Grocery Sales Cycles

In my former life, I was a “couponer.” I’ve mentioned it before. I loved getting my groceries for very little. I will admit to being a bit obsessed. I could buy all our groceries (including diapers and toiletries) for less than $50 a week. Pretty good, right? I even wrote an entire database to track grocery prices. I knew exactly when everything in the grocery store was on sale for it’s very lowest possible price.

Well, while I haven’t abandoned couponing all together, I have backed off a bit. However, I still use coupons for the items we eat a lot of and I still shop in cycles. Shop in cycles you ask? Yes, in cycles. Groceries go on sale in predictable cycles. Many common grocery items are on sale for their lowest price about the same time of year every year. There are grocery sales cycles.


Grocery sale cycles


This is a great concept as it applies to building “your own home store” of quality food and supplies in your own home. While having whole foods like THRIVE food or other freeze dried products in your home is essential to having a successful “home store,” there are other items you should have. For example, with 4 young kids, we go through a lot of crackers around here! Truth be told, I’m not up for making all those crackers from scratch. So, I keep a large stock of crackers. The same is true of most condiments, spices, etc. I’m sure you can think of lots of items that fall into this category. And what about toiletries? I sure wouldn’t want to be with out toilet paper or shampoo for very long!

But who wants to pay full price when stocking up on these items? Not me! So, instead of just stocking up on items randomly, get a bit organized and stock up on what is on sale each month of the year. But don’t lower your budget! Spend the same amount of money each month, just come home with more stuff! Doing this is what will allow you to stock up on items important to your family without increasing your grocery budget.

So what is on sale each month? Here is a list to get you started. You can download and print the list by clicking here.

Grocery Sales Cycles:



  • Post Christmas: Decorations, Toys, Wrapping Paper etc. on clearance. Also look for regular food items packaged in Holiday packaging that will be on sale (refrigerated cookies, breads, crackers etc)
  • Super Bowl: Soda, Chips, Cheese, Sandwich items, Condiments, Crackers, Snack foods, Dips
  • National Oatmeal Month: Most Quaker items will be on sale (not just oatmeal, look at Life cereal, syrup etc)
  • Winter Health: Cold Medicines and Vitamins
  • Seasonal Items: Canned soups & Chili, Household Cleaners


  • National Canned Food Month: Canned Fruit & Veggies, Pie Fillings, Canned tuna & other meats
  • American Heart Month: Aspirin, Cholesterol Meds, Low Cholesterol “butter” spreads / sprays etc.
  • Chinese New Year: Soy Sauce, Crunchy noodles, Teriyaki Sauce, Ramen, Stir fry sauce, stir fry veggies, water chestnuts
  • National Hot Breakfast Month: Malt O Meal, Oatmeal, Eggo Waffles, Syrup, frozen potatoes
  • Valentines: Chocolate, Hershey’s, KY
  • Other: Dog Foods, Push on store brands


  • Frozen Food Month: All thing frozen
  • Seasonal Items: Household Cleaners; Gardening supplies (occasionally earlier depending on where you live)
  • National Peanut Month: Peanut Butter, Peanuts
  • St Patrick’s Day: Potatoes, Corned Beef
  • Easter / Passover (sometimes not until April): Eggs, Ham, Horseradish, Spices, Sugar, Chocolate Chips, Coconut, Butter, Baking mixes, Marshmallows


  • Easter / Passover (If not in March): Eggs, Ham, Horseradish, Spices, Food coloring, Sugar, Chocolate Chips, Coconut, Butter, Baking mixes, Marshmallows
  • Daylight Savings: Batteries, Smoke / Carbon Monoxide detectors, Light Bulbs
  • Earth Day: Organic Foods, Energy Saver items, Eco-friendly items, Reusable Totes / Grocery Bags, Natural Cleaners
  • Post Easter: Decorations, Toys, Wrapping Paper etc. on clearance. Also look for regular food items packaged in Holiday packaging that will be on sale (refrigerated cookies, breads, crackers etc)
  • Other: Olive Oil, Popsicles (change of inventory this month), Kelloggs Cereal, ConAgra Products


  • Memorial Day (Most will be on sale again in late June / Early July): Soda, Charcoal, Grilling Meats, Salad Dressing (often free with a coupon), Potato Chips, S’mores items, Dips, Grilling Meats, Hot Dogs, Hamburger Meat, Buns, Marinades, Juice Drinks (like Capri Sun)
  • Allergy Meds: Alavert, Zyrtec, Claritin etc (and generics)
  • Paper Products: Plates, Utensils, Insect Repellant, Sunscreen
  • National Pet Week: Dog & cat food and treats
  • Cinco De Mayo: Salsa, tortillas, Taco seasonings
  • Other: General Mills Cereal


Stay away from full priced summer items early this month that were on sale last month (and next month) such as allergy meds, paper plates, sunscreen, insect repellant, BBQ items etc.

