Buying groceries without planning ahead could be costing you money—and a lot of it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Knowing when to buy can save you hundreds of dollars annually. Take a look at what we found on sale throughout the year, and use this as a guide to plan ahead—and stock up!
January has the best deals on holiday-related items with markdowns at 50% to 75%—sometimes even 90%—off of everything from decorations to candy and wrapping paper. Be on the lookout for fresh blueberries at this time too, usually $1 to $2 less, thanks to it being summer in South America.
- Seasonal Produce: Oranges, pears, grapefruit, tangerines, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, kale, kiwifruit, avocados, cabbages, and spinach
- Diet Foods: Healthy Choice, South Beach, Lean Cuisine, Special K, Kashi, Smart Start, 100-Calorie Packs, oatmeal and diet aids (shakes, weight scales, diet cookbooks, exercise equipment and weights)
- Winter Health: Cold medicines, vitamins, cough syrup
- Super Bowl Sunday: Soda, chips, dips, cheese, sandwich items, crackers, snacks, wings, cut fruit and veggie trays
- Other Items on Sale: Tea, bedding during Winter White Sales, calendars, discount gift cards
Between the Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, and Chinese New Year, February is an auspicious month to stockpile your kitchen. Go for the large Haas avocados during February—they can go as low as $0.57!
- Seasonal Produce: Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, grapefruit, kale, oranges, parsnips, pears, potatoes, turnips
- National Canned Food Month: Canned fruit, vegetables, pie fillings, soups, meats: tuna, chicken, salmon
- National Hot Breakfast Month: Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, frozen waffles, syrup, waffle & pancake mix, hash browns, bacon, sausage
- Valentine’s Day: Boxed and bar chocolate, lubricants & KY jelly, perfume, cards, stuffed animals, gift sets, wine/sparkling cider, candles
- Other Items on Sale: Sports gear, flowers other than red roses, big screens from the previous year, soy sauce, canned water chestnuts
March is National Frozen Food Month, which means it’s the best time to stock up on frozen foods. We’ve found incredible deals like Birdseye Frozen Vegetables for $0.25 and Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza for only $2.
- Seasonal Produce: Artichokes, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, limes, mushrooms, onions, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach and strawberries
- Frozen Food Month: Frozen meals and entrees, veggies, side dishes, desserts and juice concentrate
- March Madness: Soda pop, chips, dips, cheese, crackers, sandwich items, snacks, wings, cut fruit and veggie trays
- St. Patrick’s Day: Decorations, corned beef, cabbage and 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
- Other Items on Sale: 5 for $5 deals on bags of fruit, luggage
April brings both Easter and the start of spring. Chocolate, jelly beans, and other candy is priced incredibly low, so grab it while you can. Easter baskets, normally $12.99, have gone on sale for only $1.50 after the holiday. Eggs are typically less this month, too. We’ve found prices drop to as low as $0.23 a dozen!
- Seasonal Produce: Artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, grapefruit, mushrooms, onions, peas, rhubarb, and strawberries
- Easter: Decorations, baskets & grass, toys, games, candy, chocolate, egg-dyeing kits, spring dresses and apparel
- Spring: Gardening equipment and seeds, bird feeders, spring cleaning supplies, allergy medicine, rain boots, umbrellas, and raincoats
- Earth Day: Natural and organic foods and personal care products, reusable bags and water bottles, Energy Star appliances, CFL and LED lighting
- Other Items on Sale: Last-minute cruise deals, discounted gym memberships, end-of-fiscal-year electronics, tax discounts, and secondhand items at garage sales
May starts big with Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day and ends with Memorial Day—a weekend that’s become a shopping sales bonanza. With grills being fired up, we’ve seen prices on typical Memorial Day food hit rock-bottom, like Bar-S Franks for $0.63 or Kraft Barbecue Sauce priced at just $0.25!
