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When you’re building a coupon stockpile’s worth of groceries, you need a strategy so you’re always buying at the lowest price possible.
There’s a seasonality to sale cycles, and while it generally follows common sense (cold and flu products in winter), sometimes it doesn’t (diapers in July?). Don’t worry, though, because we did all the research for you, combing through deals we’ve posted on KCL over the past year in order to find trends month by month.
Notice on the KCL deal scenarios, we’ve listed a temperature gauge to show how “hot” a deal is. Anytime you see a rating of “Great” or “Hot,” stock up for a few months. Enough to hold you over until the next Hot deal strikes.
With this cheat sheet and free printable shopping list showing you want to buy each month, you’ll soon be saving loads of cash and building your coupon stockpile.
Protein shakes are the best things to buy while New Year’s resolutions are hot.
Retailers know everyone is focused on health this month. Take advantage of this by stocking up on items like these we found on sale in 2022:
- Blender bottles on Amazon: (reg. $20.98) $6, sale price
- Orgain supplements and shakes: Up to 50% off on Amazon
- Boost Nutritional Shake: 65% off at Target
Load your freezer with frozen foods like pizza, chicken nuggets, and side dishes.
While some people are getting healthy, others are trying to simplify dinner with frozen meals.
Aldi offered $0.50 off Path of Life side dishes. We found $0.50 Red Baron pizzas at CVS and $0.78 at Publix. Watch for Ibotta deals you can combine with a sale or coupon. National Pizza Day is Feb. 9, so watch for more frozen pizza deals next month.
Here’s what we saw in 2022:
Buy facial tissue when you see it hit at least 50% off.
In 2021, Target offered a “Buy 3, Get a Free $10 Gift Card” deal on facial tissue. This brought the price down by 50%. Walgreens also offered Puffs for about 50% off when you combined a Walgreens store coupon with a promotional price. Learn how to coupon at Walgreens.
Seasonal Produce for January:
Oranges, pears, grapefruit, tangerines, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, kale, kiwifruit, avocados, cabbages, and spinach
Buy all your cold and flu medicine, along with tea.
Right about the time you’re itching for spring is when you should stock up on cold and flu medications and tea. We saw Dimetapp Children’s Cough Syrup at Kroger for $2.29 (reg. $6.29) and a “Buy 2, Save $5” deal on Amazon for Robitussin.
Emergen-C was over 60% off with an Amazon coupon and a Subscribe & Save discount. Plus, Twinings Superblends Tea was a hot deal. $0.28 per box!
Get Valentine’s Day candy for up to 70% off at Walgreens.
Maybe you don’t want the Valentine’s Day theme if you’re going to save the candy for Easter baskets. (If your kids don’t care, this is by far the way to go.) But if the heart-themed treats bother you, consider using the dirt-cheap Russell Stover candy from boxes and chocolate tins in your baking recipes. I mean, how do you pass up 70% off chocolate?
Stock up on oatmeal, thanks to National Hot Breakfast Month.
During this month, watch for deals on hot foods like oatmeal. In 2022, Dollar General offered a coupon for $2 off two Quaker products. This brought the price down by 60%, so we stocked up.
Watch for 68% off Quaker oatmeal at Kroger. Learn how to coupon at Kroger.
Load up on chips, salsa, and dips from Amazon just before the Super Bowl.
About a week before the big game, Amazon offers snacks like chips and dip for up to 30% off, on top of a sale price. You’ll see a 15% off coupon to “clip.” Combine it with a 15% off Subscribe & Save discount to get the best deal.
Seasonal Produce for February:
Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, grapefruit, kale, oranges, parsnips, pears, potatoes, turnips
Buy enough body wash and deodorant to last you until the next hot deal.
Focus on body wash and deodorant this month as deals are plentiful and hot. Olay and Old Spice reach such a low price ($2!) that you should stock up for as many months as possible. In 2021, Target offered a gift card deal where you could get Old Spice body wash and deodorant for $3.99 each when you combined it with an Ibotta offer. Learn how to coupon at Target.
Secret deodorant was a mere $0.25 at Walgreens!
