last ten years, just enough to get you through until the next time it’s on sale.