We’ve all been there. You run out of cereal, toilet paper, or paper towels, so you head to the store to buy it at full price, only to see it on sale the next week! The good news is that if you know when the best time is to stock up on those essentials (thanks to annual sales cycles), you can avoid that situation. And we’re here to help!
Here are the best items to buy each month…
January is National Oatmeal Month, so watch for big sales and coupons on Quaker products! These products generally have a great shelf life, so it’s awesome to stock up on these items if you find a bargain. Speaking of oatmeal, have you tried these energy bites?
Also, Super Bowl Sunday generally falls in January (or the beginning of February), so watch for deals on soda, chips, dips, cheeses, chicken, snack foods, televisions, and team apparel.
Other things to buy in January:
- Bedding: Linens and sheets during white sales.
- Christmas Clearance: Trees, ornaments, wrapping paper, lights, home decor, gift sets, etc.
- Diet Aids: Gym memberships, scales, workout clothes, yoga mats, weights, treadmills, vitamins, protein shakes, supplements, diet foods.
- Home Organization: Closet systems, tote bins, shelving, etc.
- Medications: Cold and flu products, thermometers, vitamins, probiotics.
- New Year’s Party Supplies: Noisemakers, fireworks, paper goods, wines, and sparkling juices.
- Seasonal Produce: Everything citrus (oranges, grapefruit, tangerines), as well as some root vegetables, avocado, cabbage, broccoli, pears, spinach, celery, kiwi, cauliflower, kale, collards.
- Toys: In January, Target and Walmart usually have their toy clearance events and mark items 70-90% off, making for huge savings!
- Winter Clothing
February is National Canned Food Month AND National Hot Breakfast month, so look for sales on canned fruits and vegetables, pie fillings, soups, meats like tuna, chicken, salmon – as well as oatmeal, grits, waffle mixes, syrup, breakfast meats, frozen hash browns, and other hot breakfast items.
In addition, February is when Chinese New Year starts, so you’ll often find nice deals on Asian foods and condiments. And don’t forget about Valentine’s Day when you’ll find all sorts of chocolates, condoms, lubricants, chocolate, perfume, wines, chocolate, flowers, candles, steak, seafood, cheeses – and did I mention CHOCOLATE?!
Other things to buy in February:
- Boats and Motorcycles
- Furniture: Mattresses, recliners, some large appliances, sofas, air conditioners, humidifiers.
- Seasonal Produce: Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, grapefruit, kale, oranges, parsnips, pears, potatoes, turnips, kiwi, avocado.
- Winter clothing and sports equipment: Coats, ski equipment, and more.
- Zoo, Aquarium, and Museum Memberships
March is Frozen Food Month where many grocers have stock up sales on all things frozen – including frozen meals and entrees, pizza, fruits and veggies, side dishes, juice concentrates, ice cream and other frozen treats and desserts, chicken, and more!
Also, March 7th is National Cereal Day, so you’ll likely find lots of great sales on hot and cold cereals!
Other things to buy in March:
- Cleaning supplies (think spring cleaning!)
- Digital Cameras and Equipment
- Golf Clubs
- Seasonal Produce: Artichokes, asparagus, Haas avocado, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, fennel, kale, leek, lemon, lime, mushrooms, spring onions, oranges, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, tangerines.
- Spring/Easter: Decorations, baskets, candy, ham, eggs and egg dying kits, gift sets, dresses, and accessories.
- Winter Clearance: Snow shovels, skis, and sleds.
- Winter Clothes
April is usually the month when Easter hits, and that means great sales on eggs! Usually, this is the only time of year when we have seen coupons for eggs that pair nicely with sales at various stores. After Easter is over, look for clearance on non-food items, such as baskets, grass, egg dying kits, stickers, and decorations, that you can put away for next year!
Also, Earth Day falls in April, which means great deals on organic foods, natural cleaning products, reusable bags, and water bottles, CFL and LED lighting, and even in-store promotions (check out our previous Earth Day deals).
And, don’t forget about Tax Day! This is when restaurants offer lots of freebies and deals to help make the day a little easier. In the past, we’ve seen completely free chips & queso, free cookies, and more.