  • National Dairy Month: Eggs, Milk, Ice Cream, Cottage Cheese, Sliced / Shredded / Block Cheese, Cream Cheese, Butter, Yogurt, Sour Cream, Whipping Cream, Whipped Cream, Cool Whip, Drumsticks
  • Father’s Day / July 4th (end of June): BBQ items again: BBQ Sauce, Condiments, Grilling meat, Charcoal, Potato chips, Hamburger / Hot dog buns
  • National Headache Month: Aspirin, Sinus meds, Other Painkillers


  • National Ice Cream Month: Ice cream, Popsicles, Drumsticks etc.
  • More 4th of July BBQ Sales (Beginning of the month): Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, BBQ Sauce, Ketchup, Condiments, Charcoal, Salad Dressing, Potato Chips, Dips
  • Back to School Sales (sometimes at the end of the month; sometimes not until Aug): Lunch meat, Lunchables, Bread, Cold Cereal, Waffles, Lunchboxes, Crayons, Pencils, Folders, Binders, Granola bars, fruit snacks, pudding cups


  • Back to School (may continue into Septembe through Labor Dy): Lunch meat, Lunchables, Bread, Cold Cereal (especially Kelloggs), Waffles, Lunchboxes, Crayons, Pencils, Folders, Binders, markers, Glue, paper Granola bars, fruit snacks, pudding cups
  • Clorox Classroom Cleanup: Sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizers
  • Seasonal Clearances: Insect Repellant, Sunscreen, charcoal


  • Diabetes Products: Bayer Glucose Meters, Glucerna Cereal
  • Tomato Products: Tomato Sauce /, paste / juice, spaghetti sauce, Canned tomatoes, tomato soup, ketchup occasionally
  • Other: Honey, Oral care (typically more at drug stores than grocery stores), condensed soups


  • Halloween: Candy, Fresh Pumpkin
  • Holiday Baking Sales (end of month especially,but wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas week for the best deals): Canned pumpkin, Evaporated Milk, Baking Chips
  • Daylight Savings: Batteries, Smoke / Carbon Monoxide detectors, Light Bulbs
  • Adopt a Shelter-Dog Month: Dog foods and treats
  • Other: National seafood month


  • Great American Smoke Out: Nicorette, Commit etc.
  • Post Halloween: Candy Clearances, Costumes etc. Also look for regular food items packaged in Holiday packaging that will be on sale (refrigerated cookies, breads, crackers etc)
  • Peanut Butter Month: Peanuts, Peanut Butter
  • Holiday Baking Sales: Nuts, Chocolate Chips, Evaporated Milk, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Coconut, Cake Mixes
  • Canned Holiday Items: Soup, Broth,
  • Thanksgiving Items: Turkey, Canned Pumpkin, Stovetop Stuffing, Boxed Potatoes, Gravy Mixes, Frozen Pies, Cranberry Sauce, Jello, Marshmallows


  • Christmas Dinner: Gravy Mixes, Frozen Pies, Egg Nog, Deli Platters, Instant Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, Jello, Marshmallows, Sour Cream Dips, Crackers, Chips, Soda, Ham, Turkey
  • Baking: Flour, Sugar, Butter, Cream, Chocolate Chips, Cake Mix, Brownie Mix, Muffin Mix, Breads, Pie Crust, Marshmallow, Whipped cream
  • Post Thanksgiving: Look for regular food items packaged in Holiday packaging that will be on sale (refrigerated cookies, breads, crackers etc)


Pin It Now For Later!

Grocery sales tend to happen in cycles. Use this guide to know what you should focus on stocking up on each month during the year.

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27 Responses to Grocery Sales Cycles

  1. Debra February 7, 2017 at 11:39 am #

    I loved this. Knowing what is available in what month will be of great help for me. Thank you

    • Misty February 7, 2017 at 1:31 pm #


  2. Melva January 28, 2017 at 4:04 pm #

    Good information. Thanks for sharing.

    • Misty January 30, 2017 at 10:42 am #

      Thanks for the kind comment Melva!

