The Best Time of Year to Buy Anything.

How to get the best deal on everything from cars to electronics. Because everything goes on sale at some point and it’s usually during the exact same month every year. 

Here we are,  the middle of February and I haven’t even told you my New Years Resolution yet.  I didn’t make one.  Now you’re up to date.

I always halfways resolve to spend less money on food. I don’t eat a lot of meat and I grow the majority of my own vegetables – YET I spend thousands of dollars on food.

I sat down a few years ago and tried to answer that question myself.  Why do I spend so much money at the grocery store? It turns out I have a gambling problem.

No I don’t.

I do, on the other hand, have a recipe problem.   Whenever someone drops by for a visit 90% of the time I’ll be in the kitchen cooking. The other 10% I’m in the backyard cooking.

If I see a recipe I think I might like I have to make it. It’s a compulsion.  Usually these recipes require one ingredient I don’t have which means a trip to the grocery store which means a whole world of exciting impulse buying food possibilities.

Speaking of this recipe addiction of mine, the Thug Kitchen cookbook  has yet to produce a clunker.  It’s a vegan cookbook but I’m nowhere near a vegan and I’ve loved every single recipe.

Go buy it now before I tell you why you can’t buy another thing.  It’s worth it for the Toasted Quinoa Oatmeal recipe alone.

 

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In addition to offering a plethora of grocery impulse buying options, my particular grocery store also offers a floral department, wine store, clothing, kitchen appliances,  and household accessories impulse buying options.  So there’s that.

It turns out a lot of my grocery bills consist of pillows and sweater dresses. I just wasn’t paying attention to all the things I was buying that I loved but in no way needed.

One January I even resolved to not go to the grocery store at all.  Plain and simple. If I didn’t have the ingredient I needed, I substituted.  No fresh ginger? I’d use dry. 

Doing this one thing for one month saved me hundreds of dollars. For real. I had no idea I was wasting so much money and I had no idea how easy it would be to stop.

Now I know. So I looked into other ways to stop spending money stupidly and found a few things out.

Wanna learn another way to save hundreds of dollars without having to sacrifice your desire to impulse shop down the snack aisle?

Don’t buy anything until it’s on sale.  And everything eventually goes on sale.


Almost all major (and minor) items have dedicated months they go on sale.  Sometimes just because it’s tradition (The White Sale) and sometimes because it’s the time of year when manufacturers release new models and retailers want to clear their shelves of the old models.


Get your calendar ready to start marking things down for any big purchases you have this year.

I’m about to lay it on you.

 

 

 

What to buy in January

January

  • Linens
  • Toys
  • Treadmills and ellipticals (New Years Resolutions anyone?)
  • TVs (smallish sales because of pre-Superbowl tv buying frenzies)
  • Winter clothing

What to buy in February

 

february

  • Humidifiers
  • Indoor furniture (to make room for newer models. Floor models often as low as 60% off)
  • Treadmills and ellipticals (There’s still some hope for that resolution)
  • High end Chocolates (right after Valentine’s Day)
  • Televisions – More TV sales at the beginning of the month. Even bigger sales can be found in March though.
  • Pig parts.  Really.  I have no idea if this is the case around the world but in my neck of the woods, whole pork bellies, shoulders and other pork pieces good for curing can be found at your grocery store this month. 

What to buy in March

march

  • Humidifiers
  • Sandals. (Sandals first hit stores in January! First markdown on them in March which gives you a better price while still having a great selection)
  • Small consumer electronics
  • Vs (Retailers visit the Consumer Electronics Show in Jan, order their new stock, which is delivered in March)
  • Winter sports gear
  • Golf Clubs
  • Frozen Food (March is frozen food month … seriously)

What to buy in April

april

  • LAST season’s television model (if you can still find them in stock you’ll get the cheapest price possible on last year’s model)
  • Laptop computers
  • Desktop computers
  • Lawn mowers
  • Spring clothing
  • Digital Cameras (last year’s model as they make room for the newer ones)
  • Thrift Stores (with spring cleaning comes spring heave hoing. Thrift Stores get their biggest influx of new goods at the same time as spring cleaning) This means older stock gets reduced and newer stock has a bigger selection.

