Many people think of sales as a no brainer way for saving money. The key to saving the most on organic food with sales and circulars is to maximize what is on sale. Just like with all commerical goods, they run sales in seasonal rotations. Certain goods go on sale certain times of the year. These are some trends:
- April: Ham, Turkey, Eggs
- May & July: Ground Beef, Chicken, Ketchup
- November: Celery, Canned Soups, Cranberry Sauce, Turkey, Canned Vegetables, Potatoes, Evaporated Milk, Canned Pumpkin, Spices, Sugar, Flour
- December: Butter, Flour, Sugar, Chocolate Chips, Cream Cheese, Nuts, Ham
Other items tend to run the sale cycle every 3-4 months. When an item goes on sale at it’s rock bottom price, pair it with a coupon to really stock up! Try to purchase enough of the item to last you atleast until it goes on sale again. Here is my example: When Muir Glen tomato products are on sale at Whole Foods at the price I consider to be great (free is even better) then I get all my friends and family to print coupons for me (if they are available & they do not use the coupons themselves). By using sales and stacking coupons this allows me to make the purchase for around $.50-$.60 for a 28oz can of tomatos and I usually stock up on sauce for free. I get an average of 60-80 cans of tomato sauce & tomatos when they go on sale and this will last me for months. If I wait until I needed them, I might pay $1.28 for a small can at Wal-Mart. Full price is not a good option.
Another important way to save using sales is to build your menu around what the sales are for the week. Before you sit down and make your meal plan, look through your pantry first then look at what is on sale. Try to build your menu off what is on sale and what you have on hand. if you need meat and chicken is on sale that week, feature 2-3 meals with chicken in your meal plan. Eat what is in season for your produce to take advantage of the lowest prices.
Likewise use seasonal produce sales to stock up at the lowest price and during the peak of ripeness. When corn is in season and is on sale I buy lots of ears of corn to freeze and can. It is so nice to enjoy delicious corn on the cob in February. Purchase extra when produce is at its peak of season to preserve for winter, whether it be frozen, canned or dehydrated. You will truly enjoy eating your delicious produce in winter (and it will make your pocketbook will be happy also). Next week we will discuss ways to save online.
To read the other posts in 8 Ways to Save on Organic Food Series go here: