Back in the day, the best prices for things were always AFTER an event so stores could get rid of surplus supply that didn’t sell – not so today…if you love “party foods,” right before the Superbowl is one of the best times of year to buy!
I know that “Party” weeks like this can stress out those on a budget – we’ve got our regular shopping and cooking to do, and all of a sudden there’s all this extra: Maybe food days at work, potlucks, parties, etc. Shift your mind to open up to the possibility that if you can focus on picking up items at a great price, and pick up extra, too, for future meals, you can, in the long run, come out ahead.
Think of this Holiday as being the last Grocery “party” until Easter – there’ll be a few minor events driving sales here and there before then (Valentines, St. Paddy’s) but they are generally sales that focus on a few key ingredients – yup, chocolate and corned beef…The Superbowl, as far as grocery sales, is one of the best times of year, other than summer, to pick up many items.
Note: During Valentine’s Day, I reviewed the sales at my store – I was perhaps a bit prematurely dismissive in this post! I found great sales on a number of items during Valentine’s week!
Not only are grocery stores competing for your food dollar, the food companies glut the market with coupons and combined with sale prices this can make a pretty sweet deal for you.
During the Superbowl Sales week, think Wings, Ribs, Pork Butt or Shoulder, Bacon, Sausages, Hot Dogs, Brats, Hamburger (along with pre-made meatballs and hamburger patties) and Charcoal and lighting fluid.
Chips n’ Dip of all sorts go on sale, and Crackers, along with other snacks. Buns, Hawaiian Bread, Cheese (everything from what I call “near Deli” cheese – the higher end goat cheese, Parmesan and feta to grocery cheese to Velveeta) Butter, Whipping Cream, Sour Cream, Dressings, all kinds of Pickles and Condiments and of course, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce are almost always on sale.
You’ll find Baked Beans on sale, and probably also other “party” foods like Olives and all kind of Nuts, and an assortment of seasonings and spices all on sale. Frozen specialty items like Pizzas, Snacks and Chicken Strips are usually at a pretty cheap price. Canned items like Rotel, Tomatoes and many Mexican foods like refried beans, Chipotle Peppers in Adobo along with the little cans of Green Chiles and Jalapeno are often at great prices. And of course, Salsas, Tortillas and Tortilla Chips.
You may find some of the Seafood that might normally be out of budget on sale – often shrimp and crab.
Leverage these prices, not just for your potluck dish or party, but think about how much and how often you’d like to eat these foods in the next couple of months. If you have a freezer, so much the better – stock up on chicken wings, for instance, at the best prices.
Several vegetables always seem to be on sale around the Superbowl: Avocados, Mushroom, Green Onion and Peppers (Bells, Poblanos, Jalapenos) and the fancier lettuces, Ice-berg, Cabbage (for slaw), Carrots and Celery – all things that translate easily to party food…and all things you can pick up for a song at a time of year when they are normally more expensive in many areas of the country! In other words, stock up on things like the bell peppers and make a point of using them over the next week or two in meals.
Pop (which I’ll translate to Soda for you Non-Minnesotans), Beer and other libations all go on sale. If you drink these things (and can “dole” them out over time) Superbowl week is a great time to stock up. I have to admit, in my household, if I were to buy a few packages of pop thinking the family might want to have one now and then, the next time I looked – they’d ALL be gone…I’d have to stash it somewhere weird like under a bed.
Around every “Holiday” you’ll find great prices on paper items like cups and plates, napkins, paper towels (which we never use) and of course, TP. If you’re into things like air fresheners and sprays, they’re often on sale, too. (I’ll save the lecture, here, but why are we so afraid our houses smell bad? Especially if they’re filled with friends and the smell of party food? I will say if they made air freshener that smelled like fresh bread or chocolate chip cookies I might cave…)
So whether or not you’re a football fan, or whether or not you’re going to or having a party, think of the Super Bowl as yet another “Food Holiday” when you can get some great prices for the week, or even better, to stock up at great prices for the next few months.
There is hardly any food more synonymous with the Super Bowl than Chicken Wings (Nachos and Chili rank up there, too.) With the glut of sales around, how do you know what is the best price. See my comparison of an ad and see how the sales stack up for Chicken Wings.
Cyclic Changes in the Market – What I call Man Made – Holidays
So many Holidays have great sales – while it “seems” to make sense sometimes to budget a set amount of money per week for food, food doesn’t cost the same every week! The amount of savings can be much greater if you can identify when to expect great sales on items, and what those items are and budget a bit extra for those weeks.
Then beat the grocer at their own game! Instead of passively being drawn into a store to pick up one or two specials and then buy whatever else you need for the week, buy as much as possible of the specials for the Holiday week and weeks or months beyond. Make up the rest of your meal from low priced staples and such you have “banked” at home. Of course, only buy what you can store and use in a reasonable time period.