What to buy in May

may

  • Athletic apparel and shoes
  • Camping and outdoor gear
  • Carpeting
  • Cordless phonesRefrigerators (May is when new fridge models are introduced)
  • Lawn mowersMattresses
  • Small consumer electronics

What to buy in June

june

  • Camcorders
  • Carpeting
  • Computers
  • Dishes (both fine china and everyday because June is the month of weddings so most places put their
  • sets on sale)
  • Tools (father’s day means big sales on tools so take advantage even if you’re a mother. Or sister. Or orphan. Everyone needs a few tools)
  • Pots, pans
  • Summer sports gear (already starts to be marked down)
  • Swimwear
  • Vacuum Cleaners (new ones come out in June)

What to buy in July

 

july

  • Indoor furniture
  • Outdoor furniture (prices start to get slashed on outdoor furniture now)
  • Swimwear (if you buy in July you’ll get a good price and relatively good selection)

What to buy in August

august

 

  • Cars (dealers are making room for the newer models coming in)
  • Air conditioners
  • Backpacks
  • Dehumidifiers (your best defence against centipedes by the way)
  • Outdoor furniture (prices start getting slashed on outdoor furniture now)
  • Snow blowers (if you can find a snowblower in the summer months chances are it’s going to be cheap)
  • Laptops (back to school sales)

What to buy in September

september

  • Bikes
  • Large appliances (new models come out in September, other than refrigerators which come out in May)
  • Lawnmowers
  • Cars (lower price still as they make room for new models)
  • Digital cameras
  • Gas grills (BBQs) (cause the outdoor grilling season is winding down)
  • Lawn mowers
  • Shrubs, trees, and perennials (THIS is the time to buy all those expensive trees and shrubs. They’re often 60-75% off at the end of the season)

What to buy in October

 

october

  • Bikes
  • Computers
  • Digital cameras
  • Gas grills
  • Lawn mowers
  • Winter coats
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Jeans (once back to school is over retail can start discounting their price on high end denim)

What to buy in November

November

  • (Black Friday Sales)
  • Baby product
  • Cookware
  • Bikes
  • Gas grills
  • GPS navigators
  • Toys
  • TVs

 


What to buy in December

december

  • Pretty much everything
  • (Boxing Day Sales used to take place on Boxing Day but now they seem to happen weeks before Christmas)

Now you know.

 

The Best Time of Year to Buy Anything.

76 Comments

  1. Paula says:

    I bought the book.

  2. Thank you for sharing such a great information! Love your post!

  3. Mary says:

    I never have the right ingredients when I cook because I’m not an ace when it comes to planning out 2 weeks of dinner so substituting is a daily thing for me. It keeps the mystery in dinner when you’re not 100% sure how it will taste. But my kids are adventurous eaters, sooo…
    On another note, when do 3 season porches go on sale and when will you do a DIY on expanding a deck to accommodate it?

  4. dirk says:

    I wish I needed a lawnmower!

  5. Stacey says:

    Great list! Pretty sure I heard about veggie scrap soup stock from Thug Kitchen, which I make all the time…actually have a pot simmering right now. Would you know if there is ever a good time to find deals on hot tubs? Thanks.

  6. Anita says:

    Karen would you please tell me the name of the company which makes the fridge pictured above your May list? Cheers!

  7. Heather (mtl) says:

    I don’t have a car, but I do have 2 big grocerie chains within a 5 minute walk of my apartment. That doesn’t count the Indian, Middle East and Asian stores, all within an 8 minute stroll. (oh, new Chinese one is fab for freshness/ prices and selection!). That said, the ‘stroll’ can end up being a drag, quite literally. Therefore, I have to be careful, or my back goes out. I only carry one canvas bag now. Being on disability also limits my finances, so I have to plan with the specials.
    However…. at Xmas I got a juicer and now fill my fridge with greens and such. Each week it looks like I’mcooking for a crowd, but no. Ha! At first it seemed pricey to buy all this fresh produce in winter, but I find I fill up so fast with the veggie juice, that it works out. Looking ahead, I won’t be giving away any veggies, particularly chard and beets, from my garden this summer!
    BTW, get a bunch of ginger when it goes on sale and store it in the freezer. I grate mine and freeze it in small containers so I can make some tummy soothing ginger tea.
    Thanks for the ‘Thug’ cookbook idea. Sounds yummy!

