Smart shopping: buying groceries with the seasons

Many grocery stores follow an annual sale schedule, selling groceries at deep discounts when they are in season. By identifying seasonal sales, you can plan your meals and stockpile non-perishables when prices are low.

Smart shopping: buying groceries with the seasons

Seasonal produce

Produce hits its lowest prices of the year, naturally, when the item is in season. When fresh fruits and vegetables are easily accessible, their prices plummet. Planning your meals around in-season fruits and vegetables can save you money at the grocery store.

  • For example, during the summer months, opt for fruits such as apricots, blueberries, cherries and honeydew.
  • Corn, green and yellow beans, and asparagus are spring and summer produce.
  • Fresh fruits that are in season during the winter months include kiwi and oranges.
  • Fall and winter vegetables include artichokes and Brussels sprouts.

Sales cycles for pantry items

Grocery stores put in-demand non-perishable items on sale right before or during the time of year when they are most used. Understanding these sales cycles allows you to stock up when prices on pantry staples hit rock bottom.

  • For example, the holiday season and baking go hand in hand. As a result, baking supplies typically drop in price during the last few months of the year. Flour, sugar, vanilla, pie fillings, oats, chocolate chips, evaporated milk and other baking staples are best purchased during this time of year.
  • After the holidays, when everyone resolves to be healthier, diet foods are often available at lower prices.
  • In the summer, outdoor dining and barbecuing foods are often at low prices. Barbecue sauces, condiments and marinades are typically at discounted prices when the weather warms up.
  • When the kids go back to school, foods perfect to fit in kids' lunch boxes are on sale, such as pudding cups, cold cereal and individually packaged snacks.

Pairing in-season produce with discounted pantry staples can result in significant savings at the grocery store. By understanding seasonal sales cycles, you can keep your kitchen well stocked, your table laden with healthy meals and your wallet padded with some extra cash, all thanks to smart and savvy grocery shopping.

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