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Sale Cycles: How to be a Coupon Psychic!

Everyone knows that produce is seasonal.  If you want to make a triple batch of strawberry or apricot freezer jam, the best time of year to do it is during the summer when the fruit is in season and, thereby, at its lowest annual cost.  A savvy shopper waits until a product is on sale and then stocks up!  The idea is to create a stockpile that will last you 3-12 months or until the product again reaches its lowest price.

Packaged Foods are seasonal just like produce! Each calendar month brings a new batch of sales.  Here’s the predictable sale cycle for each calendar month:

January:

National Oatmeal Month: quick, old-fashioned, rolled, and steel-cut oats, ready to cook oatmeal packets,
Diet Foods including: cereal, frozen entrees, meal and granola bars, diet shakes/ drinks
Healthy Choice, South Beach, Lean Cuisine, Special K, Kashi, Smart Start, 100 Calorie Packs,
diet aids: shakes, weight scales, diet cookbooks, exercise equipment & weights
Organization aids– shelving, plastic tubs & containers, labels
Super Bowl Sunday: Soda, chips, dips, cheese, sandwich items, crackers, snacks, wings, cut fruit & veggie trays
Seasonal Produce: oranges, pears, grapefruit, tangerines, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, kale, kiwi, avocado, cabbage, spinach
Clearance:  Christmas– decorations toys, lights, stocking stuffers, artificial trees, ornaments, wrapping paper, gift bows, New Year’s party supplies– noise makers, hats, party favors, wines & sparkling juices
Winter Health: cold medicines and vitamins, cough syrup

February:

National Canned Food Month: canned fruit, vegetables, pie fillings, soups, meats:  tuna, chicken, salmon
Super Bowl Sunday: Soda pop, chips, dips, cheese, sandwich items, crackers, snacks, wings, cut fruit & veggie trays
National Hot Breakfast Month: oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, frozen waffles, syrup, waffle & pancake mix, hash browns, bacon, sausage
Valentine’s: boxed and bar chocolate, lubricants & KY jelly, perfume, cards, stuffed animals, gift sets, wine/ sparkling cider, flower arrangements, candles
Seasonal Produce: artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, grapefruit, kale, oranges, parsnips, pears, potatoes, turnips

March:

Frozen Food Month: frozen meals and entrees, veggies, side dishes, desserts, juice concentrate
March Madness: soda pop, chips, dips, cheese, crackers, sandwich items, snacks, wings, cut fruit & veggie trays
St. Patrick’s Day: decorations, corned beef, cabbage, Irish soda bread
Clearance: winter clothing, snow shovels, ski and sledding equipment
Spring/ Easter: Decorations, baskets, candy, ham, eggs and egg dyeing kits, gift sets, dresses and accessories.
Seasonal Produce: artichoke, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, grapefruit, grapes, lemon, lime, mushrooms, onions, peas, radish, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries

April:

Easter:  ham, eggs, dyeing kits, stuffed animals, candy, chocolate, baskets, decorations
Baking supplies:  sugar, spices, baking 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, allergy medicine
Seasonal Produce: artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, grapefruit, mushrooms, onions, peas, rhubarb, strawberries
Clearance:  After Easter sales are the time to stock up on decorations, baskets & grass, egg dyeing kits & stickers etc for the next year!

May:

Cinco De Mayo: salsa, shredded cheese, tortillas, tortilla chips, canned & refried beans, shredded lettuce, pinatas & pinata fillers, frozen Mexican entrees & snacks (taquitos, mini tacos, chimichangas)
Mother’s Day: bouquets, gift sets, perfume, chocolate, photo frames and crafts, jewelry, candles
Memorial Day: BBQ sauce, ketchup, condiments, charcoal, salad dressing, potato chips, dips, paper plates, plastic utensils, sandwich fixings
Summer needs: insect repellant, sunscreen, outdoor furniture, shorts, 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
Seasonal Produce: artichokes, asparagus, avocado, beets, blackberries, carrots, corn, green beans, onions, peas in the pod, potatoes, raspberries, strawberries