  8. j says:

    Karen-I’m concerned-How did the Thug folks get your knife and how come you allow it? Your knife is special and edgy and it means Karen ‘Witty’ Karen.

  9. Robyn says:

    Love the Thug Kitchen cookbook too! I eat the quinoa toasted oatmeal almost everyday. Sometimes I keep it vegan but it is delicious with a bit of butter, salt, pepper and a perfectly fried egg on top. I am sure you have the best eggs at your house!

  10. Deana says:

    Hi, my name is Deana and I’m a reduced rack junkie. I admit it, if it’s on the reduced rack I’ll buy it with all good intentions of using it up right away. About 3 days later I through it in the garbage because I bought too much. Hay, it was a good deal!!!! I keep swearing I’m not going to do it again but if I see a load of green beans, potatoes, brussel sprouts, zuccini, bananas with spots, apples (to make apple sauce) etc. I’ll scoop it all up. I need help. Once in a while I’ll make a great soup out of the mess but that is very rare. Although my favourite is if I find a bag of reduced ginger. I through the whole bag in the freezer and grate it as needed into a pan of whatever. No need to thaw and lasts for months. Maybe I wouldn’t feel so guilty if I at least dumped it into a compost bin but we’re not allowed outdoor compost bins in our local. Had some trouble with rats some time. So I just waste my hard earned money on over ripe veggies that need to be chucked in a few days. HELP!!!

    • Karen says:

      O.K., I can actually help you with this Deana. You only need to do one thing. Get chickens. They’re a reduced rack lover’s dream. You buy the .99 cent package of 5 cobs of corn, salvage the 2 that are edible then give the 3 suspicious looking ones to the chickens. Then they give you eggs. Problem solved. ;)~ karen!

  11. Susan says:

    Oh dear lord – me too! I love recipes and buy the weird ingredients and booze that they might have. So they take residence up in my cupboards and hog all the room and I can’t throw them out – I may NEED them again!

    So now I don’t go to the grocery store (kids gone, we’re both retired), so when hubby goes into town I tell him to get milk or whatever one or two things we NEED (I’ll feel guilty asking him to bring home some Cheetos or something.) So we’re doing much better now.

    Guess I’d better make that Mongolian Beef one more time.

    • Brenna says:

      Same. I have only two above counter cabinets in my wee kitchen with 6 shelves total to hold food and dishes. 20% of this valuable space (1 full shelf) is dedicated to to sauces and vinegars and boozes and salts that I almost never reach for. Why do we do this to ourselves Susan? Why?

  12. Celia says:

    I may spend more than you’d think for one person, but I almost never eat out (twice a month?). I make virtually everything from scratch, except for canned tomatoes, canned beans and “better than bouillon.” Fresh dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables, small portions of meat. Still way cheaper than going to a restaurant every day.

    Do a TV show! I’ll be your production accountant :)

  13. Sheri says:

    Storage containers are on sale in January.

  14. Chavella says:

    When I saw this ad for the cookbook, I knew I had to buy it right away. I love the recipes.

    Thug Kitchen Cookbook Trailer

    https://youtu.be/Ar7g_26QWu0

    • nancynurse says:

      Since I work in a big city ER, this is too much like being at work.
      There is the spot to chart the patient’s actual statements. I never know if I should chart “Kiss my motherfucking ass you G-d damn dumbass white honky motherfucking c–t”
      or do I chart “Kiss my m%^&#@r f***king a**…”
      Which is more professional and/or more legal? ( can’t write c–t I don’t care how illegal.)

      ~Sometimes I wonder about myself going back to read comments on this blog, but… it’s half the fun!

    • Karen says:

      I LOVEEE that promo for it, lol. Saw it a few months ago then forgot about it. ~ karen!

  15. Erin says:

    I noticed that our local grocery has made the shopping baskets disappear. There used to be a stack of them, then it was down to 2-3. These remainders each had a name (on a label.) They disappeared sometime before Christmas. Now you are forced to use a cart which means you will probably buy more than you intended. I put my groceries in my re-useable bags as I shop, but I feel like a shoplifter!

    We use February as our “clean out the pantry” month and try to get all the previous season’s harvest out of the freezer in time for spring. Makes for some creative cooking adventures. Good luck with your No Grocery Shopping Challenge, Karen!

