With the holidays around the corner, who doesn’t need to save a few bucks?
From seasonal produce (apples, yams, and potatoes, anyone?) to deals on baking supplies, there are plenty of ways to slice food bills — and celebrate abundance — this month.
And there are bargains all through the store — literally, from soup to nuts. So whether you need to shrink those grocery receipts, stock up for the holidays, or just feed a hungry horde of relatives at Thanksgiving, here’s a cornucopia of foods (and related items) that will be on sale this month.
Cooking and baking supplies
Starting the second week of November, retailers will offer discounts on all kinds of baking ingredients, such as butter, sugar and spices, saidKendal Perez, marketing manager for Coupon Sherpa.
Sugar: $1 to $2 off a bag of sugar. And baking staples, like brown sugar and powdered sugar, will have the deepest discounts, she said.
Butter: Although, it normally goes for “upwards of $4,” you’ll see the price fall in November to $2 per pound, Perez said.
Retailers will discount cooking and baking supplies, too, she said. So you can pick up deals on aluminum foil, parchment, plastic wrap and kitchen containers — typically for 25 percent to 30 percent off, Perez said.
You also can get deals on cookware, she said.
People tend to buy kitchen items for themselves and as presents, so look for discounts of at least 20 percent off starting the second week of November, said Perez. And expect deeper discounts the closer you get to Black Friday, she added. Next
Believe it or not, the star of your Thanksgiving dinner might be on sale in November.
While it might seem counterintuitive, it’s actually smart marketing. Many retailers use discounts on whole turkeys to get you into the store, said Phil Lempert, editor of SupermarketGuru.com.
Even if they make little or nothing on the turkey, retailers hope you’ll load up that cart with all kinds of holiday goodies while you’re there, he said.
Talking turkey: Depending on the store, you could find some of those discounted birds for as little as pennies per pound, he said. If you do — and you have the space in your freezer — it can make sense to bank one for Christmas, Hanukkah ,or New Year’s, he says.
Don’t see turkey deals before the big day? Check out the price of frozen gobblers the week after Thanksgiving, Lempert said.
Turkeys, especially the whole, frozen variety, take up a lot of space — so retailers that need to move them out often will discount the price by 30 percent to 40 percent, he said. Next
Canned pumpkin, chicken broth
Do you start craving pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin muffins the minute the fall air turns crisp? If so, November is your lucky month.
“Canned pumpkin goes on sale right after Thanksgiving,” Lempert said. And, in many places, it might be “the only time you’ll be able to find it,” he added.
How much you can save will depend on how good — or bad —the store’s buyer was in anticipating demand, Lempert said. The more they have left over after Turkey Day, the better the deal.
Chicken broth is another holiday staple that will be on sale this month—this one during the first few weeks of November, said James Parker, global associate perishables coordinator for Whole Foods Market.
Discounts will vary by retailer, he said. Next
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions
For a lot of folks, it’s the mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes — not the turkey — that make Thanksgiving dinner such a feast.
Late October and early November are harvest time for a lot of the root vegetables. Among them are varieties of potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and onions, said Parker.
Although many of these vegetables have been available fresh throughout the summer, a lot of the supply came from cold storage, adding to the price, he said.
But the fall crop is straight out of the ground, “and you’re also getting much better quality,” Parker said, adding that “the variety is just phenomenal.”
Look for sale prices that are 30 percent to 50 percent lower than what you had been paying, he said. Next
Stew meat, ribs
Another good buy in November: a lot of the cuts of beef and pork that make the basis for hearty fall stews.
“I think you may find that some of the braising cuts” will be well-priced this month, said Bruce Aidells, author of “The Great Meat Cookbook.”
That includes cuts like short ribs and pork shank, as well as oxtails and beef shank, he said.
Another good buy: spare ribs and baby back ribs.
Consumers associate ribs with backyard grilling, so the prices tend to go up in the summer and come down when the weather turns, said Aidells. But those ribs are great roasted with rubs or glazes, he added. “And they’re no less delicious than having them on the grill.”
Another smart purchase to stretch your meat dollar: turkey legs. They’re “really cheap, in the dollar-a-pound range” or even less if they’re frozen, Aidells said. They’re great for “main-course soups, like gumbo or chili verde.” Next
Frozen pies, frozen vegetables
Save time and money on the holiday meal by going frozen, not fresh, for holiday pies and some of your favorite out-of-season vegetables, Lempert said.
With pies, hitting the frozen food aisle instead of the store’s bakery will slice the price in half, even if you opt for top brand names, he said.
As an added bonus, “it makes your kitchen — and your whole house — smell really good.”
Another good buy in the grocer’s freezer: vegetables.
Unless they’re in season, the best buys on vegetables probably come from the freezer section, saidLempert. For out-of-season produce, buying frozen will save you 50 percent to 60 percent off the cost of fresh, he said. Not to mention the time you don’t have to spend cleaning and slicing.
Another way to save on food bills? Keep the amounts realistic, said Lempert.
“One of the biggest places we waste money is where we waste food,” he said. For the holidays, too many people “over prepare.”
His rule-of-thumb: For Thanksgiving dinner, figure 10 ounces to 11 ounces of protein per person.
“So if you’re having 10 people over and you’re looking at a 20-pound turkey, make sure you can use those leftovers,” Lempert said. Next
Apples, pears, tangerines
Buy local (or regional), and you’ll score some good prices on apples this month.
Since the harvest is rolling in — and local fruit means lower transportation costs — you’ll see prices that are 75 cents to $1 per pound lower than in the summer, Parker said.
And pears, grown mostly in the Pacific Northwest, also are coming to market, he said.
With one of the largest harvests on record this year, look for “some significant discounts” on the prices you’ve been paying the past few months — anywhere from $1 to $1.50 less per pound, he said.
Another good fruit to buy: tangerines.
In November, consumers should see prices drop from about $3 a pound to $2 a pound — or be able to buy much bigger bags of the fruit for the same price, Parker said. Next
Halloween candy, nuts
What’s better than candy? The same candy on sale for 50 percent off.
But this is one post-Halloween deal that’s liable to disappear faster than a pint of O positive in a house full of vampires. If you want to score some savings on candy, hit the stores in the days after Halloween, when selection is at its best and before stores have time to send back the leftovers.
“Obviously, retailers want to get it off their shelves,” said Perez. You can save 50 percent or more, she added.
Satisfy your sweet tooth or stock up on the candies you use in holiday baking.
Another good buy for baking and treats? Nuts.
November marks the end of harvest season for many nuts, which is one reason they’re such a popular ingredient in holiday cooking, Parker said.
Look for bargains on both packaged and loose varieties. Prices vary with geography. For your best deals, go with varieties that are local to your area or region, he advised.
And when you find a good price, stock up, Parker said. Since they keep, “you can buy for the entire holiday season.” Back to the beginning
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