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)
Where to find the deals
IN THE PRODUCE DEPARTMENT
Items like fresh cranberries and veggie trays, as well as more gourmet items, get marked down this week, maybe even before Christmas. I’ve found large organic trays of veggies for five bucks and cranberries as low as $0.42/bag! These are great prices and worthy of stocking up on. There are lots of things that you can do with that veggie tray. Bags of cranberries can be tossed in the freezer as is. Use them when you’re ready.
IN THE DAIRY SECTION
Whipping cream, butter, egg nog, cream cheese, eggs: these are all seasonally popular items that the store has probably been pushing for the last few weeks. But, depending on the sell by dates instituted by the manufacturer, the store may need to unload these quick. Check for markdowns and don’t be afraid to ask for a discount if something is close to the date.
For the record, butter and cream cheese can both be frozen, so feel free to buy as much as you can store. One year, I got gourmet butter for a buck fifty a pound!
IN THE COFFEE AISLE
That Holiday Blend? Well, some stores will unload things fast if they have holiday packaging. Keep your eyes peeled.
And I don’t even have to mention that you can pick up some cute mugs while you’re at it.
IN THE WRAPS AND PACKAGING
The plastics companies add all kinds of holiday designs to their plastic wraps, bags, and boxes at this time of year. Now’s the time to stock up on that holiday ware that didn’t move. I’ve bought freezer bags for 50 cents a box. My freezer doesn’t care if they have Christmas trees on them. Buy enough to last the year if you’ve got the storage space.
Stroll through the aisles of your store during a quiet hour. Take your time. Look around. You’ll be surprised what other great “holiday” deals lurk that you can use next week instead of next year. Holiday baking supplies can often be repurposed for the Valentine’s Day and birthdays. Holiday candies can be chopped and baked into cookies or blended into blizzards.
Consider how you can repurpose the “holiday” items you see. You’ll save a few pennies and stretch your creativity.
You will be pleasantly surprised at how you can build a frugal pantry by stocking up on food items after the holidays.