    • Laurie says:

      I always bring my own bags or market basket so I just use that if the store baskets are all used. I hate pushing a cart when I’m only needing a few items.

  16. That is really incredible information, how did you figure it out. It all makes sense but I bet most people would never think about certain times of the year to make their purchases. I bet that if you really take this to heart you could save a lot of money and make sure you are getting the best and newest merchandise.
    Thank you very much.

  17. leslie says:

    Wow. But I thought car prices took a dive just before the end of the year because they get taxed on old inventory? What about washing machines and cooking ranges??? All my appliances are 22 years old and they’re funky and hateful. I need new ones!!

    • Nancy Ann Page says:

      Me, too!! I need a new frig -( not made in China!) I don’t want anymore CCP made crap – it dies very soon and is ugly.
      Nancy Ann

  18. Mary W says:

    Is this going to be a month like when you gave up TV? Is there something about the month time span that triggers your impulses? IF I went to the store and only bought what I was going to go straight home and prepare, I would save tons. BUT, I hate going to the store so I do it only when I absolutely have to. Then I buy out of guilt all the fresh stuff and ingredients to make some of my favorite cooking meals (as opposed to microwaving meals). The ingredients invariably get stuck in the back of the fridge and thrown away. It is guilt buying. It really doesn’t make me cook more. In fact, after throwing out the stuff, I feel so good – liberated. So I should go everyday. Kind of like dessert – eaten because I make it so infrequently. If I made it everyday, I would have a little piece and be done. So the way for me to loose weight is to make more desserts.

    • Bettak30 says:

      If you have a compost pile, that takes some of the guilt away when you throw out whole heads of lettuce and cooked veggies you were sure you would use in that omelette in the morning. But the guilt comes back when I throw it in and they turn into dollar bills before my eyes. WHY do I do this?!

      • Mary W says:

        My fridge is home to 3 bundles of curly kale that looked so good and I love kale chips AND two heads of delicious cabbage that it’s brothers and sisters made it into a meal that no one ate. I live with my daughter and her family and she orders take out so pizza takes the place of good food. My family eats my food for lunch then the rest of way too much cooked goes into the compost. I can’t be trusted in the store – brings back memories of days gone by when I cooked large and fully eaten meals for a big family. It kills me not to cook when my daughter is so stressed with all she is right now, working from home, on-line teaching kindergarten and 6th grade to her two kids, and so much more. I’m going to name my compost Rona as it is to blame for everything these days! Don’t feel bad about your dollars in the compost – plant something yummy with the great soil and reap those rewards – different but still as delicious!

  19. Amie M says:

    Waiting until May to price out that new mattress!

    It would also be good to know the cycle of IKEA’s events, you know the ones where you buy x amount and get y% back in gift cards.

  20. Jennie Lee says:

    Thanks for the list, Karen! It’s very useful. I need a dehumidifier.

  21. Lauren says:

    I’ve been puzzling over how to keep those pesky centipedes at bay…now I know!
    And thank you Helen for the tip about ginger in sherry. I knew that once, but it got shoved to the back of my brain. I too make my list from what’s on sale, and only shop once per week. I still occasionally end up with a mispurchase, but for the most part my grocery bill is under $200 per month (one human, two dogs), including detergent and paper products.

  22. nancy says:

    This is my newest favorite site: http://www.seriouseats.com/ J. Kenji Lo’pez-Alt is a genius.

  23. m'liss says:

    In the past year I’ve worked hard to stop buying unnecessary items. I stay out of stores as much as possible, clear out my refrigerator, freezer & cupboards before restocking (matching recipes to ingredients I have, instead of the other way around to reduce waste). Stopped impulse internet purchases by “bookmarking” items then waiting a few weeks to go back to see if I still want it (most times I don’t go back to it at all).
    I’ve saved lots of money, but, more importantly, I just feel better about myself.

  24. Tracie Berry says:

    This is awesome, thanks! And I am so loving the idea of a tv show!!! Do it!!! You are at LEAST 15 people, so you should have no problems…:)

  25. Kelly says:

    Ok, so if not a tv show, would you think about a monetized youtube channel? I would subscribe and pay for a season of lifestyle/diy/adventures with Karen. Then make your director friend film things you already are planning to do and it could send more people to the blog too!