- Seasonal Produce: Artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beets, blackberries, carrots, corn, green beans, onions, peas in the pod, potatoes, raspberries, strawberries
- Cinco de Mayo: Salsa, shredded cheese, tortillas, tortilla chips, canned & refried beans, shredded lettuce, piñatas & piñata 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 repellent, 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
- Other Items on Sale: Mattresses, military discounts
We tend to see deep dives on seasonal fruits and vegetables prices in June. The cost of cherries and blueberries can really drop—to levels as low as $2 a pound. With Father’s Day mid-month, ties are typically 50% off. It’s also National Dairy month where you’ll see rarely discounted items like milk for only $1.84.
- Seasonal Produce: Apricots, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, corn, cucumber,s eggplant, grapes, honeydew, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, raspberries, red onions, summer squash, strawberries, sweet Vidalia onions, tomatoes, watermelon
- National Dairy Month: Milk (also look for free milk Catalinas when you buy cereal promos), ice cream, cheese, butter, eggs, yogurt
- Fourth of July: Hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, BBQ sauce, ketchup, charcoal, salad dressing, potato chips, dips, mustard & mayo, relish, ice cream, Popsicles, frozen treats, soda pop
- Summer Needs: Insect repellant, sunscreen, outdoor furniture, shorts, sun hats, beach toys, bird feeders, lawn mowers, barbecues and grilling utensils, swim wear, kid pools, sandboxes, sandals
- Gardening: Plants, flowers, seeds, watering cans, plant food, soil, weed killers, mulch, compost buckets, water hoses
- Clearance: Jackets, sweaters, umbrellas, rain boots, floral wreaths from Memorial Day
- Other Items on Sale: Tools, free donuts in honor of National Donut Day on June 5th
July is the month where you could pay as little as $0.38 for a pound of tomatoes. Strawberries are also in season in July—we’ve seen them for as low as $0.45 in past seasons! Stock up on these sales and freeze any extras. You might also want to start keeping your eyes peeled for early back-to-school deals. We’ve found backpacks as low as $3.97 in July!
- Seasonal Produce: 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
- More 4th of July BBQ Sales: Hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ sauce, ketchup, condiments, charcoal, salad dressing, potato chips, dips, picnic items
- Back-to-School Sales: Crayons, pencils, folders, binders, backpacks
- National Ice Cream Month: Ice cream, popsicles, fudgesicles, drumsticks
- Other Items on Sale: Sunscreen, bug repellent, paper goods
As the kids prepare to head back to classes in August, school supplies hit the shelves hard. You’ll see deep discounts on every kind of supply from scissors for $0.33 to a 10-pack of Bic Pens for $0.49, and even Sharpies for $0.25. For lunchbox snacks, this is a good time to purchase grapes due to their ripeness in the heat of August. Grape prices can drop to as little as $0.98/lb.
- Seasonal Produce: Avocados, berries, cherries, corn on the cob, cucumbers, eggplant, figs, grapes, green beans, melons, onions, peaches, peppers, plums, summer squash, tomatillos, tomatoes, watermelon
- Back-to-school Supplies: Erasers, pens, crayons, paper, binders, backpacks, notebooks, markers, note cards, USB flash drives, glue, tissue boxes, paper, sticky notes, scissors, staplers
- School Lunch Items: Pudding cups, lunch meat, single serve juices, Lunchables, PB&J, crackers, chips
- Disinfectants: Clorox and Lysol wipes and sprays, hand sanitizer
- Other Items on Sale: Sunflowers, laptops, insect repellent, sunscreen, charcoal, swimsuits, gardening supplies and seeds, fans, camping gear
September’s biggest sales are focused on Labor Day—when you’ll also find some of the best bargains until Black Friday. Stores are eager to stock up on holiday items and get rid of what’s currently on the shelves. It’s a good time to buy any leftover school supplies you need, like Paper Mate Pens for only $0.12! Or folders for 30 off%. Keep an eye out for summer clearance items like bug spray and barbecue supplies. We’ve seen prices on inflatable boats go as low as $12.99.
