SALES CYCLES: REGULAR PRICES, PHANTOM SALES PRICES, ROCK-BOTTOM PRICES
Have you ever wondered why your favorite spaghetti sauce is $2.99 one week and then
the very next week you see it's "on sale" for $2.49?
Do you buy it at that price? I USE to. But… Hold on there! That's the phantom sales price. (Years ago, most sales prices always ended in 5's and 9's, but in the '90s, most store buyers went to another price structure--multiples--which will be explained later). When you see the price drop that 50 cents that is the phantom sales price. But the store knows that a certain # of people will fall for that ploy and buy it because they think they are saving money. Patience is the name of the grocery game and you can save big bucks IF you get to know the flow of sales cycles.
Come in another time, (a few weeks later) and that $2.99 jar of spaghetti sauce is no longer $2.49, but is now at $1.99. That is the new lower phantom sales price… but it's not time to buy yet. Wait longer (usually in the 10th-12th week) and it will probably hit the rock-bottom price of 2/$3 or even 10/$10 or .99. That rock-bottom price is the one you want to wait for.
When it hits that rock-bottom price, IF you have a mfr. coupon, that is the time to use that coupon. Manufacturer coupons are the best thing going. It's free money! Usually the expiration dates have a window of 8-12 weeks and that gives you plenty of time to wait out the sales cycle. When the price hits rock-bottom, add the coupons (if possible) and stock up. If your store doubles or triples coupons (mine don't), so much the better. But you will understand by using the sales cycle, adding coupons when rock-bottoms hit, you can slash your grocery budget. You can start slow, but every time you reach for an item you have stockpiled at home you save money by not hopping in your car (less gas) and buying that item at the regular price or phantom price the store is hoping you will buy it at.
I use to go to one store twice/week and buy ONLY what was on my list. I thought that was the way to save money. It wasn't. My pantry, 'fridge and freezer were near empty at the end of every week. Then I would go back to the store and shop again, but my cycle of no food by week's end continued. It was like living paycheck-to-paycheck in groocery land.
When I realized how much I was spending, and was hearing how others were feeding families larger than mine on half as much, I knew I had to change and I've became groceryhound ever since. I’m still learning the cycles. It really helps to create a price book to refer back to. Have you started yours yet?