    Also, puh-leeze write a book.

    And have a great Wednesday.

  26. Carolyn Boyd says:

    Since I moved to Nova Scotia from the GTA, I am no longer within 5 minutes of Fortino’s. I have learned to freeze bits of things for future use. I grate fresh ginger and lemongrass and freeze it in small portions; red and white wine also gets portioned out into 1 cup containers and frozen (this is the best way to preserve it). It’s also amazing what you can substitute in a pinch!

  27. Thera says:

    We had this problem, snack/sweets/impulse buys.
    Now we have a set plan.
    We pick a day every two weeks (so no other trips other than milk) for a big shopping and a time after a meal ie Saturday right after lunch (so no one is hungry and more tempted) with a list and a budget PLUS (this is really important and makes a huge difference) a real actually monetary bill (we each have a $10 but it could be a $5 or a $20 or whatever) that bill is for all your treats, sweets, impulse buys etc. for 2 weeks and thats all you get period. And it does not carry over, if you dont spend it all it goes in a jar for a special purchase, a pizza night, a new mixer or whatever.
    It’s working great for us, we are in control but dont feel deprived!

  28. Helen Hubert says:

    Fresh Ginger!! Buy a nice big hunk in the grocery store. Take it home and peel it, then slice it. Store it in the fridge in a jar of sherry. It will keep forever as long as you don’t get thirsty and drink the sherry. It tastes delicious. The sherry also makes a wonderful addition to stir-fry dishes.

  29. Sandi says:

    I just looked up the Thug Cookbook Quinoa Oatmeal and the picture at the top of the recipe made me laugh. Go ahead and copy into your browser.
    http://www.thugkitchen.com/quinoa_oatmeal
    Thanks Karen this post started my day off right.

  30. Heather says:

    Your link for the cookbook isn’t working.

  31. Rose says:

    I try to stay away from the big supermarkets – too tempting. I get a freezer order of meat from the organic butcher on Powerline Rd. Then go to the Mustard Seed for greens, dairy, and soaps.

  32. Jane says:

    Best way to save money? Stay out of stores!! Grocery shopping at No-Frills or Freshco for groceries helps too….not much impulse shopping there!

  33. Traci says:

    Just to be contrary, sometimes you need to spend more to save more. I keep buying fresh produce thinking I’ll prep it and cook it and then I’m chasing the toddler and running off to tutoring and never getting it done and it all goes to waste and we end up eating take out bc my husband and I are too tired to cook. If I’d just spend the extra $1 on the washed and ready to go stuff, I’d save on eating out. That goes double for just buying frozen. How many times have I intended to wash and cut potatoes for fries and then they go to waste? I guess being realistic about what you really will get done is important as well.

    • Karen says:

      Very true! Decide what’s realistic. Although I can’t say I’ve ever, ever wasted a potato in my lifetime, lol. ~ karen!

  34. Jack Ledger says:

    Save for milk, eggs, fruit, and raw vegetables and the occasional emergency, I make one major trip for groceries every two months. Before I make that trip I insure that I have emptied out my freezer, refrigerator, cold cupboard and pantry of all inventory. This is a message you might want to pass on to your mother! You come by your addiction to food shopping honestly. It is called the gastronomic gene and if you can easily spot it under the microscope. It is the one that looks like a little cornucopia horn.

  35. charlotte tataryn says:

    Hi Karen. HNY!!! I just typed in charlottesplace@shop.ca. Think I’m trying to tell myself something.
    My husband has retired from 41 years on the railroad – talk about never being able to actually make meals that weren’t utterly random. I am relearning my way around the kitchen, as is he.
    That said, shopping for groceries when there are all those other things isn’t an easy thing for me BUT I am editing 20 years of ‘since we got married’ stuff and those things are what I am getting rid of so….
    FYI, The Thug Cookbook is ‘on line’ so even at $14, that money can be spent elsewhere. Just Google the thug cookbook and there it is, in full colour and FREE! Have a great year and keep on blogging. You are a delightful read and some of your stuff I pass on to clients and people who take my con-ed classes (decluttering/redecorating/landscaping).
    Thanks for another filler when I can’t sleep and haven’t since about 4 a.m. My husband, on the other hand is enjoying a good snore and I’m not poking him to roll over. He barely slept for 41 years so sometimes it has to be what it is.
    : D

  36. I hardly spend anything at grocery stores. I stockpile when items are on sale and have a well stocked pantry and freezer. One day I just stopped. I try to control my spending, ask do I NEED over do I WANT and could this money be better spent on paying debt for instance. I look at grocery store shelves, never mind other stores shelves upon shelves, full of stuff and can’t comprehend where it all goes. So much stuff. Less is more.