Other things to buy in April:
- Allergy Medications
- Beauty Products
- Digital Cameras
- National Car Care Month Deals and Freebies
- Seasonal Produce: Artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, grapefruit, mushrooms, onions, peas, rhubarb, strawberries.
- Spa Week
- Spring Gardening: Gardening equipment, seeds, greenhouses, bird feeders.
With so many cool holidays in May, you’ll find various sales to help you celebrate those events!
For Cinco de Mayo, watch for deals on chips, salsa, shredded cheeses, tortillas, beans, piñatas, and other related items that are perfect for whipping up your favorite Cinco de Mayo recipes.
Around Mother’s Day, watch for deals on flowers, perfume, gift sets, chocolate, jewelry, and other things that mom would like. Plus, this is usually when gardening supplies start to go on sale, so if your mom has a green thumb, you can generally find some nice sales on these items. Also, restaurants offer lots of awesome freebies and deals for moms on Mother’s Day!
Finally, around Memorial Day is when you’ll see sales on barbecues, charcoal, burgers and hot dogs, buns, chips, disposable plates and utensils, ketchup and mustard, chips, soda, popsicles, and more!
Other things to buy in May:
- Baby Supplies: Highchairs and strollers.
- Interior and Exterior Paint and Stains
- Pet Supplies -This is also a great month to consider adopting an animal from your local shelter. They’re usually overrun with kittens in the Spring.
- Seasonal Produce: Artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beans, green beans, beets, blackberries, carrots, sweet Vidalia onions, peas, new potatoes, raspberries, strawberries.
- Summer Supplies: Sunscreen, insect repellent, etc.
Did you know that June is National Dairy Month? Keep your eyes peeled for rare savings on milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, eggs, whipping cream, and Cool Whip at your local grocery store.
Plus, Father’s Day falls in June, which means you can score deals for the guy in your life – think tools, ties, briefcases, beer, etc. Also, restaurants offer lots of awesome freebies and deals for dads on Father’s Day, including free food, sweet treats, photo prints, and more!
Other things to buy in June:
- Fourth of July Items: Toward the end of the month, you can score big on barbecue supplies, charcoal, burgers and hot dogs, buns, chips, disposable plates and utensils, ketchup and mustard, chips, soda, Popsicles, etc.
- Indoor Furniture
- Seasonal Produce: Apricots, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, honeydew, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, raspberries, red onions, squash, strawberries, sweet Vidalia onions, tomatoes, watermelons.
- Summer Sports Gear: Exercise equipment and sports attire.
July is National Ice Cream Month – my favorite! This means that you’ll often find sales on frozen treats, cones, toppings, and even deals at your local ice cream shop. Speaking of ice cream, have you tried this cake batter ice cream recipe?
Also, the Fourth of July naturally means deals on fireworks, barbecue supplies, charcoal, burgers and hot dogs, buns, chips, disposable plates and utensils, ketchup and mustard, chips, soda, and more.
Other things to buy in July:
- Amazon Prime Day deals
- Back-to-School Supplies: This is when supplies begin to go on sale with great sales!
- Home Improvement: Now is the time to upgrade your deck and siding, as well as purchasing interior and exterior paints and stains.
- Seasonal Produce: Asian pears, Bartlett pears, green beans, blueberries, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, figs, garlic, grapes, nectarines, red onions, Valencia oranges, peaches, sweet bell peppers, plums, potatoes, summer squash, tomatoes, watermelon.
With the end of summer hitting and the beginning of school starting in August, watch for great clearance deals on summer items (think sunscreen, insect repellent, charcoal, gardening supplies, swimsuits, outdoor patio furniture, camping gear, pools, life jackets, swing sets, grills, etc.) – and nice sales on back to school items! This is a great time to stock up on school/office supplies, such as notebooks, pencils, crayons, markers, binders, folders, staplers, dry erase markers, etc.
Other things to buy in August:
- Breakfast Items: Frozen waffles, cereals, etc.
- Dehumidifiers and Air Conditioners
- Household Items: Ziploc bags, paper towels, disinfectants, hand sanitizer, etc.
- Lunch Supplies and Snacks: Watch for sales on various snacks and lunchbox fillers.
- Seasonal Produce: Avocados, beans, berries, cherries, corn on the cob, cucumbers, eggplants, figs, seedless grapes, melons, onions, peaches, pears, peppers, plums, summer squash, tomatillos, and tomatoes.
