Grocery Sales Cycles

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Grocery Sale Sign. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

When most people grocery shop, they buy a week's worth of groceries, and then repeat the process again next week. Bad idea. If you want to maximize your grocery savings, you need to make the shift from buying a week's worth of groceries to buying just what's on sale.

Almost everything in the grocery store follows a six-week sales cycle. That means if something is at its lowest price this week, it will probably be at its lowest price again in another six weeks.

Buy enough now to get you to the next sale, and you won't ever have to pay full price for that item again.

For many items, that may only require buying an extra package or two, so you don't even have to have a lot of storage space to be able to take advantage of the deals.

And if you don't have a lot of refrigerator or freezer space, don't sweat it. Even if you only focus on stocking up on shelf-stable items, you'll still save a ton.

Keep a Price Book

If you don't already know what a good sales price is for the products that you buy, start a price book to find out. By recording basic information like how much you paid for an item, when you bought it, and where you bought it, you'll soon be able to tell how often things go on sale, what price point you should buy at and even which store typically offers the best deal.

Want to Save Even More?

While most grocery items follow a six-week sales cycle, many items also have one time during the year when they hit their absolute rock-bottom price.

Learn when those times are, and then stock up:

Just don't buy more than you can use in a reasonable amount of time. You won't save anything if you have to throw food out. If you're new to stockpiling, these charts will help you figure out how much to buy: