There are sales cycles AND clearance cycles. They’re not hard to figure out. As a matter of fact it’s pretty predictable. I like to stock up on things I normally would not waste money on… One example? Holiday napkins…lol. I normally would care less if my napkins have cute little pumpkins on them in the fall. Who wants to spend $2.99 on an 8 pack-right? But when you get them on clearance for .05 at Dollar General well then GREAT-right?
Those are the little quality of life changes when you shop smart. Maybe because of your budget you never gave them a second thought (like me with 7 kids). Something to think about. Here’s my cheat sheet of seasonal and clearance items.
Everyone knows that produce is seasonal. If you want to make a triple batch of strawberry or apricot freezer jam, the best time of year to do it is during the summer when the fruit is in season and, thereby, at its lowest annual cost. A savvy shopper waits until a product is on sale and then stocks up! The idea is to create a stockpile that will last you 3-12 months or until the product again reaches its lowest price. Packaged Foods are seasonal just like produce! Each calendar month brings a new batch of sales. Here’s the predictable sale cycle for each calendar month:
National Oatmeal Month: quick, old-fashioned, rolled, and steel-cut oats, ready to cook oatmeal packets, Diet Foods including: cereal, frozen entrees, meal and granola bars, diet shakes/ drinks Healthy Choice, South Beach, Lean Cuisine, Special K, Kashi, Smart Start, 100 Calorie Packs,
diet aids: shakes, weight scales, diet cookbooks, exercise equipment & weights Organization aids– shelving, plastic tubs & containers, labels
Super Bowl Sunday: Soda, chips, dips, cheese, sandwich items, crackers, snacks, wings, cut fruit & veggie trays
Seasonal Produce: oranges, pears, grapefruit, tangerines, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, kale, kiwi, avocado, cabbage, spinach
Clearance: Christmas– decorations toys, lights, stocking stuffers, artificial trees, ornaments, wrapping paper, gift bows, New Year’s party supplies– noise makers, hats, party favors, wines & sparkling juices Winter Health: cold medicines and vitamins, cough syrup
National Canned Food Month: canned fruit, vegetables, pie fillings, soups, meats: tuna, chicken, salmon Super Bowl Sunday: Soda pop, chips, dips, cheese, sandwich items, crackers, snacks, wings, cut fruit & veggie trays
National Hot Breakfast Month: oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, frozen waffles, syrup, waffle & pancake mix, hash browns, bacon, sausage
Valentine’s: boxed and bar chocolate, lubricants & KY jelly, perfume, cards, stuffed animals, gift sets, wine/ sparkling cider, flower arrangements, candles
Seasonal Produce: artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, grapefruit, kale, oranges, parsnips, pears, potatoes, turnips
Frozen Food Month: frozen meals and entrees, veggies, side dishes, desserts, juice concentrate March Madness: soda pop, chips, dips, cheese, crackers, sandwich items, snacks, wings, cut fruit & veggie trays St. Patrick’s Day: decorations, corned beef, cabbage, 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.
Seasonal Produce: artichoke, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, grapefruit, grapes, lemon, lime, mushrooms, onions, peas, radish, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries
Easter: ham; eggs; some baking supplies: sugar, spices, baking mixes, chocolate chips Earth Day: organic foods, Energy Saver
Seasonal Produce: artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, grapefruits, avocados, mushrooms, onions, peas, rhubarb
Clearance: after Easter sales are the time to stock up on decorating, baskets, etc. for the next year.
Memorial Day: BBQ sauce, ketchup, condiments, charcoal, salad dressing, potato chips, dips Paper Products: plates, utensils Cinco de Mayo: salsa, tortillas
Seasonal Produce: artichokes; asparagus; avocados; green beans; beets; blackberries; carrots; sweet Vidalia onions; peas: edible-podded peas, English Shelling peas; new potatoes; raspberries; strawberries Outdoor: insect repellant, sunscreen
National Dairy Month: eggs, milk (free milk Catalina, wyb cereal), ice cream, cheese, butter, yogurt, Cool Whip, in-store dairy coupons or booklets
End of June is Fourth of July Sales: hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ sauce, ketchup, condiments, charcoal, salad dressing, potato chips, dips
Seasonal Produce: apricots, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, honeydews, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, raspberries, red onions, summer squash, strawberries, sweet Vidalia onions, tomatoes, watermelons.
