F.A.Q: Keeping Track of Sale Cycles

Today’s frequently asked question is from reader Patti.  She wants to figure out the sales cycle of products.

Her question is this:

Short of going through all my receipts, is there a system to figure out the sale cycles for the products I use most frequently.  Knowing when items are getting marked down would sure help in saving even more dollars and help me to plan more effective purchases. Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

So let’s help Patti out. Do you keep track of sales cycles?  Do you think it’s worth the extra effort?  If you do keep track, how do you do it?  A book, a spreadsheet, in your head?  Please share your tips for Patti and others.

If you have a question you would love an answer to, just email livingrichwithcoupons @ gmail.com (remove spaces) and we will post it up.

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  • Heather Chandler

    I would love to know the answer too! Then I can plan and stockpile as needed. But so far, I can only tell you that at our local Martins grocery store, Tuesday a.m. is the best time to buy meat.
    Everything else is a mystery to me.

  • Colleen

    I know only a few of my items when they go on sale. For instance Perdue regrigerated chicken nuggest go on sale every 4 weeks at shoprite for half price usually $4 and are on sales for $2.00 – $2.50. So when I see it half price I stock up and mark my calendar. I also walk around the store when it’s not busy and just ask some associates there about sales. Most shop there too and know alot about the sale dates. I think they do all perdue 40% once a month too.

  • Melisse’

    I’ve only been couponing and stockpiling seriously for a couple of months. But I’ve learned a lot by using the price book pack PDF sheets available through Money Saving Mom. I have filled them out in store whether I’m purchasing those items or not for future use, after purchase and just by using sale papers. I have items that I consistently buy and I write those items under the store name(s) where available. Write an S beside the item if its on sale for future reference. As noted in previous posts about couponing after a couple of weeks/months you should be able to see a pattern concerning stores and/or items.

  • Stosha

    I usually track it in my head. For instance, I know that Target has a. great sale on papertowels at the begining of each season. I only know because I always run out just before and end up paying more right before the sale because I forget its due lol.
    And I am pretty sure BJ’s wholesale is on a 3 month cycle for most items. Although I’ve caught them being sneaky with some items, and hiking the price up so that the “sale w/ coupon price” is actually the normal price.
    But IMHO coupons are usually what make all the difference.

  • Ronni

    I usually do it in my head, but want to definitely check out those forms suggested in a previous comment .. thank you! I know from off the top of my head that oatmeal and hot breakfast foods will be on sale in September .. for back to school. Paper plates, cups, etc. usually are on sale in the spring and then again as the holidays approach. I get the best price on ice pops just as july 4th is approaching as well as barb. and steak sauce and other summer condiments. I get enough to last the summer. Items go on sale seasonally as well as monthly. Then of course different brands are on sale at different times. The cats. are a good way of knowing what will be going on sale. The machine spits out cats. that advertise the deal and usually at some point during the shopping period the item goes on sale allowing you to make the best use of the Q and score a cat on top of it. Sales also over lap and sometimes give you three weeks of being on sale. I am looking forward to see what other readers comment about this.

    • Melisse’

      I haven’t gotten our patterns down for the stores I shop. Thanks for the reminder about the seasonal sales, I do tend to forget.
      Ronni: what are you referring to when you mention cats.?

      • Ronni

        catalinas – the coupons that come out of the machines at the store. sorry!

  • Patti

    Some good ideas! I think I’m going to start tracking sales on specific products now on index cards (which I use for my weekly store lists). There’s no room in my head for anything right now having gone back to school for a 2nd degree these past 2 1/2 years! LOL! For a “rainy day” project I may go through old receipts. I’m not really looking for the seasonal products but more the every day things like specific yogurt brands, butter brands, pasta brands, 1/2 & 1/2 brands, etc. I think I’d also like to track how often my fave Qs reset. Ahhhh, ambitious projects for me! 🙂 Hopefully I’ll come up with some useful techniques. 🙂