Grocery shopping during the holidays can be a daunting task because of price gouging by many manufacturers. Although prices of certain items may increase, seasonal items are usually on sale during the holidays. It is certainly an opportunity to save money on items you use year-round.
Baking supplies and items that are hard to find are the ones usually on sale. When making your grocery list don’t forget to consider storage. Buying in bulk is a great idea, but if you don’t have the space to store the items, bulk-saving is not an option.
Before you load up the trunk of your car with all the good stuff from your list, have you done your homework? It almost sounds like we’re back in school again. LOL… But seriously, I am talking about gathering all available coupons, circulars and rewards cards.
a) Have you checked your pantry lately?
Clean out your pantry, cabinets, and any other places you store food items. You will save time and money when you check the expiration dates of the items. If you have canned foods, it is always good to organize them by category and then by expiration date.
b) You have all your coupons, now what?
So you have gathered your coupons for all the items you wish to buy. Do you need all of them? Or are you hoping that most of the items on your list will be on sale? It will help your monthly grocery budget if you know your prices. Gather your old receipts if you don’t remember and adjust your list.
c) Have you thought about the basics?
Stocking up on basics ingredients or foods will help you save on cooking time. A simple spinach or kale salad, for example, might be interesting during the week. But make it more interesting by adding roasted sweet potatoes or fruits. Basics ingredients help and therefore you should make it a priority to look through the circular first.
d) To freeze or not to freeze?
Many items need refrigeration or freezing. Figure out the items that you can buy in bulk and freeze for several weeks. But again check on the expiration and make sure your freezer is at the right temperature. Always check on your freezer because it can warm up during winter months.
e) Do you need the extra bag of sugar?
Buy nonperishable items. Sugar as many other items like flour, rice and grains are essentials food items. Buying more than you need is reasonable because they are part of the necessities. These items are usually on sale during the holidays, and that’s a good reason to stock up.
Items that are usually on sale before the holidays
Everyone wants to enjoy a healthy dessert during the holidays. Items such as sugar, flour, eggs, and milk are typically discounted around that time. Buying more is better, and this is why:
Sugar has an infinite life shelf. Brown sugar and icing sugar are best used within two years. Buying more than you need when sugar is on sale is always beneficial. Sugar is a necessity.
Flour will last by the best before the date and must be properly stored. Different types of flour have different shelf life. It is best to follow the time on the packaging.
Eggs must be properly refrigerated to maintain their quality and can be used about 3 to 4 weeks after the sell date. Buying in bulk is a question of how many eggs you will need during the holidays and after the holidays.
Milk does have a shelf life. The expiration date on the packaging should be followed. If you are buying canned milk, that is different. You can certainly buy in bulk if on sale.
Many dairy products can also be purchased in bulk, but again proper refrigeration is a huge concern. Meat and poultry will freeze well if packaged well. Frozen foods like ice cream and vegetables are usually not a problem.
You should pay attention to the “sell by date” and “expiration date” of any food item you purchase whether in bulk or not. Holiday bargains bring huge savings. Shop wisely and shop for items you need.