Ways to Plan For Discounts

  • Keep records – One of the best ways to see if there is any type of pattern taking place in terms of grocery sales at the supermarkets where you shop is to monitor the sales over a two month period. This can be as easy as creating a file and keeping the circulars you get in the mail or Sunday papers or pick up at your supermarket each week. You might be surprised to not only discover that every six weeks or so you can find terrific grocery bargains, but that maybe most grocery sales are during the week, as a way to draw shoppers in on slow days, and not on weekends when most people shop
  • Shop seasonally – Although it seems a little contrary to what you might think, the optimal time to find the best grocery bargains are when they are in the most demand. It might seem that supermarkets would charge more for soup in the cold winter months when more people buy and eat soups, but that’s not the case. You’ll most likely also find low prices for items like paper plates, hot dogs and barbecue items in the summer.
  • Post-holiday mark-downs – If you have the space to store your grocery bargains, the days after a holiday can be the best time to find sales. After Thanksgiving, for instance, is a great time to get bargains on turkey that you can freeze. This is particularly true of canned or jarred goods that have a long shelf-live, like gravy, cranberry relish or pumpkin pie mix you can pick up for next year’s holiday.
  • Competitors don’t compete – Quite often, major food suppliers have a tacit agreement not to get into a battle of sales on their goods. Rather, they will alternate the weeks or months when each will offer their products, so, for instance, if you are a Pepsi drinker and Coke is on sale this week, it’s a good bet that if you wait, you will find a low price next week on Pepsi.
  • Get to know your manager – Finding out if there is a rotating cycle to sales can be as easy as asking the store manager when products might be reduced in price or asking the butcher when meats and poultry will be marked down. These folks like to help out regular customers and keep them coming into the store.
  • Don’t count on expiration dates – Rather than what you might believe, supermarkets do not tend to offer sales on items with expiration dates approaching. Instead, they tend to just rotate that stock to the front of the shelves so they are the ones busy shoppers grab.