  37. Sue H says:

    I’m glad to see I’m not alone in my recipe addiction. Since I’m single and entertain only once or twice a month, there really isn’t a reason why my pantry should look like a Trader Joe’s annex. I can’t help myself.

  38. Sabina says:

    That is so me, I’m a cookaholic! I love to cook! I love to try new recipes! I love to feed people! I love to shop! But always looking for ways to curb the budget, as always, thanks for the great tips…and the laughs!

  39. Jenny W says:

    Oh my! This is so me :/
    I’v gotten to know the cashiers by name at my local grocery store, I’m in there so often. Countless times I’v held up a pound of ground beef, or a lemon, and told them “this is all I came in for” as they tally up an entire cart load of crap I don’t really need!
    Years ago I grocery shopped once a week – with a list and a meal plan. After all, who wants to shop with two little kids in tow? In and out! Now, it seems, I’m in there daily. & don’t get me started on shopping the day before a snowstorm – you would think I was stocking up for armageddon lol!

  40. TucsonPatty says:

    I always love seeing these lists of when to buy whatever, and can never get to them at the right time…my planning doesn’t work that way. I just wanted to say that I have loved the Thug Kitchen since my nephew told his mom who told me about it! They are funny! I’m a recovering recipe book hoarder/addict and I’ not going to buy it, but I’m going to look up some of their recipes! Thanks for the reminder.
    When my ex found his new girlfriend and was asked to leave, I was really worried about money and spent almost nothing for several months. No eating out, no little doodads from As Seen on TV at Walgreen’s, nothing from Target, and absolutely nothing junk related at the grocery store. I need to crack down again on that whole scenario! Every little bit adds up! Thanks for that reminder, too!

  41. Sarah says:

    I’ll add that most (all?) car dealerships have monthly/quarterly/yearly sales goals. If you shop at the end of one of these selling periods, they will make a serious deal in order to make their goal, especially if their just shy of it. I used to work at a used car lot as a cashier. The end of the month was always insane.

    • Sarah says:

      crap. “especially if THEY’RE just shy of it.”

      time for bed

      • nancy says:

        The very best car deal I ever got was Dec 31, afternoon. Not only was it last day of month and last day of year, the guy was itching to get out of there and get to partying.

    • Karen says:

      Excellent tip. ~ karen!

      • Maggi says:

        Years ago my husband had a female friend who bought her car on Superbowl Sunday. All the guys at the dealership were glued to the T.V. Her salesman practically bent over backwards to get her out of there and get back to the Superbowl.

        I’m a first time commenter and am going through the archives. I have picked up so much useful information (the most recent for me is freezing tomato paste). I really enjoy the humor and feel like I’m part of a family of sensible (sort of) wackos! I’m in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  42. judy says:

    boy oh boy do I need to do this! We are in our seventies and there is no longer a good reason to cross the threshold of my Costco again in our lifetime. Between the local grocery store and Costco I spend for (2 old people) $200.00 per week on groceries? Part of it involves 2 sons who find picking up a few things at Mom & Dads has proven more frugal than actually shopping and paying? at a grocery store. These are the same guys that lecture me on being more frugal. HA! The other problem is I am ashamed to admit that even though we own and house 240 Lbs of Dog I am still throwing away way too many carefully packed containers of mysterious foodstuffs that disappear out of sight and out of mind at the back of the Fridge. I am going to try this method and I bought the Thug cookbook so my new frugality begins with blowing 14 bucks on a new cookbook. You are a persuasive little Minkey Miss Karen…..Lets see if an old lady can learn a few new tricks. My wallet thanks you…you always seem to hit on a subject that interests me.

    • Karen says:

      Pursuasive? I like that. It’s much better than the more popular “pushy”. ~ karen!

