Every journey looks different. However, there is a general trend in many couponers’ adventures. Come along as we take a closer look at Angie Erickson’s story.
As I shared last week, when I wanted to purchase some natural and organic foods, there were some steps that I had to take to squeeze them into my grocery budget. This week I will talk about the importance of learning sale cycles for the products you purchase. I touched on this topic about a month ago in the Money Saving Journey: Do Your Homework (Part 3), but I am going to get a little more specific about sale cycles this week.
The key is to know the purchase point for items you routinely buy. When you know that, then you can stock up on that item when there is a good deal.
Monthly Sales Cycles
There are two overlapping sales cycles for you to be mindful of as you identify purchase points. The first are monthly sales. As you watch the sales flyers you’ll begin to notice that at the beginning of the month, look for deals on items sold in larger quantities or for deals requiring larger minimum purchases (think of the monthly Procter & Gamble “Buy xxx amount, get yyy back” deals). Then, toward the end of the month, the advertised sale items change and become quick meal-type products.
Annual Sales Cycles
At certain times of year, you will find things at their rock-bottom price. Watch for good sale prices, as well as coupons that match up with the items on sale. That will bring you to the rock bottom price. The following is a quick guide to some annual sale cycles.
- New Years
- Health Foods
- Super Bowl
- Chips, Dips, Party Foods
- Valentine’s Day
- Baking products, Eggs, Vinegar
- Spring & Summer
- Band-aids, Grilling Items, Picnic Items
- Fourth of July
- Start of Back-to-School Items
- Fall Products
- Soup, Frozen Vegetables, Baking Items
- Start of Thanksgiving Items (right after Halloween)
- Thanksgiving and Christmas
- Baking Items
- General Winter
- Oatmeal, Hot Chocolate, Cough and Cold Medicine
I am not advocating for you to clear the shelves for these items when they are at rock-bottom prices. However, when Heinz Ketchup was on sale in the summer of 2010 for $1.00 for a 40 oz. bottle at both Target and Walmart, I did buy about six bottles, after looking closely at the dates.
As you continue to walk on your money-saving journey, be mindful to identify and utilize sale cycles for the products you buy to help you maximize your savings. Please share any great sale cycles that we could add to this list and remember that if you find a stellar deal, local food shelves would love donations! :)
Angie has graciously shared her story with us over the last 8 weeks. She is a Pocket Your Dollars team member who teaches Pocket Your Dollars grocery-saving classes to mom’s groups, Community Ed programs and other civic organizations in Carrie’s stead. Angie also compiles the bi-weekly Co+Op Deals shopping lists. When she’s not doing those things, she is a stay-at-home mom to two little ones. If you have a story to contribute, please email us.
Your turn: What have you noticed about when products tend to go on sale, whether monthly or annually?