Buy pet food and cat litter if you have animals.
Amazon, PetSmart, and Petco offer deals on pet supplies this month. If you have animals, and the storage space, stock up on these items! In general, one way to save on pet supplies is to put them on autoship. Petco often offers 35% off autoship orders, and Amazon offers a 15% discount for Subscribe & Save orders.
In 2021, we saw free cat litter with a special rebate from Amazon, Petco, and Petsmart, and 50% off Canidae dog food. Plus, PetSmart offered a free $10 gift card with a $50 purchase.
Seasonal Produce for March:
Artichokes, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, limes, mushrooms, onions, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries
Get all your cleaning supplies when retailers mark them down in the spirit of spring-cleaning.
Get up to 50% off Clorox spray cleaner, Windex, and Lysol wipes on Amazon with a coupon and a Subscribe & Save deal.
Don’t stress if you can’t stock up for the whole year. You’ll have another chance to buy disinfecting wipes again in August during Back-to-School sales.
It’s time to stock up on candy again! Shop Easter clearance deals.
Here’s what you can expect to see immediately after the Easter holiday:
- Walgreens: 70% off Ghirardelli chocolate bars, Blow Pops, Reese’s, Godiva, Cadbury Mini-Eggs
- Target: 70 – 90% off Starburst, Russell Stover chocolates
- Walmart: 50% off chocolate bunnies
Stock up on ground beef, shredded cheese, and tortillas at Aldi during the last week of April.
Aldi gets a jump on Cinco de Mayo shopping by offering deals on food you’ll want for the holiday. Look for low prices on ground beef ($1.99 per pound), chicken breasts ($1.69 per pound), shredded cheese, corn tortillas, salsa, guacamole, and a whole lot more. Remember, Aldi’s regular prices often beat Walmart’s.
Most of these are items you can stock up on and freeze to use in months to come.
Seasonal Produce for April:
Artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, grapefruit, mushrooms, onions, peas, rhubarb, strawberries
Watch for allergy medication to dip as low as 75% off.
Arm yourself with allergy medication before you run out of last year’s supply. Expect to see Children’s Allegra reach a stock-up-worthy price when you combine a Target gift card deal, a coupon, and an Ibotta rebate. You’ll pay just $1.99 (reg. $9.99). We also saw Benadryl reach up to 75% off.
Stock up on hot dogs, buns, salmon, and baked beans leading up to Memorial Day.
Just like the Cinco de Mayo items, most of these items can be frozen or have a longer shelf life. Look for anything someone may want to buy for an outdoor party or barbecue — that’s the stuff that’ll be on sale in May. Here’s what we saw leading up to Memorial Day in 2021:
- Hot dogs: (reg. $3.29) $0.49 per pack at Kroger
- Beyond Burger patties: (reg. $5.99) $3 per 2-count at Kroger
- Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce: (reg. $2.29) $0.66 per bottle at Kroger
- Sockeye salmon: $11.89 per pound at ALDI
- Bush’s Baked Beans, 28 ounces: $1.98 at ALDI
- Hamburger and hot dog buns: $0.85 at ALDI
Get wine (especially Rosé) for 20% off at Whole Foods.
Whole Foods’ Rosé Sale happens at the end of May, and if you like wine, plan to stock up. Every year, Whole Foods offers 10 – 12 different wines for 20% off.
Seasonal Produce for May:
Artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beets, blackberries, carrots, corn, green beans, onions, peas in the pod, potatoes, raspberries, strawberries
Stock up on cheese and yogurt during National Dairy Month.
Here’s what we saw in 2021 during National Dairy Month:
- Shredded mozzarella, 1 pound: $3.39
- Cheese cubes, 8 ounces: $1.59
- Moo Tubes (similar to Go-Gurts), 8-count: $1.29
- Gourmet cheese singles, 12-count: $3.29
- Siggi’s yogurt: (reg. $1.25) $0.75 each
- Chobani Greek yogurt: (reg. $1.33) $0.80 each
- Cottage cheese or sour cream, 16 ounces: (reg. $1.39) $1 each
- Sargento cheddar slices, 12 ounces: (reg. 3.79) $3.50
Buy $1.99 pain reliever for National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month.
