It’s December: The holidays are here! If you missed all the great deals last month, there is no way you can dodge them this month. Deals are everywhere, and you will find ample savings on foods, clothes, toys, and many gift items–even gifts for yourself, like those big ticket purchases you’ve been putting off on electronics, or home improvements such as flooring and carpeting. You’ll see some of the best prices of the year this month–but don’t get in too much of a rush. Procrastinators, listen up: December is the month when even you can save big!
What is a Sales Cycle?
The rotation of featured sale prices is called a sales cycle, and it’s important to know about because it will save you money. Three to four times a year, nearly every grocery item will go on sale at its rock-bottom price. Saving the most money means that you will make your purchases when that item is at its lowest price, and you will buy enough of that item to last you until the next time it goes on sale at its lowest price. For example, when I find toothpaste on sale for $1, I usually have a coupon to pair with that sale, making it free. I will stock up on toothpaste so that I have enough to last my family until the next time it goes on sale (in about three months).
What is on sale in December?
There are certain items, however, that only go on sale in December. These sales won’t cycle around again until next December. It’s important to plan your budget so that your purchasing dollars are ready to stock up on these items—buying enough to last you over the next twelve months. Here are the items dressed up and ready to go this month:
At the Grocery
Like the Seasonal Sales Cycle for November, baking items, turkeys, and seasonal foods like cranberry sauce and canned pumpkin continue to be on sale this month. Remember: Strategic couponing means you stack great coupons with sale prices to get the most out of your grocery budget. (We do all the work for you here at Faithful Provisions, so be sure to keep an eye on our weekly store deals and coupon matchups. Sign up for my daily newsletter so you don’t miss anything!) Be watching for sales on:
- Sour cream
- Party and Deli trays (for all those Christmas and New Year’s parties)
- Cold cuts
- Soft Drinks
- Stuffing mix
- Potato mix
- Cornbread mix
- Candy making items: chocolate chips, sprinkles, vanilla, corn syrup, nuts, evaporated milk, marshmallows,
- Baking items: Baking powder, baking soda, cornmeal, flour, white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, Bisquick, cake/brownie/cookie mixes, canned frostings, pie crusts
- Holiday foods: gravy, gravy mixes, seasoning packets, broth, canned dried onions, cranberry and canned pumpkin (Be sure to check out my Pumpkin Recipes.)
- Frozen Potatoes, pies, whipped topping, and vegetables
December In-Season Produce
- Brussels Sprouts
- Chinese Cabbage
- Celery Root
- Wild Mushrooms
- Mandarin Oranges
- Sweet Oranges
- Sweet Potatoes
*Print out my full listing on my Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables Chart. (Post it as a reference on your refrigerator.)
National Sales Events
December is a month with several National Events going on. The biggest event, of course, is our nation’s celebration of Christmas. Keep your eyes open for sales that are promoting these events as well:
- Hi Neighbor Month
- National Stress Free Family Holiday Month
- Read A New Book Month
- Safe Toy and Gift Month
- After Christmas Sales
According to Deal News, look for the best prices on these retail items in December:
- Cookware and Flatware — November is the best month to buy cookware and flatware, but many of the deals to carry over into December.
- Tools and Hardware
- Fall/Thanksgiving Home Decor
- Christmas Decor — Hit those After Christmas Sales for the best selection.
- Blu-Ray Movies –This is the best time to stock up on movies for Christmas gifts, stocking stuffers, and for birthday gifts for next year.
- HDTV — Even after Black Friday, some of the best deals on TV’s are still to come. “Top-brand sets will approach prices that are comparable to Black Friday during the mid-December to February time period” (Source: Deal News). Deal News suggests setting an email alert for your favorite manufacturer and screen size, so you can catch those prices when they hit the site. Off-brand sets will offer you an even better deal.
- Laptops — Deal News says that this is not the best month to buy a laptop. However, you might want to check out deals on desktop replacements (systems measuring 17″ or more).
What about Clothes and Toys?
Look for coupons to pair with store sales for winter clothing items. There will be tons of great sales so you can purchase things for Christmas gift-giving, but remember, your lowest prices on winter apparel will come around in January. And the very best deals on toys? Wait until the two weeks prior to Christmas to do your shopping. This is the only time of year when procrastination pays off!
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Do you have any tips or sales you look forward to in December? Share them in the comments below.
photo credit: Getty Images