LEARN HOW SHOPPING THE GROCERY SALES CYCLE HELPS YOU MAINTAIN A COST-EFFECTIVE KITCHEN
In my younger days, I was an avid couponer. Remember the show, Extreme Couponers? Well, those ladies had nothing on me!
While I didn’t buy 100 bottles of laundry detergent, if an item was on sale BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) and I had a coupon to match, I would buy as many as I had coupons for. Usually, that was no more than 10.
With 5 young kids in the house and a 20+ year job going away, every penny counted. I wasn’t in a position to get a side hustle to earn extra income. Instead, I spent hours each week clipping coupons and matching them with sales.
At that time, clipping coupons and shopping sales was the best return on investment of my time and our family’s money. And in the process, I built a massive food stockpile!
Fast forward a few years. Due to issues with the joints in my hands, it was painful for me to spend hours collecting, clipping, and sorting coupons.
I needed to save my hands for cooking dinner. So, I began cooking simple meals using mainly whole foods.
Once I began buying more whole food and less processed food, clipping coupons did not provide me the same return on investment of my time.
There weren’t a lot of coupons for fresh produce compared to processed foods. And I needed to save my hands for cooking dinner, not clipping coupons.
In an effort to maximize the return on investment of my time and our family’s money, I focused more on shopping the Grocery Sales Cycle than I did coupons.
Today, I still use coupons but the bulk of my weekly grocery purchases are in the form of fresh produce on sale and BOGO items.
Understanding the Grocery Sales Cycle is one of the easiest, most consistent ways to save money on groceries week after week, without clipping coupons.
Routinely shopping the Grocery Sales Cycle gives you a bigger ROI for your time than coupons ever will.
WHAT IS THE GROCERY SALES CYCLE?
All products in the grocery store go on sale at one time or another. They follow different sales cycles throughout the year.
Some packaged products may follow a 6, 8, or 12-week sales cycle meaning they go on sale every 6, 8, or 12 weeks. Things like dry cereal or toilet paper.
Other products may go on sale once or twice a year. Think baking products around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Produce is seasonal. It is always going to be the lowest price when it is in season in your area.
Some things go on sale only seasonally or once or twice per year.
Some brands will have a major sale once or twice a year. To increase your savings during this time, match the sale with a coupon,
To maximize savings, you must learn the sales cycles for the supermarkets in your area.
One store may have better prices on grains and pasta, while another always has the best deal on cereal.
You will probably also find that one store always has the lowest prices on certain products, regardless of other store’s sales cycles.
One exception to the sales cycle is seasonal produce. It is cheapest when in season locally.
Use a grocery price book to maximize savings.
In addition to the 6-week sales cycle, many items have a once per year rock bottom price.
For example, baking supplies are always on sale during November & December. I stock up on chocolate chips and such during
HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SAVINGS WITH GROCERY SALES CYCLES
When an item is on sale at it’s the lowest price, usually when it is BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free), you want to buy enough of that item to last you until it goes on sale again. To save the most money possible, you can match the sale with a coupon.
If you want to maximize your savings with seasonal produce, stock up when it’s in season. And then freeze or can for later.
HOW DO I KNOW IF AN ITEM IS AT ITS LOWEST PRICE?
Once you start paying attention to the grocery sales cycle, you will learn what a good price is for many of the items you buy on a regular basis.
But, the easiest way is to start a food price book.
WHAT IS A FOOD PRICE BOOK?
A food price book is just a notebook or spreadsheet detailing what you paid for a certain item.
It usually has columns for the price you paid, the brand/item, date, place of purchase and price per unit.
Pro Tip: Don’t try to track every single item you buy. Start with 10-20 of the items you buy the most often. Think bread, milk, cheese, meat, breakfast cereals, etc. Then, add items as your time allows.
Keep it simple and don’t stress out!
HOW DO I START SHOPPING THE GROCERY SALES CYCLES?
The first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with the weekly sales schedules of the stores in your area.
Most grocery sales run Wednesday-Tuesday or Thursday-Wednesday. Some drug stores and other stores run sales Sunday-Saturday.
The next thing you need to do is set up a grocery price book so you can begin tracking the sales in your area.
Remember, a grocery price book contains not only the price of an item but when and where you purchased the item.
The price book will help you learn the rock bottom prices an item and how much you need to buy because you will know how often it goes on sale.
After you’ve learned how the weekly sales run and you’ve set up a grocery price book, the next thing you should do is to peruse the sales fliers each week and make your grocery list around what is on sale.
This is key. If you are starting without a well-stocked pantry, it can be difficult to buy what you need for the week and stock your pantry but you can do it.
Remember, plan your meals around what is on sale. Stock up as your grocery budget allows.
Because I maintain a large food stockpile, I am able to focus on items on sale rather than buying non-sale items for the upcoming week.
WHY SHOULD I START SHOPPING THE GROCERY SALES CYCLES?
If you are trying to get out of debt or just free up some money for that family vacation to Hawaii, your grocery budget is a great place to start.
Shopping the grocery sales cycles is a great return of investment of your time and money. It will save you 50% on many of your shelf-stable items.
The more money you save on groceries, the more cash you have for something else.
Better cash flow equals less stress.
Less stress for you means a more stress-free home for your children!