In 2021, Motrin and Tylenol were both just $1.99 at Target. Motrin Liquid Gels were $1.99 at Ride Aid. Learn how to coupon at Rite Aid.
Stock up on shampoo and conditioner during Ulta’s Jumbo Love event.
Brands like Biolage, Joico, Paul Mitchell, and Redken are discounted every year during Ulta’s Jumbo Love Event. Typically, there will be a sale price and a $3.50 off coupon you can use with the sale.
Tis the season to stock up! Aim for these prices:
- Biolage: $21.49 (reg. $40)
- Joico: $21.49 (reg. $38)
- Paul Mitchell: $26.49 (reg. $42)
- Redken: $26.49 (reg. $42)
Seasonal Produce for June:
Apricots, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, honeydew, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, raspberries, red onions, summer squash, strawberries, sweet Vidalia onions, tomatoes, watermelon
Stock up on sunscreen anytime you can get it half off on Amazon.
Amazon had the most frequent sunscreen deals in July in 2021. Most of the deals were for Banana Boat and Coppertone sunscreen, and in the 50% off ballpark. To get the lowest price consistently, be open to buying multiple different brands.
If you’re shopping at a brick-and-mortar store, check for sunscreen coupons before you go.
Stock up on free or cheap ice cream thanks to National Ice Cream Month.
If you like a freezer full of ice cream (and who doesn’t?), watch for ice cream deals during July.
In 2021, we got free ice cream at CVS when we combined a coupon with a sale. Breyers ice cream came to just $2 per quart at Walmart (reg. $3.88), thanks to coupons and Ibotta rebates. Plus, we got free Brave Robot ice cream at Kroger when we stacked other coupons with Ibotta rebates.
Watch for Pampers and Huggies diaper deals at drugstores like CVS.
I’m not gonna lie, diaper deals are frequent and you can usually find one during the year. If you’re looking to stock up and haven’t done so by July, go ahead and put that into full gear. Deals are steady from the beginning of the year, but they slow down after July.
Drugstores are a great place to buy diapers. When you combine a sale price, a store coupon, and then you can earn store cash, you’re winning. Aim to pay no more than $4 or $5 for the jumbo packs of Pampers and Huggies.
Learn more cheap diaper secrets.
Seasonal Produce for July:
Asian pears, Bartlett pears, green beans, blueberries, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, figs, garlic, grapes, nectarines, red onions, Valencia oranges, peaches, sweet bell peppers, plums, potatoes, summer squash, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon
Stock up on coffee during National Coffee Month.
August is National Coffee Months, so expect to see deals on all kinds of coffee. In 2021, Starbucks Instant Coffee was $1.99 (reg. $7.99). We saw half-off Victor Allen K-Cups, and clearance ground coffee at Sam’s Club.
Check it out:
Stock up on cereal when school’s about to start.
Back to school means back to easy, no-fuss breakfasts. Buy enough cereal for a few months’ supply when it’s $1 – $2 after sales and coupons. (On the KCL deal, you’ll see that it’s a “Hot” or “Great” deal.)
The best strategy for finding discounts on cereal is to look for a sale price you stack with a manufacturer’s coupon. And it might seem strange, but drugstores are often the best places to find cereal deals. (Kroger is a good spot too, though!)
March is another great time to stock up on cereal because of National Cereal Day on March 7. Learn how to coupon at CVS.
Buy snacks for lunch boxes when they reach at least 50% off.
In addition to filling the pantry with cereal, look for deals on items for your children’s lunch boxes. In 2021, we saw $0.25 Nature Valley Granola Bars on clearance at Rite Aid, and 64% off the same bars at CVS.
We stocked up on fruit snacks when they hit 57% off during a Kroger Mega Sale.
Seasonal Produce for August:
Avocados, berries, cherries, corn on the cob, cucumbers, eggplant, figs, grapes, green beans, melons, onions, peaches, peppers, plums, summer squash, tomatillos, tomatoes, watermelon
Stock up on soup at Walmart or Sam’s Club.
