Grocery Sales Cycle

The Natural Foods store near me has had avocados on sale. Last week, they were five for $5. I was in their store yesterday and avocados were on my grocery list once again. The avocados were still on sale. This time the sign read “10 for $10.” I couldn’t help myself: I laughed out loud. The woman standing next to me did the same thing.

The produce manager walked by and we mentioned the new sign. “So what’s the difference?” I ask.

He answered, “You get twice as many!”

Purchasing food on sale helps to keep your grocery bill reasonable, but you need to be careful that you’re actually getting a discount. Sometimes, the advertised special will be a “loss-leader.” That means the sale item is priced lower than cost and is designed to increase traffic in hopes you will purchase other items. Other times, the advertised special price is actually the same or a little higher than normal. The store is banking on the premise that people don’t remember the regular cost of the item.

Cade is helping his mom with the grocery shopping.

How to Purchase Sale Items
Most grocery items have a sales cycle of three months, some six. That means when your favorite cereal is on sale, that is the lowest price it will be for another three months (three months is a good rule of thumb).

When stocking up on a sale item, look at the expiration date. If the item’s best by date is at least three months out, then purchase enough to last approximately three months. That way you will not only get the lowest price, you’ll begin to stock up for potential emergencies. If your favorite jar of salsa goes on sale once or twice a year, then by all means purchase a case.

Grocery Sales Cycle
The grocery sales cycle generally follows holidays and seasonal produce.
January

Avocado, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Chips, Cold Medicines, Collards, Grapefruit, Kale, Kiwi, Oatmeal, Oranges, Pears, Soda, Soup, Spinach, Tangerines, Toys, Vitamins

February
Artichoke, Asparagus, Avocado, Broccoli, Canned Foods, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Chocolate, Collards, Kale, Kiwi, Oatmeal, Noodles, Potatoes, Raspberries, Soy Sauce, Spinach, Strawberries, Syrup, Teriyaki Sauce

March
Artichoke, Asparagus, Avocado, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Collards, Fennel, Frozen Meals, Frozen Vegetables, Ice Cream, Kale, Leek, Lemon, Lime, Mushrooms, Orange, Peanut Butter, Peas, Pizza, Radish, Rhubarb, Spinach, Spring Onions, Strawberries, Tangerines, Waffles

April
Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocado, Baking Mixes, Beets, Broccoli, Brownie Mixes, Butter, Cabbage, Cake Mixes, Candy, Carrots, Chocolate Chips, Cleaning Supplies, Coconut, Eggs, Grapefruit, Mushrooms, Onions, Organic Foods, Peas, Rhubarb, Spices, Sugar

May
Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocado, BBQ Sauce, Beets, Blackberries, Buns, Carrots, Condiments, Dips, Green Beans, Grilling Meats, Hamburger, Hot Dogs, Marinades, Napkins, New Potatoes, Paper Plates, Peas, Plastic Utensils, Potato Chips, Raspberries, Salad Dressing, Salsa, Strawberries, Sweet Vidalia Onions, Tortillas

June
Apricots, BBQ Sauce, Blackberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Buns, Butter, Cheese, Cherries, Condiments, Corn, Cream Cheese, Cucumbers, Dips, Eggplant, Eggs, Grapes, Hamburger, Honeydew, Hot Dogs, Ice Cream, Milk, Napkins, Nectarines, Paper Plates, Peaches, Potato Chips, Potatoes, Raspberries, Red Onions, Salad Dressing, Summer Squash, Strawberries, Sweet Vidalia Onions, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Whipping Cream, Yogurt

July
BBQ Sauce, Blueberries, Buns, Butter, Charcoal, Condiments, Corn, Cucumbers, Dips, Eggplant, Figs, Garlic, Grapes, Green Beans, Hamburger, Hot Dogs, Ice Cream, Napkins, Nectarines, Onions, Oranges, Paper Plates, Peaches, Pears, Peppers, Plums, Potato Chips, Potatoes, Salad Dressing, School Supplies, Soda, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Watermelon

August
Apples, Avocado, Berries, Cereal, Charcoal, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Figs, Grapes, Green Beans, Lunch Items, Melons, Onion, Peaches, Pears, Peppers, Plums, Raspberries, Summer Squash, Tissue, Tomatoes, Waffles

September
Apples, Artichokes, Beans, Bell Peppers, Cereal, Chili Peppers, Cucumber, Diabetic Items, Eggplant, Grapes, Granola Bars, Oatmeal, Onions, Oranges, Pears, Pomegranate, School Supplies, Squash, Tomatoes, Winter Squash

October
Almonds, Apples, Artichokes, Arugula, Baking Chips, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Canned Pumpkin, Chard, Chestnuts, Cranberries, Dog Food, Dog Treats, Evaporated Milk, Lemons, Parsnip, Pasta, Pears, Pomegranate, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Seafood, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Winter Squash, Yams

November
Aluminum Foil, Beets, Black Friday Sales, Boxed Potatoes, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cake Mixes, Canned Foods, Canned Pumpkin, Carrots, Celery, Chocolate Chips, Coffee, Coconut, Cranberries, Cranberry Sauce, Evaporated Milk, Flour, Gravy, Hot Cocoa, Kiwi, Lemons, Marshmallows, Nuts, Oranges, Pears, Potatoes, Spaghetti Sauce, Squash, Stuffing, Sugar, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Tea, Turkey, Yams

December
Avocados, Bok Choy, Bread, Broccoli, Brownie Mixes, Brussels Sprouts, Butter, Cabbage, Cake Mixes, Canned Foods, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Champagne, Chips, Crackers, Cranberry Sauce, Cream, Dates, Deli Platters, Eggnog, Flour, Frozen Pies, Grapefruit, Gravy Mixes, Kale, Kiwi, Kumquat, Lemon, Marshmallows, Muffin Mixes, Oranges, Pears, Pie Crust, Rutabaga, Soda, Sour Cream Dips, Spaghetti Sauce, Sparkling Wine, Spinach, Sugar, Sweet Potatoes, Turkey, Turnips, Whipping Cream, White Potatoes, Winter Squash, Yams

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