Stock Up on Groceries during Post-Holiday Clearance Sales

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Keep an eye open for clearance sales at your local grocery store next week. Many regular grocery items will be marked down to amazing prices making for a great time to stock up.

In no way do I want to detract from Christmas itself. But, at the same time, I do want to alert you to the fact that Monday and the early part of next week will be great days to grocery shop. NOT because the regular sales will be great, but because the clearance racks will be.

You may think that only Christmas-y items go half-price after Christmas, but you’d be wrong. All kinds of food and food-related items are packaged for the holidays. And since marketers never want “out of season” items on the shelves, those are unloaded quickly — to make room for Valentine’s Day.

Here’s the short list of things I bought last year on December 26th or 27th:

  • butter: $1.24/pound
  • fresh cranberries: $0.59/lb
  • cranberry sauce: $0.42/can
  • canned organic pumpkin: $0.50/can
  • boxed stuffing mix: $0.50/box
  • heavy duty aluminum foil (with snowmen on the box): $1/roll
  • holiday cake mixes: $0.30/can
  • holiday frosting and decorations: $0.40/can
  • Starbucks “Christmas” coffee blends: $2/bag
  • paper plates: $0.25/package

Please note that I did check expiration dates on all items. In most cases, I had up to a YEAR to use the items I purchased.

Get a discount on items to use all year long.

This year, I noticed that several grocery brands are offering holiday themed packaging. This means that the stores will want to move it asap. They will most likely start discounting it at 50% and then increase the discount as they diminish their supplies.

Products you might consider?

  • baking items: use them creatively through the year
  • seasonal fruits, like canned pumpkin or cranberry products
  • wraps and foils, like ziploc bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap
  • some dairy products, like butter or egg nog
  • surplus turkeys, hams, and roasts
  • party platters of meats, cheeses, or vegetables
  • and, of course, cookies, cakes, and candies that you might be able to store and repurpose for future events  (check expiration dates)

You will be pleasantly surprised at how you can build a frugal pantry by stocking up on food items after the holidays.

What’s been your experience with post-holiday grocery clearance racks?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Rebecca says

    Oh thanks I never really thought about this but I certainly will now. Last year after Christmas my local Aldi had ham not spiral but the regular any size for $5. I just got one because I didn’t have the room but a friend of mine got 8! Thanks for the heads up.

    • Jessica says

      @Rebecca, an idea if you have little pockets of space would be to carve the ham into diced and steaks prior to freezing. You might have more space that way.

      • Emily says

        @Jessica, many grocery stores have a meat counter person who can shave or cut meat for you. We can even request some in steaks, some shaved for sandwiches, and some in a roast here. 🙂 Then when I get home, it takes a few minutes to wrap & put the individual servings into zip-top bags and freeze. Makes using it later a lot easier! Good luck! 🙂

  2. Jane says

    The last two weeks I’ve found 1 pound packages of sandwich meat for 99 cents! They were a week away from expiring…so I put them in the freezer when I got home. I’m now fully stocked on turkey and ham!

    • Beth in OH says

      @Jane, That’s something I’m always on the lookout for. I love finding clearanced food or other grocery items. Last year I bought a dozen single rolls of Halloween theme paper towels for 75% off the day after spooknight. Who cares what the paper towel looks like when you’re wiping up a spill, right?

  3. Laura says

    I’m always on the lookout but havent found deals like yours. organic pumpkin for $0.50 and butter for that prince? I’d probably let out a yell in the store I’d be so excited! 🙂 “Sale” price of butter these days is $2.50.

  4. Shannon L says

    I love finding deals and stocking up my freezer but I always had trouble knowing how how long the item was good after it thawed. I use a marker to label how many days until the expiration date before I freeze it. For example, if I have a gallon milk on markdown. It expires Dec 25 but I put it in the freezer on Dec 20. I have five days to use it before it expires. So I mark 5 Days on the carton before I put it in the freezer. That way when I pull it out on Jan 1, my new “expiration date” is Jan 6.

  5. Stacy says

    I really love after Christmas clearance! I get so many great things for all year long. Most people shop BEFORE Christmas….I shop after. 🙂
    Just don’t tell people you bought it last year – especially if it’s food – they get all weird. 😉

  6. P Reis says

    Wow, I’ll have to add this to my list of deal hunts after Xmas! Thanks for the great tip! One question: can you freeze butter? Or do you just buy what you know what you can use?

    • Jessica says

      @P Reis, yes, you can freeze butter. 🙂 It has a very long shelf life in the freezer. And I didn’t even come close to clearing Target’s shelves. They had sooooooooo much of it.