  3. Julie October 25, 2016 at 6:13 am #

    I like your blog. I don’t have a lot of time to do cycle shopping, so I just go to Aldis. Do you have any suggestions for me?

    • Misty October 25, 2016 at 8:23 am #

      Aldi’s is a great place to shop in general Julie. Good prices generally. But cycle shopping shouldn’t take any more time than regular shopping. You just pick up a few extra of whatever is on sale when you are then. Then, the next time you need that item – you don’t have to run to the store for it. After a few months, it should actually SAVE you time!

  4. Bonnie August 30, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

    Thank you so much for this information! We have our own “home store” and stock up when things go on sale. I HATE paying full price when I didn’t stock enough of that item! We downloaded an app for our smartphones called “list ease” that lets us keep track of our pantry inventory. It’s great in the fact that if hubby takes something from the pantry, he subtracts it on the app and it will show up on mine too because we are synced. It has come in handy at the store when something is on sale, and we can check to see how many we have at home of that item.
    Another thing that we have done is have a “till” for our home store. When we take something out, we put money in the till (if we can) so that when a sale comes along, we can use the till money to replenish the stock.
    Thank you again for all the wonderful information!!

    • Misty August 31, 2016 at 9:55 am #

      Those are fantastic tips Bonnie. I love the “til” idea!

  5. Janiece December 21, 2015 at 10:41 am #


    I hope you and your family are done well.

    Thank you for your website, and emails, they have helped me so much!

    I love your binder. I am starting little by little, and do not feel overwhelmed.

    I have shared this valuable information with like minded, close family members. Your time, and knowledge are unmeasurable treasures!

    I cannot say thank you enough for all the wonderful information you are giving.

    Janiece G

    • Misty December 21, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

      Oh Janiece! You made my day! Thank you for such a kind comment. I’m thrilled to know you’ve found the information I send helpful!

  6. Janine November 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    I found you through Pinterest and am so glad I did!
    Your website contains truly helpful information I can use on a daily basis. Actually yours is the most helpful site I’ve found altogether; whether I’m prepping or just putting food by for emergencies or use during the winter when my garden is done producing.
    I ordered a can consolidator and can’t wait to receive it so I can start getting my pantry in better order. I’ll be trying out some of your recipes soon too.
    Thanks again! Janine

    • Misty December 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

      Janine, thank you so much for your very kind comments. I apologize that i didn’t respond sooner. Somehow this comment missed me! I’m glad you have enjoyed the site!

  7. Miss Mona July 16, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    stumbled upon your site from pinterest and shared it on my FB page. Am a disabled veteran and I really appreciate the information you’ve put together! Even though my children are grown and away from home, it still looks like a great plan to help properly stock my pantry for whatever/whomever may come and any tips on saving money is a big bonus! Kudos to you!!

  8. Sarah November 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Thank you so much for all this info. I really appreciate you taking the time away from you family to put this together for all of us! I also have noticed, here in Texas, water is SUPER cheat in the summer. Like 50 cents for a 3L bottle. That is when we stock up. Just an FYI…

    • Misty November 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

      Thanks for the tip Sarah!

  9. Kate November 5, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    Wow. That sounds very interesting! Thanks for sharing!
    I have a question: do you have a budget for all the other things – for example cleaning products etc – would love to read about it! Thanks!

    • Misty November 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

      I’m not exactly sure what you are asking….cleaning supplies are most often at their best price in January and March. Is that what you were wondering or something else?

  10. Anne March 28, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Thanks so much! Very specific with items. I am also looking for a list toiletries sales cycles. Any suggestions?

    • Misty March 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

      You are welcome Anne! Personally, I never followed toiletry cycles as closely as I regularly found them for free / next to free at drugstores year round. My favorite drug store is Riteaid and my favorite site for helping you learn how to really shop Riteaid is “For the Mommas” You can find it here:

  11. Sharon Woike March 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    Thats Amazing! Great to know. Printing this ASAP!!! Thanks 🙂

    • Misty March 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

      Glad you found it useful Sharon!

  12. Deanna February 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    What a great post! Thank you for sharing such valuable info!

    • Misty February 18, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

      You are welcome Deanna! Thanks for stopping by!

  13. [email protected] January 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    What a great resource! Pinning this! 🙂

    • Misty January 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

      Thank you Marci! I really appreciate that!

  14. Marcia January 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Wow. What great information. Thank you so much for the heads up!

    • Misty January 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

      Of course Marcia! Thanks for saying thank you!