June:

National Dairy Month:  eggs, milk (free milk Catalina, wyb cereal), ice cream, cheese, butter, yogurt, Cool Whip, in-store dairy coupons or booklets
End of June is Fourth of July Sales: hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ sauce, ketchup, condiments, charcoal, salad dressing, potato chips, dips
Seasonal Produce: apricots, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, honeydews, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, raspberries, red onions, summer squash, strawberries, sweet Vidalia onions, tomatoes, watermelons

July:

National Ice Cream Month
More 4th of July BBQ Sales:  hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ sauce, ketchup, condiments, charcoal, salad dressing, potato chips, dips
End of July, Back to School Sales begin:  crayons, pencils, folders, binders
Seasonal Produce: Asian pears, Bartlett pears, green beans, blueberries, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, figs, garlic, grapes, nectarines, red onions, Valencia oranges, peaches, sweet bell peppers, plums, potatoes, summer squash, tomatoes, watermelon

Video: What’s on Sale in July! 

August:

Back to school supplies: erasers, pens, crayons, paper, binders, backpacks, notebooks, markers, note cards
School lunch items: pudding cups, lunch meat, single serve juices, lunchables
Disinfectants:  Clorox and Lysol wipes & sprays
Seasonal Produce: Avocados, beans, berries, cherries, corn on the cob, cucumbers, eggplants, figs, seedless grapes, melons, onions, peaches, pears (Bartlett), peppers (sweet bell), plums, summer squash, tomatillos, and tomatoes
Clearance:  insect repellent, sunscreen, charcoal, swim suits, gardening supplies and seeds, fans, camping gear

Video: What’s on Sale in August!

September:

Back to School Sales through Labor Day:  pens, pencils, paper (filler & printing), backpacks, erasers, folders, binders, dividers
Labor Day Sales: restaurants deals, movie theater perks (free popcorn, soda, concession candy), shoe & apparel store weekend passes
Diabetes awareness:  glucose meters, Glucerna cereal, diabetic care– socks, test strips, sugar free products, vitamins, weight scales
Seasonal Produce: apples, artichokes, beans, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, onions, pears (Asian & Bartlett), peppers (bell and chili), squash, tomatillo, tomatoes
Clearance: camping gear, gardening supplies, bug spray, fans & air conditioners, BBQ supplies– grills, charcoal, lighters

Video: What’s on Sale in September 

October:

Halloween: candy, costumes & accessories
Baking sales (mid-October to late December): canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, baking chips, pie crust (mix and ready-made frozen)
National Seafood Month: fish, shrimp, lobster, crab
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: promotions & deals featuring participating “pink” products
Adopt a Shelter-Dog Month: wet & dry dog food, dog toys & chews
Seasonal Produce: apples, artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, chard, cranberries, parsnip, pears, pomegranates, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash, turnips, yams

Video: What’s on Sale in October

November:

Baking goods: nuts, chocolate chips, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, cake & brownie mixes, Chex cereal (for homemade Chex mix)
Canned foods: soup, broth, vegetables & fruits, spaghetti sauce
Holiday staples: turkey, canned pureed pumpkin, stuffing mix, boxed potatoes, gravy mixes, ready-to-bake rolls, frozen pies, cranberry sauce, gelatin, marshmallows
Seasonal Produce: apples, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, cranberries, kiwis, lemons, oranges, pears (Anjou & Comice), potatoes, pumpkin, squash, yams
Halloween Clearance: The best time to stock up on things for the next year: door decorations, spider webs, candy bowls, yard & outdoor props, plates, cups, napkins & tablecloths, window clings, pumpkin carving kits, streamers, confetti, string lights, Halloween candy-alternatives to stretch next year’s candy bowl supply. Also party favors like: spider rings, erasers, plastic fangs, pencils, bookmarks, stickers, and bouncy balls.
Costumes: Generic items like witch hats, gloves, tiaras/ crowns, play swords, pet costumes, capes & cloaks, fangs, and fairy wings are best, especially when you have children whose preferences change year to year.
Black Friday/ Cyber Monday: Deep savings on doorbusters and advertised items ranging from clothing and toys to electronics and appliances. Research sales, make a list, and stick to it for the best results.
Seasonal clearance: rakes, outdoor furniture, bikes

