Timing Your Purchases to the Grocery Cycle

Guide to Save on Groceries       Timing Your Purchases to the Grocery Cycle
Every time you visit the grocery store it may feel like good luck when you find a sale – especially on items you intended to buy anyway. Is there a rhyme or reason for when grocery store products go on sale? Well, it depends on the store and the product category – as well as supply chain issues that might affect what’s available where you live.

What is the Grocery Cycle?

Grocery stores typically buy in 6-week cycles, so when the time comes for new products to arrive, the old products must go. Discounts from the retailer, and cash back rewards from the manufacturer (available on Ibotta) are two ways to identify that a product is at the end of the sales cycle. In some cases, for evergreen products, new stock simply replaces old. Before you buy, always check the expiration date to be sure a product isn’t past expiration. You can typically plan for these sales by noting when sales on your favorite items occur, and then safely guessing they’ll be on sale again in six weeks. After keeping an eye out for sales, you may learn that your favorite store’s sales cycle may be longer or shorter than 6 weeks. For seasonal items, products from one season make room for another. This may include snacks around Super Bowl Sunday, or holiday items which are typically removed from shelves soon after a holiday passes. Keep an eye out for closeout aisles or displays which vary location by store. Beyond traditional holidays (Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc.) there are retail holidays like Back to School, Spring Cleaning, and New Year’s Resolutions (health foods and exercise products), plus cultural holidays like Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, and Chinese New Year that stores regularly cycle through and also go on sale at season’s end.