This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.
We have covered only buying what is on sale. Once we spot the great sale, the other side of equation is that we need to buy enough of that sale item to last until we see the sale again.
This is where most people start envisioning bomb shelters filled with food and never parking the garage again… I’m not talking about that much food. Grocery stores actually run on a very predictable sales cycle.
Learning Sale Cycles
In the south east, items go on sale pretty much every 6-8 weeks. Since the key to saving is to only buy items at their lowest price, this means you want to “stock up” or buy enough for 6-8 weeks when the item is at it’s rock bottom price.
Remember that the deals listed on Southern Savers are the stock up or buy prices. I try not to include items that aren’t good deals. You can also use the buy price list to get an idea of good prices on many items.
Some think that stocking up doesn’t apply to them, they live alone or just have two folks to feed. It does. I can pretty much gaurantee that even a single person would eat more than one box of cereal in a six week time period. While someone shopping for two will not buy as much as a person shopping for 6, they still need to get enough to last them 6 weeks.
Why? Today for $1 after the sale and a coupon, but you only buy one box. Come two weeks from now when that box is gone, the cereal is no longer on sale and it’s going to cost $4 for the same box. Do you know how painful that is? I would venture to say most of you after paying $1 for the first box would refuse to pay anything more and go without that cereal until the next sale!! Basically, to buy 2 boxes today only costs $2, versus buying a box now and another box in a few weeks at full price.
Want to see how long you have until the next sale? This is one of the many uses of the Item Search Feature. Search for something you want and put in a past date of a month or two ago. This will show you when it was last on sale and even how much the sale was for. Now you can figure out how many weeks you have until the next sale and know the sale price you are looking for!!
This is a great way to get a realistic idea of how much you will need to spend and how much you should buy.
Don’t Over Stock Up
When you see a deal for 10¢ it’s hard to contain the excitement. Please try! No matter how great the sale is you really only need enough for 6 weeks. It will come on sale again. I promise! If you go crazy and buy too much it will probably go bad before you can use it all. The other problem, everyone in your area that only wanted one or two now hates you…
To help keep food from expiring before you can eat it or buying too much of one item, you can use this Pantry Stockpile Tracker. It will help you to know what you have on hand. You can also write in expiration dates so you’ll know when it expires.
For more information, see the video below.
Later today we are going to go over products that don’t follow this traditional cycle and how to handle them!