- Seasonal Produce: Apples, artichokes, beans, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, onions, pears (Asian & Bartlett), peppers (bell and chili), squash, tomatillos, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, squash, kale, collards
- Back-to-School Items: Pens, pencils, paper (filler and printing), backpacks, erasers, folders, binders, dividers
- Labor Day: Restaurant deals, movie theater perks (such as free popcorn, soda, and concession candy/snacks), shoes and apparel, weekend travel or park passes, party supplies and snacks
- Kids’ Health Items for National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month: Healthy foods for kids, prepackaged kids’ health lunches and snacks, lunch boxes, kids’ first aid supplies
- Summer Clearance Items: Camping gear, gardening supplies, bug spray, fans & air conditioners, BBQ supplies including grills, charcoal and lighters/lighter fluid
- College Savings for College Savings Month: College supplies, incentives to open 529 savings plans, incentives to open college savings accounts (for parents and students)
- Other Items on Sale: Fresh-cut flowers and bikes
Find exceptionally low prices on Halloween candy—as cheap as $0.92 for a big bag! Or costumes marked down to 75% off days before halloween! This is a good time to pick up spices since prices can go up during November and December. You can find deals as good as McCormick spices for $0.99 around this time.
- Seasonal Produce: Apples, artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbages, chard, cranberries, mustard greens, parsnip, pears, pomegranates, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash, turnips and yams
- Baking Goods (mid-October to late December): Canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, baking chips and pie crust (mix and ready-made frozen)
- Outdoor Gear: Camping in October, anyone? For most, this is a “no,” and retailers want to offload their extra inventory
- Snow Removal Gear: Snowblowers, shovels, de-icers
- Swimwear: Swimsuits, cover-ups, shorts, flip-flops, goggles—retailers are eager to unload these items in most parts of the country, where temperatures are rapidly falling
- Other Items on Sale: Oils and broths
The retail world is bursting with holiday sales in November, and the main feature is Black Friday. But let’s not forget the incredible deals on what’s left of Halloween costumes, decorations, and candy. We’ve found candy corn for only $0.50 in November. The week before and after Thanksgiving is also a great time to stockpile what you’ll need for your holiday meals—like turkey, canned pureed pumpkin, and stuffing mix. Potatoes are often marked down considerably, like yams for just $1.
- Seasonal Produce: Apples of all varieties, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, cranberries, kiwis, lemons, oranges, pears (Anjou & Comice), potatoes, pumpkin, squash, yams and pomegranates
- Baking Goods: Nuts, chocolate chips, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, coconut, cake & brownie mixes
- Cooking Gear: Cookware, flatware, knives, pots and pans
- Canned Foods: Soup, broth, vegetables & fruits, spaghetti sauce
- Cold & Flu: Nyquil, Hall’s, Tylenol Cold & Flu, tissues
- Black Friday/Cyber Monday: Clothing, toys, electronics, appliances, housewares
- Seasonal Clearance: Rakes, outdoor furniture, bikes, Halloween clearance
- Other Items on Sale: Peanuts, peanut butter, flower bulbs, athletic shoes, kids’ toys, wedding gowns and accessories
Holidays are in full force in December, and the real deals arrive right after Christmas, but grocery deals can still be found with canned goods and baking products like sugar for $1.19. Citrus is big this month—we’ve seen grapefruit marked down to 20% off. Nuts are hot items this month, too. They can be served at holiday parties or added into holiday cookies. Bags of sliced almonds, usually $5.99, can go as low as $4.49 during this month.
- Seasonal Produce: 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
- Holiday Dinner: Eggnog, sparkling cider, deli platters, instant potatoes, gravy mixes, dinner rolls, frozen pies, cranberry sauce, Jell-O and 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: Thanksgiving decorations, table settings, turkey carving products
- Golf gear: Clubs, gloves, apparel
- Other Items on Sale: Jewelry, toys, sparkling wine, gift cards, electronics