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Sale Cycles: How to be a Coupon Psychic!

Joanie.Demer

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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