Memorial Day – it’s really the start of the summer seasonal sales, and you’ll see many of the same items during the other big summer Holidays, Father’s Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. Then summer’s over, so stock up on the pantry items, pick up your meats and proteins and freeze so you’ll be eating sales priced food through the summer and beyond. Buy condiments, too, at the best prices of the year.
If the holiday is on a Monday, you’ll see two sales – the week before and special Sunday or Monday only sales. Save a bit out of your budget for both.
Proteins – think of anything you can grill – it’ll likely be on sale.
- Beef: You’ll find some of the lowest prices of the year on steaks and hamburger. Pick up extra and freeze.
- Pork: Look for pork tenderloin and now and then you’ll find pork shoulder and a few specialty cuts of pork chops.
- Various items: Ribs, both pork and beef, hot dogs, brats, & sausages will be at their all time lows. You’ll probably find a few great, intermittent sales on bacon – you need to wrap those steaks, right?
- Fish: Generally, look for some great prices on a few select types of fresh fish – especially Salmon, but canned tuna, for some reason is usually on sale, too.
- Seafood: Some fresh and some frozen seafood may be on sale, shrimp and scallops are often on sale in my area..
- Lunch meats and deli meats are usually on sale.
Fruits and Vegetables – I find that there are sales on a lot of items that aren’t seasonal yet, so be mindful of the quality. If it’s good, splurge on it!
- Berries – they’re always lowest at the summer holidays – buy some for your desserts and shortcakes, but also think about picking up a quantity if they’re good and freezing for things like smoothies, sauces and cobblers.
- Corn – It’s on sale at our store whether it’s ripe or not. You know, you don’t have to open them to pick an ear – just press near the top under the tassel and you can feel if it’s good. It lasts longer unwrapped, but it’s convenient to remove the husks if your store has a big box there.
- Watermelon – another item often on sale that may or may not be good! If it’s Memorial day in my area, I’ll just wait until later in the summer. But again, if they’re good, think about buying more than one at the lowest sale prices. They’ll generally last a week or two in a cool place.
- Salad Items – Always on sale during Holiday weeks. If you see great prices on items that are longer lasting, like bell peppers, get extra. Tomatoes are generally at a low, and the sale can sometimes be hedged a bit – pick up ripe ones and a few that need to sit out to fully ripen for the following week.
- Vidalia onions – are often on sale, and last for several weeks.
Condiments: Definitely think of picking up quantities to last the year during the summer holidays. You’ll rarely find better sales on things like ketchup, mustard, marinades, pickle relish, mayo, and also things like hot sauce, A 1, Worcestershire, barbecue sauce, etc. Don’t forget things like ice cream toppings, etc.
- Buns are on sale and sometimes dinner rolls. You can freeze bread for up to three months if you have the room, thaw out overnight in the fridge.
- Shortcakes – Always on sale during holidays, but we like the old-fashioned short-cake biscuits.
- Ice Cream cones – if you have cones throughout the summer, pick them up. Make sure you seal any opened ones in a Ziploc.
- King’s Hawaiian rolls – they’re a beloved item here in Minnesota and are almost always on sale during every holiday.
Dairy: A few things will be on sale during every holiday.
- Cream Cheese – generally not as low as Easter, it will usually be on sale during almost every summer holiday. It keeps for months, so if you’re like me and are in charge of bringing dessert to almost every pot luck gathering through the summer, think cheese cake and pick up extra.
- Butter – there may or may not be a great price on butter, but if there is pick it up – you won’t find better prices until Thanksgiving.
- Whipping Cream – usually I’ll find whipping cream on sale, often unadvertised. It keep, unopened in the fridge for weeks, so if you’ll be making items during the summer that call for it, but it during the holiday.
- Whipped Topping – generally I’ll see great prices on things like cool whip and reddi whip, although they aren’t items that I generally use.
- Ice Cream and “Novelties” – of course you’ll see great prices on almost all the ice creams, bars, etc. If you’re going to buy them, but them cheap, and hide them in the back of the freezer!
- Cheese slices – packaged. I have to say I don’t recommend these, but if you use them, pick them up on the holiday sales – they never go bad and they’re always at their cheapest. I just hate them on general principle, so don’t mind me…
- Cheese – other cheeses you’ll generally find on sale are what I call the “near” deli cheeses – located near the deli – the producers generally offer coupons now and then, and they’re often on sale at deep discounts around any summer holiday – sometimes buy one, get on free.
- Canned beans – if you use, stock up for the year.
- Ice Cream Cones – you’ll find the best prices during holiday weeks.
- Pop – always on sale every holiday.
- Chips – some of the best prices of the year, generally on sale during every holiday.
- Baking Items – you’ll see a little drop in the prices of flour, sugar, chips, but it generally doesn’t drop to near the prices of Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Crackers – usually on sale during any holiday, you’ll often find coupons, too.
- Look for the lowest prices of the year on paper plates and napkins, cups, etc. If you use these for occasions and parties through out the year, buy them now in a large enough quantity to last. You’ll often see sales at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the prices are pretty much at an all time low during the summer.
- Aluminum Foil – especially the heavy-duty is cheapest during the summer, and coupons abound. Buy for the year.
- Cling Wrap and storage bags are usually on sale during every holiday.
- Charcoal – when you buy a bag for your cookout, be sure to pick up enough at the sale prices to last you – store in a cool, dark place where it’s not damp.
- Toilet Paper – look for some of the best prices of the year during Memorial Day and Labor day – Labor Day especially, for some reason. I often pick up enough to last our household for awhile if the sale price is great.
You’ll find the lowest prices on beer and other festive libations right before Holiday weeks.
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.
- 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
- Saving on Memorial Day, Father’s Day, the Fourth & Labor Day
- Back to School Sales – Not just for school anymore
- Fall Savings & Hallowe’en
- Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Savings
- Super Bowl Savings
Links for The Twelve Strategies:
- Strategy One: Bank Your Foods
- Strategy Two: Pay Attention to the Bottom Line
- Strategy Three: Control Costs – Maximize “Profits” and Minimize Losses
- Strategy Four: Take Advantage of Cyclic Changes in the Market
- Strategy Five: Be an Investor, not a Gambler
- Strategy Six: Give Back to the Community
- Strategy Seven: Have a Business Plan
- Strategy Eight: Invest in Training
- Strategy Nine: Know the Products you Buy
- Strategy Ten: Know your Suppliers
- Strategy Eleven: Take Advantage of Special Offers & Incentives
- Strategy Twelve: Use Sound Investment Principles
If you made it this far, what am I missing, guys? What bargains do you look for in this extended Holiday season?