e-Course: The Sale Cycle in Detail

by Beth Montgomery on April 7, 2010

in Coupons & Rebates, Tips & Basics

This is Part 7 of the 30-day Savings Soiree e-course by In Good Cents. View the most recent course in this series or head to the Saving Soiree e-course main menu.

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I mentioned the sale cycle in VIDEO: The Sales & Frugal Tips: It All Begins with a Discount (Part 1 & 2), but it’s definitely something that needs to be highlighted, so you can plan your shopping and stockpiling.

Some sales come around yearly, while others are seen more often, but products tend to follow the same trends.   Here’s a little insight into sale trends.

– – 6-Week Cycle – –

Products you buy often, like perishables and staple items, typically go on sale for a good price once every six weeks or more (or less) often, depending on the product and your grocery store.   By tracking the trends in your grocery store for approximately 12 weeks, you can usually find when products you buy hit their rock bottom price and what that price is, so you know when to stock up.

Lets look at an example, just to see what I’m talking about.   Lets say your family, like ours, loves yogurt.   We’ll use the example of the 4-6 packs, which you often see listed as 2/$4.   Here’s what you may see:

Week 1: $1.88
Week 2: $1.99
Week 3: $2.00
Week 4: $2.50
Week 5: $2.79
Week 6: $2.85

Now, if I bought one package a week, I would pay $14.01 at the end of 6 weeks.   However, if I bought 6 at the lowest price, I’d only pay $11.28 and save myself $2.73.   It’s not a ton, but if I buy yogurt every week for a year, I’ve saved over $23 on yogurt alone.   Image if you shopped the low cycle for every product you buy.   You could save tons!

Keep in mind, some stores and products run on a 12 week cycle, so once again, I highly recommend a grocery price book to help you out!

– – New Products/New Packaging – –

Most new products fail within the first year, so creating a buzz is important to manufacturers.   With new products, or even product upgrades, come discounts from all angles.

First, to recoup the expensive cost of slotting their product, companies often try to encourage sales of old brands to increase their profits.   They may release high-value coupons, rebates, or work with stores to provide sales, Catalina’s, and deals.   Plus, once the product hits the shelves, it will need to sell well to keep it’s slot, so once again look for coupons and wonderful sales to help you try out the new product at a dramatically discounted rate!

Of course, usually where there are new products, there are old.   No one likes “old” stuff.   Whenever a company simply update the packaging, the older packaged products tend to not sell as well.   Before the change, manufacturers once again try to stir up some sales by releasing coupons and discounts to get them off the shelf and out the door!     Once the new packaging hits the shelf, often stores help them out by offering clearance and price cuts on them to sale the remainder.

– – Special Occasions & Seasonal Cycle – –

And of course, there are the products that are really only at their best during a particular season or are in high-demand during a particular holiday or special occasion.   For example, you can always expect Turkey to hit it’s rock-bottom low around Thanksgiving.

To help you out, I’ve created a Seasonal Sale Cycle Reference Guide or you can see a full list of holidays,to help you anticipate sale items.

– – Additional Resources from Previous Posts – –

Confused or want more help? Don’t forget that I teach classes and speak in the Central Indiana area! Use the code ClippingMyBudget to get $10 off a public class.

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