Sales and sale cycles
The best way to save throughout the year is to shop sale cycles. Examples include diet products in January, frozen food in March, BBQ sauce in summer, school supplies in early fall, and baking staples for the holidays. At the first of every month, we’ll post a preview of the items that are likely to be in season and at hot prices.
Especially when starting out, you might not have a stockpile of every item you’d like. In this case, feel free to purchase the store brand or generic to tide you over until the right sale cycle comes around. Remember, in most cases name brands, with a coupon and a great sale, will be cheaper than any given generic.
Fresh produce, dairy, bread and meat
These are categories that have coupons less often than packaged counterparts, but there are savvy strategies including buying ripened produce, day-old bread, and reduced-for-quick-sale meats and dairy. Check out the links at the bottom for in-depth posts on each of these.
Examples to get you started
While these items may not have coupons very often, there are still ways to save! Check out below to get your creative juices flowing.
- Liquid whipping cream: If the canned or frozen whipped topping isn’t your style, you’ll find the best prices for this around the holidays and summertime (strawberry shortcake, anyone?) Also keep an eye out when the cartons are reduced for quick sale because their expiration dates are fast approaching.
- Coconut milk: I love Thai mango rice, but I’m not willing to pay $1.99 for a can of coconut milk to make it. Check out alternative locations such as ethnic markets for potentially better prices. A good price is under $0.90 each.
- Plastic wrap: While zip bags and foil always have coupons, cheap plastic wrap can be hard to come by. One of my favorite places to buy this is the dollar store where I can get 155 feet for $1.00.
- Maple syrup: If you can’t have pancakes without the real deal, the cost can rack up quickly. Shop around for the best prices per ounce at your different grocery stores and keep a lookout at alternative locations (e.g. Trader Joe’s, maple tree farm/sugar houses, online, etc).
- Plastic utensils: The best prices for disposable utensils are in the summer when BBQs and picnics abound, but check out party stores and dollar stores for out-of-season purchases.