  7. Amy says

    It’s a family tradition, we live in a rural area and after Christmas morning we head up to the city and stay the night at a hotel and hit all the after Christmas sales at as many stores as we can! We usually spend an entire day or two shopping! When we were teenagers my parents even cut way back on the presents and just gave us money to spend on sales. Lol This is when I get pretty much all my Christmas shopping done for the next year. I never really looked at food items/aluminum foil/etc much though, well aside from candy. This year I will be sure to!! 😀

    • Amy says

      @Amy, Oh, and another thing I always buy after holidays that’s on sale is underwear! Lol

    • Jessica says

      @Amy, Sounds very fun!

  8. We don’t have that many good clearance right away, but i have gotten some great deals after Christmas! Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Karen Freeman says

    What grocery stores do you find these deals at?

    • Jessica says

      Last year I found these specifically at Target, CVS, and my Kroger affiliate.

  10. Michele says

    Can you freeze egg nog?

    • Erika says

      Yes, you can freeze Egg Nog, I do all the time. My kids go thru so much of it. You just have to shake it when it is thawed.

  11. I bought 3 bags of Reese’s Cups and 2 bags of M&M’s at Wal Mart today for $1.24 each {I probably had a coupon if it didn’t expire, but I didn’t have them with me.}. These will be great for some baking in the next few weeks and we love M&M’s in our popcorn! I also got some treat bags really cheap today to use for cookie swaps next year. I’m hoping to make a trip to Target this week, as they usually have the best clearance stuff. I went right before closing on a Friday night and got eggs for 50 cents a dozen once.

    • Jessica says

      Target was slim pickings today. It was as if they had read my post. Ralphs (Kroger) was much better.

  12. Anne says

    Great idea! And you’d be surprised at the stores that have groceries on clearance… I found Ghirardelli baking bars and chocolate chips at Michaels today, half off. I grabbed as many as I could afford!

    • Jessica says

      @Anne, great tip. Thank you! I was there on the 26th, but didn’t think to look!

  13. Twila says

    I do this all year long. I never pay full price for meat. Has to be on clearance or sale for me to buy. Our budget is just too tight as for the butter I pay only 1.89 retail at Alde’s you can’t beat there real butter. I have been using it for years. I have my stores for certain products. If it is clearance and I don’t like the meat at that store then it is not a bargain. I want value for my money not just savings. Coupons and sales are an awesome combo. But I have changed the way we eat in our house so coupons are not used that much any longer. Fresh usually doesn’t have a coupon.

    • Jessica says

      @Twila, sounds like you’re a pro. Thanks for the tips!

  14. Ashley says

    Geez! No such deals exist at my local grocery store (Pick N Save!). Butter was back up to $3.50/lb for the store brand!

    • Jessica says

      @Ashley, well, this was unsalted. And they just had too much, so they had to move it. Keep your eyes open, though. I think these deals happen more often than we think.

  15. Sarah in Alaska says

    I love this tip.

    We had Halloween candy in our stockings…I bought the bag Dec 17th, I was agast when I recognized the packaging as “halloween” even though the only indication was that the peanut butter snickers wrappers were orange. I was pleased when it rang up 75% off.

    My stores don’t usually mark things down more than 30% the first week after holidays. And shopping on Christmas Eve for perishables, the shelves were actually bare.

  16. sona says

    No such prices in our area in Michigan

  17. sharon says

    couple of years ago i picked up chocolate covered cherries for 20 cents/box. picked up about 50 boxes…resold half of them in my store for $2.00/box (in about a week) and froze/ate/gave away the rest. They made great valentine day gifts repacked in a different container 🙂
    Have also picked up turkey oven bags for about 25 cents/2 bags in a box about a week after Thanksgiving. Was SO sad when those ran out!

  18. Sheri says

    I have been buying the “holiday” cake mixes after every holiday throughout the year when I see them marked down to $0.50. On the box they appear to have holiday colored sprinkles mixed into a white cake mix, but most of the time the sprinkles are in a different packet. So I just leave them out and I have a cheap white cake that I can use for birthdays year round.

  19. Christan says

    I purchased several brining bags for $0.50 each last year. I also got several cans of pumpkin that I used throughout the year on various things. I also purchased canned whole cranberry sauce and used it to make orange/cranberry pork loin. Yum!

  20. Penny in LA says

    I stopped by my neighborhood Walmart neighborhood market last week and came upon Daily chef butter for .25 a pound ; Libby pumpkin for .25 a can and Bruce’s yams (lg can) for ..25 a can! I thought I won the lottery,!!!!

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