Recently, I received a question about the term sales cycles from my grocery budget post. So I wanted to explain this term in a little more depth. I find that people sometimes WAY over spend on groceries and it’s an area that we’ve tried hard to “conquer” and save on. I hope this info will help you!
Every 6-8 weeks or so, products will hit their rock bottom price which is typically 30%-50% off the regular price. Now, this is a rule of thumb and not written in stone, but I’ve found for most things this is pretty true!
So, this is the time that you want to buy these items because it saves you money. If you pair your purchase with a coupon, then you will save even more!
The cool thing about sales cycles is that the rock bottom price often hits at just the right time that we, as consumers, want the product. (Works for me!)
For example, November and December are great months to stock up on seasonings, spices, sugar, flour and baking goods. This is perfect for the holidays. I’ve noticed that different stores will keep to similar sales cycles.
For instance, Harris Teeter doesn’t want to lose all their business to Food Lion or Walmart on weeks where everyone is shopping for simliar items. In January, every store seemed to have tortilla chips, salsa, sour cream and cheese on sale. Why?
The stores know that it’s about to be Super Bowl party time! Also, ever notice that sunscreen sales hit in the spring and summer, rather than December?
I encourage you to pick up those grocery store’s sales circulars! Most stores have them in full view at the front entrance. Also, subscribe to your favorite store’s email so you will know what’s on sale each week. Perhaps, take the time to review the sales before you meal plan, which will only save you more money on that grocery budget.
When I first began to watch the sales cycles, I realized that about the time I needed an item again, it ended up being on sale. Everyone has specific products (or preferred brands) they need for their home.
A big part of learning the sales cycle is just paying attention to what and when you buy things that your family needs or wants. If you keep a little log for yourself, then you can track the cycle and very quickly will know when your favorite items are on sale.
The monthly and yearly sales cycles are fairly consistent between stores. Think about what you want to be on sale and at what time of year and often the sales cycle will coincide!
(Just remember these deals are how stores get you to even come in and shop! Therefore, be sure to stick to your list and only buy what you need. Picking up extra items that aren’t on your list is an easy way to overspend on your grocery budget.)
As you begin to watch the sales cycles, you’ll find that the deals are not only for food items! For example, paper products, toiletries, makeup and cleaning products all go through this sale cycle.
Often I can pick up body wash, shampoo and other toiletries on sale and after I add in a coupon the price is usually less than $1 or even free! This a great way to stock up on what you need at lower prices and even pick up a few extra for your church or food pantries.
When I find these deals, I will buy several; therefore, I never have to pay full price! YAY!
To wrap up, just watch for your store’s sales and the frequency of when they come around. Take notes if it helps but keep in mind that the deals will cycle through again. The goal is that you’ll only buy the items you need at rock bottom price as much as possible.
Click here to see a list by month of (mostly) food items that can typically be found on sale. This will give you an idea of what and when to look for items! Feel free to share any tips to save on groceries in the comments!