National Ice Cream Month More 4th of July BBQ Sales: hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ sauce, ketchup, condiments, charcoal, salad dressing, potato chips, dips
End of July, Back to School Sales begin: crayons, pencils, folders, binders Seasonal Produce: Asian pears, Bartlett pears, green beans, blueberries, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, figs, garlic, grapes, nectarines, red onions, Valencia oranges, peaches, sweet bell peppers, plums, potatoes, summer squash, tomatoes, watermelon
Back to school supplies: erasers, pens, crayons, paper, binders, backpacks, notebooks, markers, note cards School lunch items: pudding cups, lunch meat, single serve juices, lunchables.
Disinfectants: Clorox and Lysol wipes & sprays
Seasonal Produce: Avocados, beans, berries, cherries, corn on the cob, cucumbers, eggplants, figs, seedless grapes, melons, onions, peaches, pears (Bartlett), peppers (sweet bell), plums, summer squash, tomatillos, and tomatoes
Clearance: insect repellent, sunscreen, charcoal, swim suits, gardening supplies and seeds, fans, camping gear
Back to School Sales through Labor Day: pens, pencils, paper (filler & printing), backpacks, erasers, folders, binders, dividers
Labor Day Sales: restaurants deals, movie theater perks (free popcorn, soda, concession candy), shoe & apparel store weekend passes
Diabetes awareness: glucose meters, Glucerna cereal, diabetic care– socks, test strips, sugar free products, vitamins, weight scales
Seasonal Produce: apples, artichokes, beans, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, onions, pears (Asian & Bartlett), peppers (bell and chili), squash, tomatillo, tomatoes
Clearance: camping gear, gardening supplies, bug spray, fans & air conditioners, BBQ supplies– grills, charcoal, lighters
Halloween: candy, costumes & accessories
Baking sales (mid-October to late December): canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, baking chips, pie crust (mix and ready-made frozen)
National Seafood Month: fish, shrimp, lobster, crab
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: promotions & deals featuring participating “pink” products
Adopt a Shelter-Dog Month: wet & dry dog food, dog toys & chews
Seasonal Produce: apples, artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, chard, cranberries, parsnip, pears, pomegranates, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash, turnips, yams
Baking goods: nuts, chocolate chips, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, cake & brownie mixes, Chex cereal (for homemade Chex mix)
Canned foods: soup, broth, vegetables & fruits, spaghetti sauce
Holiday staples: turkey, canned pureed pumpkin, stuffing mix, boxed potatoes, gravy mixes, ready-to-bake rolls, frozen pies, cranberry sauce, gelatin, marshmallows
Seasonal Produce: apples, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, cranberries, kiwis, lemons, oranges, pears (Anjou & Comice), potatoes, pumpkin, squash, yams
Halloween Clearance: The best time to stock up on things for the next year: door decorations, spider webs, candy bowls, yard & outdoor props, plates, cups, napkins & tablecloths, window clings, pumpkin carving kits, streamers, confetti, string lights, Halloween candy-alternatives to stretch next year’s candy bowl supply. Also party favors like: spider rings, erasers, plastic fangs, pencils, bookmarks, stickers, and bouncy balls.
Costumes: Generic items like witch hats, gloves, tiaras/ crowns, play swords, pet costumes, capes & cloaks, fangs, and fairy wings are best, especially when you have children whose preferences change year to year.
Black Friday/ Cyber Monday: Deep savings on door busters and advertised items ranging from clothing and toys to electronics and appliances. Research sales, make a list, and stick to it for the best results.
Seasonal clearance: rakes, outdoor furniture, bikes
Holiday Dinner: egg nog, deli platters, instant potatoes, gravy mixes, Rhodes rolls, frozen pies, cranberry sauce, Jell-O, 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: Buy all your Thanksgiving decorations, extra table settings, and turkey carving products now once they’re at least 50% off.