With Labor Day falling on the first Monday in September, many hardware stores will have sales on lawn mowers, tractors, barbecues – and even grocery stores will offer deals for your Labor Day cookout like grilling meats, sodas, chips, etc. Plus, watch for restaurants to offer Labor Day specials, too!
Also, stores generally mark their back to school supplies on clearance relatively quickly after school starts in preparation for Halloween. Watch for deep clearance markdowns!
Other things to buy in September:
- Diabetes Awareness Items: Diabetic care, socks, test strips, sugar-free products, vitamins, meters.
- Seasonal Produce: Apples, artichokes, beans, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, onions, pears (Asian and Bartlett), peppers (bell and chili), squash, tomatillo, tomatoes.
- Snow Blowers
- Summer Clothes
- Trees, Shrubs, Bulbs, and Other Plants: Fall is the best time to plant trees.
October is National Seafood Month, which means it’s a great time to find sales on items like shrimp, salmon, clams, oysters, tuna, and more. It’s also when Halloween rolls around, and all sorts of candies, pumpkins, costumes, decorations, and more will be hitting the shelves and going on sale.
But, if you wait until November when the after-Halloween clearance sales happen, you’ll save the most.
Other things to buy in October:
- Adopt a Shelter-Dog Month: Wet and dry dog food, dog toys, and chews.
- Baking Supplies: Flour, sugar, mixes, canned pumpkin, canned pie fillings, prepared pie crusts, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month: All things “pink.”
- Large Appliances
- Patio Furniture
- Snow Tires
- Spa Week
- Seasonal Produce: Apples, artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, chard, cranberries, parsnips, pears, pomegranates, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash, turnips, yams.
Early November is a great time to watch for all those after-Halloween clearance items to go on sale and to stock up for next year. Look for deeply discounted candy, costumes, and fun decorations that you couldn’t bring yourself to buy before Halloween. Stock up quickly!
Also, Veteran’s Day is November 11th (or the Monday after if it falls on a Sunday). Watch for sales on home goods, furniture, mattresses, and loads of special promotions for veterans, including lots of restaurant deals (check out these previous freebies and deals). Also, Kohl’s usually offers awesome deals around this time with their stackable promo codes!
And don’t forget about Black Friday and Cyber Monday! This is when retailers offer deep discounts and doorbuster sales on electronics, toys, clothing, etc. Check out our best Black Friday tips.
Other things to buy in November:
- Baby Products
- Baking Supplies: Flour, sugar, mixes, canned pumpkin, canned pie fillings, prepared pie crusts, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, nuts, spices, etc.
- Canned Foods and Broths
- Holiday Staples: Turkey, canned pureed pumpkin, stuffing mix, boxed potatoes, gravy mixes, ready-to-bake rolls, frozen pies, cranberry sauce, gelatin, marshmallows.
- Pajamas and Slippers
- Seasonal Produce: Anjou pears, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrots, celery, Comice pears, cranberries, kiwis, lemons, oranges, potatoes, squash, yams.
December is the best time to stock up on all the supplies that you’ll need for holiday baking and Christmas dinner! Watch for deals on goodies like eggnog, deli platters, instant potatoes, gravy mixes, bake-and-serve rolls, frozen pies, cranberry sauce, marshmallows, baking supplies, canned foods, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, reusable food containers, kitchen cookware, large appliances, and more!
Clearance, clearance, clearance! After Christmas is over, you’ll want to watch for the after-Christmas clearance events (and even leftover after-Thanksgiving items) so that you can stock your gift closet for next year! Check out our after-Christmas clearance tips for shopping the sales.
Other things to buy in December:
- Bath & Body Works Candles (Annual Candle Day is usually early December!)
- Electronics: E-Book readers, Blu-ray players, GPS devices, headphones.
- Seasonal Produce: Anjou Pears, bok choy, Bosc pears, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, celery, dates, grapefruit, Hass avocados, kale, kiwis, kumquats, lemons, napa cabbages, oranges, sweet potatoes, red cabbages, rutabagas, savoy cabbage, spinach, winter squashes, yams, turnips, white potatoes.
- Vehicles: Score the best new car deals in December when they’re making room for new models, and when business is slow due to the weather.