Extreme Couponing Strategy #14 – Buy In Season
One of the Best Extreme Couponing Strategies for saving money is actually one of the easiest, any great Extreme Couponer will tell you that they only buy items that are on sale, and that applies to non-coupon items as well. Items like Meat, Produce, Dairy, Vegetables and more all have seasons where they are cheaper than other times of the year. Learning to buy and use items that are in season will save you so much money because you’re letting mother nature dictate your shopping list rather than your habits.
Everyone pretty much knows that there are items that are cheaper during specific times of the year, however not everyone trains themselves to buy these items with the seasons rather than just depending on habits and a shopping list.
One of the first rules of couponing is “Buy What’s On Sale” I want you to train yourself to look for the sales when making your list and weekly menu plan. Don’t depend on your families eating habits to dictate your shopping list, you can fall into the trap of buying higher priced items just because they are on your list rather than switching to less expensive substitutes.
Produce is a great example of Seasonality. I always use the example of Strawberries, there are times in the year I can get Strawberries for $0.99 a lb. and My family will go through a Lot of Strawberries at that price. However, there are also times in the year when Strawberries are close to $2.98 or more a lb. That’s almost 3 times the price I can get them during the summer months when they are in season. When Strawberries go out of season I look for other options that my family still likes, for example Apples and Oranges are always cheaper in the fall and winter months. Those are great times to pick up Apples and Oranges on sale instead of Strawberries because of the price difference.
My family quickly learned that we don’t buy something just because we want it. Sure, my kids may ask for Strawberries in the middle of December, but I just let them know that Strawberries are expensive right now and we’re going to pick out something that’s on sale. They know the rules by now and they are typically happy to eat Bananas, Oranges, Apples or whatever fruit is on sale that week. By letting the seasons and sales guide our shopping list we save a lot of money on items like Meat and Produce which can quickly eat up your weekly budget.
Other items that have big seasonality are items that are weather related. Items like Soups, Stews, and Chili are Cold Weather foods so those tend to go on sale more during the fall and winter months. Items like Hot Dogs, Barbecue Sauce, Mustard, Ketchup and other condiments are typically tied to Summer Grilling so these items will start going on sale late spring into early Summer.
Holiday Items are also another great item to watch for when you’re shopping by the seasons. Baking supplies like Flour, Sugar, Butter, Pie Crust and more tend to be on sale around Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Those are the best times to stock up on these baking supplies for a few months because stores are marking things down in preparation for the holidays.
If you haven’t taken the time to download the 2013 Buying Guide you can get Exclusive Access to our 2013 Passion For Savings Buying Guide when you Sign Up for the Passion For Savings Daily Email Newsletter! The link to the buying guide will be sent to you as soon as you confirm your email address!!!!
The Buying Guide is formatted by month and it will give you the best deals and sales to watch for each month. This is a great way to get an idea of what items are on sale each season! You can check out the What to Buy in April Post to get a look at the best deals I expect to see in the month of April.
Don’t Forget: You can Download the Stockpiling Price Sheet to see all of the estimated prices you could expect to pay for the basic items we buy each month. There is also a place to compare unit pricing. This is just a guide, but a great way to help you learn the prices of each item.
Tomorrow we will be talking about another strategy for getting the most out of your coupons!
View all the posts in the Extreme Couponing Strategies series.