Video: What’s on Sale in November 

December:

Holiday Dinner:  egg nog, deli platters, instant potatoes, gravy mixes, Rhodes rolls, frozen pies, cranberry sauce, Jello, marshmallows
Baking: flour, sugar, butter, cream, cake mixes, brownie mixes, muffin mixes, breads, pie crusts, marshmallows, whipped cream
Canned foods: soup, broth, condensed milk, vegetables, fruits, spaghetti sauce
Clearance:  Buy all your Thanksgiving decorations, extra table settings, and turkey carving products now once they’re at least 50% off.

Video: What’s on Sale in December 

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15 thoughts on “Sale Cycles: How to be a Coupon Psychic!”

  1. Sarah says:

    I have a problem, I try to only go on the outside of the grocery store. Which I haven’t found coupons for fruit or veggies (fresh). Fresh produce is about 70% of my list. Milk, cheese, bread and meat are the other things I get which I find coupons for the bread and cheese… Are there any suggestions?
    I use coupons on my household supplies and save.
    Thanks for all of the advice and comments I have enjoyed learning more.

  2. Tara says:

    On coupons.com – there is a link to savings card and they add it to a card…Where and how do I get this savings card? I am new to this whole coupon shopping but need it badly. Could someone expalin the Savings Card????

  3. Krista S. says:

    Thank you so much for this! I too was looking for a sale cycle so I know how long to stock up on items and if they are on sale for a couple months so I have time to stock up if I miss it the first week or so (i.e. baking items, quaker deals, etc.). Thanks again!

  4. Sophie says:

    And typically in July-ish, you can find TONS AND TONS of toys on clearance in target, walmart, shopko…places like that. and Also at target and shopko (probably other places, I just dont personally know) you can find a TON of big ticket baby items for over half off! We got a sit n stand stroller, reg 120.00 for 55.00 and a super cute/girly portable crib w bassinet, normally 99 for 45.00 and a 99.00 carseat for 30.00 that went with the sit n stand, same colors and brand. We saved tons by shopping early, we didnt even know what we were having yet, but I liked the girls play pen, and we had a girl, so it worked out. I think this also happens in jan-feb time, but not positive. they do it because the manufactures are moving in all of their new lines and colors and styles and need to completely clean off the shelves before they can put out the new stuff.

  5. Amanda says:

    Very helpful! Thank you!

  6. Adriana says:

    I was just thinking about googling this topic, it,s like you read my mind! Thanks!!!

  7. Alicia says:

    That’s an amazing list! I’m printing this too and putting it in my binder. Thanks for going through all the work for the rest of us.

  8. Amy says:

    This is AWESOME!!!! Thank you so much!!!

  9. Jessica says:

    You forgot the best of all…. DIAPERS at the end of January, first of February! That is when I stock up for the entire year (yes I put an order in so I don’t wipe off shelves!)

    • Sophie says:

      DIAPERS!!!! YAY! From who? what kind of deals do you get, do you use coupons + Sale prices or just sale prices? do tell do tell!

  10. Jen says:

    How do you know when cereal will be on sale? I always seem to have coupons and no sale or sale but no available coupons. Thanks for all the great info!!!

  11. Tina says:

    Thank you!! Its printed and headed to my binder!

  12. Denise says:

    I always know my birthday is near (Sept. 16–feel free to send expensive gifts) when the soup coupons start coming out again.

  13. Trinh says:

    Thanks for the list! Although I had to giggle for February’s Valentine’s, KY lubricant!

  14. Patti says:

    ROCK ON!!! This is awesome!! I’ve been trying to figure out a system to track when and how often my most freq. used products go on sale. Especially Chobani…if you have any insight specific to Chobani at SR, PM or S&S…MOST appreciated!