In 2021, Campbell’s soup reached $0.98 per can (reg. $1.98) at Walmart, and Sam’s Club offered two huge tubs of squash soup on sale for $7.68. We loaded the pantry to last until the next sale! Learn how to coupon at Walmart.
Buy razors to last all year.
Since razors are such an expensive item in your grocery budget, I hope you’re stocking up when they reach at least $3 – $4. This is a great month to do that as razor deals are abundant. In 2021, we saw Gillette disposables for $2.91 (reg. $8.99) on Amazon, free Soleil razors at Kroger, and $0.85 BIC disposables at Dollar General (reg. $2.85).
Seasonal Produce for September:
Apples, artichokes, beans, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, onions, pears (Asian & Bartlett), peppers (bell and chili), squash, tomatillos, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, squash, kale, collards
Stock up on baking goods at Kroger.
Kroger runs regular events where you can use a digital store coupon up to five times. It’s a perfect opportunity to stock up on baking items and also baked goods this month. Here are a couple examples from 2021:
- Pillsbury Flour, 5 pounds: (reg. $2.29) $1.77
- 8″ Pumpkin Pie: (reg. $3.99) $2.99
Stock up on non-chocolate candy during Halloween clearance sales.
I’m talking bags of Skittles and Starburst for $2 at Dollar General (reg. $5), 90% off Sweet Tarts at Walgreens (clearance price), and free Airheads Filled Ropes when you combine a sale price with a Register Reward at Walgreens. Get it!
Seasonal Produce for October:
Apples, artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbages, chard, cranberries, mustard greens, parsnip, pears, pomegranates, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash, turnips and yams
Buy your turkey at Kroger and save up to $1.50 per pound.
Kroger puts turkeys on sale during November, and you can get one for as low as $0.53 per pound (regularly $2 per pound).
This deal is “limit 1,” so if you want to stock up on turkeys for a few months, visit more than one Kroger store. Learn more about how to get a cheap or free Thanksgiving turkey.
TIP: Get a free Thanksgiving dinner through Ibotta! For the past couple years, Ibotta has offered up to $25 in free items to use to make a Thanksgiving dinner. Some items included were turkey, instant potatoes, corn, soups, and more.
Stock up on makeup during Black Friday sales.
Everywhere you look this month, you’ll see makeup deals. In 2021, Fenty makeup was 25% off at Sephora; you could get $800 worth of Estee Lauder for $117 at Macy’s; we saw 50% off Wet and Wild at Walgreens and $0.99 makeup gift sets at CVS.
I’d be thinking of stocking up, but also about makeup I could give as gifts during Christmas.
Buy all your soda for the holidays at Dollar General.
In 2021, Dollar General marked liters of Coca-Cola down to $1 (reg. $1.85), and six-packs of 7UP or Canada Dry down to $2 (reg. $3.85). To get this deal, you just needed to combine a Dollar General digital coupon with a sale price. Or buy in multiples. Super easy.
Seasonal Produce for November:
Apples of all varieties, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, cranberries, kiwis, lemons, oranges, pears (Anjou & Comice), potatoes, pumpkin, squash, yams and pomegranates
Shop the Aldi holiday foods clearance sale to save up to 50%.
Just after Christmas this month, Aldi marks down all their holiday-themed snacks. Look for 50% off pretzels, Christmas pasta, peppermint coffee creamer, chocolate whipped topping, cookies, and even goat cheese!
Save 75% on hand soap and lotion during the Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale.
The Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale begins the day after Christmas and runs for three or four weeks. Shop in stores to get the best deals. (If you shop BathandBodyWorks.com, you’ll only be able to save up to 60% on average, versus the 75% discount you can get in stores.)
Buy what you want right away and then consider going into the store for a price adjustment if you see a price drop after the fact.
Seasonal Produce for December:
Apples, beets, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, citrus fruits, dates, kale, kiwifruit, leeks, mushrooms, onions, papayas, pomegranates, radishes, spinach, sweet potatoes, winter squash