There’s an interesting thing that seems to happen every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The deals on groceries and household goods disappear. Instead of coupons and deals on cereal, diapers, and laundry detergent, you’ll see store ads brimming with “big savings” on televisions, jewelry and toys.
As merchants scramble to sell big ticket items for the peak gift-giving season, those of us trying to save on the everyday stuff will have to figure out a new strategy.
Plan your holiday grocery shopping now.
Do an inventory. Start by doing a complete inventory of what you have in your pantry, cupboards, and freezers. Be sure to check out the spice rack, too.
Plan meals around your inventory. I plan my menus on a weekly basis, but for the busy holiday season, you may want to plan out several weeks to a month in advance. Plan your family holiday entertaining (The $5 Dinner Mom’s Holiday Entertaining Guide can help!) so that you know what items you’ll need to buy.
Make a list. Make a list of the items you’ll need. Include all of your regular food staples (i.e. cereal, beans, bread, etc), as well as household goods like toilet paper. Pay special attention to the items you may not use all the time (like almond extract or molasses) so that you won’t run out of something in the middle of baking. If you’re planning to bring disposable bakeware to holiday parties and potlucks, you’ll need to add those things to your list, too.
Watch for sales and stock up. Pay close attention to the sales between now and Thanksgiving. Print those coupons and use the Favado app and Ibotta app to help you save. When you see a decent deal on items on your list, stock up! You’ll have a pantry and freezer full of everything you need, and best of all, you won’t have to do much shopping during the holidays.
Pay special attention to sales during the week or two before Thanksgiving. The week or so before Thanksgiving is when you will find the best deals of the season on baking items – especially pantry staples like flour and sugar, so make sure you buy enough to get you through the next couple of months (You can freeze flour in an airtight container!) This is also a great time to buy turkey, ham, and nicer cuts of beef, so be sure to fill your freezer. Watch for sales on apple cider, hot chocolate, coffee, and soda, and stock up for your next gathering. And don’t forget to stock up on cheese and crackers!
Don’t forget online shopping. While the grocery and household deals tend to dry up during the holidays, you should still keep an eye on online merchants like Amazon. You maybe able to find a deal on things you need without having to pay shipping or visit the store.
Plan your holiday grocery shopping now, and you’ll not only save money, you’ll save your sanity, too. While everyone is running around the stores trying to get their hands on roast beast, you could be snuggled on the couch watching a movie.
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