As summer rolls in to fall there are a number of events that spark changes in the sale pricing of food, some a bit surprising. All can be considered Cyclic changes in the market. Cyclic changes are changes that happen on a rather predictable cycle. The period of time from the Labor day sales right up to the beginning of our Thanksgiving sales is a unique one, sparked by seasonal changes and our cycle of Holidays.
While some may consider seasonal shopping to be a no-brainer, there are a few surprises in store. And Holiday pricing often extends weeks prior to the Holiday itself, much to joy of some and chagrin of others, although at the grocery store these changes may be more subtle and easy to miss.
Fresh Vegetables & Fruits:
While items so popular in the summer are often still available, they begin to wane in quality and increase in pricing. In early Autumn, you’ll likely see great prices on broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, tomatillas, peppers and chilis as huge harvests are brought in and moved quickly. Stone fruits are often on sale to move quickly. By mid to late October, it’s a different story.
Potatoes and Onions are going to be at their absolute rock bottom prices, as will apples, pears, pomegranates, squashes, Brussels Sprouts. Turnips, rutabagas and beets will be plentiful. Cabbage, kale, spinach and other greens that enjoy cool weather and grow best in the spring and fall will be at great prices.
Moving into October, it’s likely the prices of these items will start to rise a bit and the quality begins to fall. Many summer vegetables will remain about the same pricing, too, but the sizes and bundles are smaller.
Frozen Vegetables & Fruits:
There is a “season” even for frozen vegetables and fruits. Coupons and sales begin happening in abundance in early fall, and while there will still be sporadic great sales though out the winter, by spring they wane and become fewer.
Keeping this in mind, a good couponer with a freezer may very well be able to stock up for the year. Be especially careful of flimsy packaging (usa a Ziploc to bulk it up)and avoid vegetables that have obviously thawed and refrozen. If the package is mangled or the items frozen together or in chunks, avoid them.
Even canned vegetables are at a low during the fall! Start to pick up items that are at a great price: Tomatoes & tomato products will often be at the lowest price of the year, as will others vegetables, pie fillings, etc. When rock bottom pricing for an item hits the grocery store, buy for the year.
Begin looking for dried fruits in early Autumn and watch for coupons and sales. It’s very likely the best pricing for these will be prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Pork & Pork Products:
Fall is absolutely the best time to buy fresh pork – not only have the animals reached the size for the fall slaughter, there is a huge amount of pressure to process them during the fall in order to produce ham for the Christmas and Easter holidays. You’ll find pork shoulders, loins, ribs, fresh sausages on sale at the lowest pricing of the year. A person couldn’t go wrong with picking up and freezing what they might estimate they’ll eat until next season.
While not as driven as the pork market, there will be some reasonable pricing. Chuck roast is often at a lower price than through the summer, and sporadic sales will be found on many other cuts. Cherry pick these sales and freeze what makes sense for your family.
Grains, pulses, beans, legumes, rices, etc.
These items will be falling in price, although the lowest pricing will likely to be prior to Thanksgiving. Beans are often at their best pricing right after a big holiday, and are often not advertised.
Many canned goods (including canned vegetables) are at their lowest price of the year in the fall! Think annually through out the season, know what a good price is and use coupons!
Holiday Sales & Hollowe’en:
While there are many Religious & Declared Holidays in the early fall & up to Thanksgiving (more on Thanksgiving in another post) few have as much impact as Holloween. Cities with groceries and markets serving specific populations will respond to the religious and ethnic holidays in a way the big chains won’t, though. Holloween sales begin in early September when coupons start coming out for candy and popcorn.
- While Holloween used to mean just candy, as more families are throwing parties and get togethers, the grocery stores are slowly responding.
- Look for good prices on “party” type foods in the week before Hollloween, as well as some great prices on Chocolate chips and other baking items. Ground beef is often at a low price as well as cheese, chips, dips, etc. Popcorn is often heavily discounted, and buying a bag or a jar, and enough to last the family for the year is the way to go from a frugal standpoint.
- Candy, of course is the biggest seller of the season – thinking outside the box can lead you to great prices: Watch for coupons from early September on and use your Coupon Matching sites to purchase at a great discount. Pick up bags of candy (which can be used for baking and desserts) in the days after Holloween.
- Recipes for goodies and cakes made with Holloween candy is only a google search away!
I’ll be posting more on the Thanksgiving sales, which overlap, in part, the Fall sales. In the meantime, clip coupons and watch your Coupon Matching sites.
The Best Food Holidays, What’s on Sale and What to Buy!
- Happy Valentine’s Day Sales
- Saving on St. Patrick’s Day
- Easter and Lent, Leveraging the Sales
- Cinco de Mayo – It makes Cents to Save
- Mother’s Day Sales
- Summer Holidays
- Back to School Sales – Not just for school anymore
- Super Bowl Savings