    • Mama Toto says:

      We’re in our seventies too and I got tired of those many leftover containers filling the fridge and becoming a mystery! So, I have a Tupperware container (about 1.5 qts) that I throw all leftovers in that wouldn’t make another meal. Alternatively I could use a large freezer type ziploc bag . I keep it in the freezer section of the kitchen fridge for convenience. I mean EVERYTHING, all foods, all flavours, but no desserts. (Leftover dessert? What’s that?) When it’s full, I throw it all in a pot, add some water and boil it up. I use my stick blender to puree it into wonderful soup! My husband invariably says “You can make this soup again” but, sorry, no, I can’t! Bonuses – a fridge with room in it, and drawers/cupboards are free of all those little “saver” containers.

  43. mia pratt says:

    Grocery shopping has replaced dating for me, so it isn’t fair to place it under just one budget. You can divide the expenses between “recreation” (which includes food, clothing, makeup, hair, and possibly wine) and “food”… and then the cost is pretty reasonable. Some of the women on your blog will understand exactly what I mean by this; Saturday night is my favorite time to go…the grocery store’s empty except for the dozens of single women who are all smiling at each other because we know why we’re there (and that one guy buying booze, condoms and flowers), the cupcake section is well-stocked in anticipation of our arrival, you can pretty much go in your pajamas because anyone who cares isn’t in the grocery store on Saturday night, and you can purchase everything you need for the perfect Sunday at home…fresh whipping cream for your coffee (and bacon, of course), chocolate chips for afternoon baking, the necessary ingredients for marinara sauce or pot roast for dinner, and then, of course, two bottles of wine. One to drink while you cook (and use in your dinner), and the other for after dinner.

    • Carswell says:

      Is it wrong that I’m laughing out loud at your comment? Is it more wrong that I’m thinking I should swap my early Sunday morning grocery store trawl to Saturday evening? LOL

    • Karen says:

      Hahahah! You’re absolutely right. By that account I could actually spend a little more at the grocery store if I wanted to. Excellent work Mia. ~ karen!

    • Eileen says:

      huh…around here the grocery store (by which I mean the Whole Foods) is packed on Saturday nights. Cruising means driving ’round the parking lot waiting for a space. And it’s not just us single women! I’ve always wondered why, because it’s not like there’s a dearth of entertainment options….

    • SusanR says:

      That was my first thought, also. While I seldom purchase anything except food in a food store, when I do, I have those items rung up separately. Everything is paid for with a debit card, so when I’m categorizing transactions in my banking program, food goes into food and household items go into household expenses. Then the food budget actually reflects only food, and I’ve found the cashiers to be understanding. I do the same thing at Costco or Sam’s Club. Unless they’re slammed, they usually don’t mind running things up separately. As for when to shop, when I was younger and single, Saturday night was when I did grocery shopping, also! BEST time to shop!

  44. Suzanne says:

    We used to live two blocks from WholeFoods, that was dangerously expensive. Moved to a small community, found organic farmers and have a blast not grocery shopping often. And we love our freezer. I can and freeze a lot. Hey , there’s an idea: freeze your ginger! I just stock INGREDIENTS not prepared stuff and i cook .
    And yes, when i dont have one , i substitute or do without. And of course growing your own is great, here on the coast, still have lettuce, onions, chard, kale, etc.. I also love just opening the fridge and creating with leftovers. But when going to the store, STICK TO THE LIST, same for IKEA. ?

  45. Mari says:

    Hi Karen,

    Is this list for Canada/US? Or doesn’t it matter?

    Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mari! There are a few discrepancies (around certain American holidays you’d find more of those related items on sale for instance) but generally they’re the same across North America. ~ karen!

  46. Carole says:

    Yep, me too! It’s an addiction I tell ya!
    I made the same resolution!
    I can only buy veggies and fruit and yoghurt and milk!
    I’m sticking to it too!
    Hello! My name is Carole and I’m a grocery store addict.

  47. Debbie from Illinois says:

    I try to do this every January so I can clear out my fridge, freezer and pantry. I have so much leftover from the holidays, I enjoy the challenge. This year I have an extra incentive because my husband and I are packing the RV and heading to Florida for the month of February. Woohoo!

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