How to Stock Up & Save with the Sales Cycle

Posted: 04/22/13 5:00 AM (Modified: 04/22/13 5:00 AM)

Everyone always wants to know how to score the lowest prices on their grocery items. Actually, it's pretty easy to figure out. All of your favorite grocery items operate on a sales cycle. That means, your box of cereal might be full price this week but next week it will be on sale and two weeks after that, it will hit the rock bottom price.

That's what we're looking for, the rock bottom price. I usually tell people to do this by tracking. Get a piece of paper and every single time you walk into the grocery store, write down the price of your favorite cereal, bread or whatever. (You don't have to buy it, just write down the price.) Also, keep in mind, the cycle varies per store so be sure to keep the store prices on different sheets of paper. Start tracking for 6-8 weeks. It should look like this:

Item                  Week 1       Week 2       Week 3       Week 4       Week 5       Week 6       Week 7        Week 8

Pop Tarts           $2.99          $2.99         $1.99         $2.99          $1.50        $2.99         $2.99           $1.99

See the trend? This means your rock bottom price for Pop Tarts is $1.50 (just an example) and when you see that price, it is time to stock up but only until the item goes on sale again (no need to stockpile Pop Tarts in your closet). If you've been keeping a good log, you'll know exactly when the price will drop again! 

I would not recommend charting every single thing you purchase but maybe the ones you buy every week and again, it does change by store. The point is, tracking the sales cycle will help you know the difference between the retail price, sales price and the rock bottom price plus, it will help you know when to stock up!


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