Knowing Your Grocery Store’s Sales Cycles Will Save You Hundreds

by Heather Cook
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Learning your grocery store’s sales rotation can be key to cutting grocery costs, but how do you go about doing it? You just need to use one simple tool that should be in every frugal shopper’s money-saving arsenal.

It may seem counterintuitive to buy multiple products whilst on a budget, but I have found it to be very effective in lowering my overall grocery bill.

For clarity, I’m not referring to any product in multiples. Instead, I’m referring only to the product on sale that you are sure to use.

Knowing the appropriate time to take advantage of these sales is not difficult. It requires nothing more than keeping track via a price book.

Start a Price Book

You have options involved when choosing your price book.

Physical vs. Digital Price Books

The first is format; you can choose to use your own notebook or simply download an app. There are a number of apps to make this task more simplistic, some of which are completely free. Other apps charge a nominal fee, but may be better equipped for your particular needs. Be sure to read the app review and thoroughly research the functionality involved, so you can be sure to get the appropriate app for your purposes.

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How to Track Sale Prices With Your Price Book

For instance, let’s say that your favorite grocery store often has cheese for $4 a pound.

My family uses approximately a pound of cheese per week, so that would be $208 a year. I only buy cheese when it’s on sale for $1.99 a pound. That makes my total cheese expenditure around $103, which may seem like a paltry savings, but the savings on multiple products really starts to add up.

Knowing your store’s sales rotation will better equip you to stock up without overpaying. The price notebook or app will reveal your particular store’s prices and requires very little effort on your part.

I have found the apps to help my family save on everything we use consistently. Meat often goes on “sale” for twice as much as you can buy it for the next week. Being familiar with the bottom line price is important. Split chicken breasts go on sale frequently. That price is my stock up price. I don’t buy split chicken breast if it is higher than that.

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Start Slow with Loss Leaders

I suggest you start slow when beginning this adventure.

Pick a couple of the store’s loss leaders and buy enough to last you until the next sale. Loss leaders are the products that the store prices low in order to get you into the store. Your price book will be effective in helping you understand your store’s sales rotation.

Don’t Over Stock

As a quick word of caution, don’t over stock! It may seem like a fabulous idea to buy when it’s on sale, but it’s easy to buy too much. I overstocked shaving cream and ended up giving the vast majority away. If this was my original intention, that would have been fine, but I didn’t budget correctly and it ended up costing me more in the long run.

It’s hard to break your regular grocery habits, but starting slowly and learning your store’s sales rotation will save you hundreds of dollars each year.

Reviewed June 2022

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