I often get asked a lot of questions about how to understand the Sales Cycle when it comes to stockpiling. Think logically when it comes to understanding the sales cycle. Products normally hit rock bottom at the time of the year they will be used or right before that season. When an item is at rock bottom this is when you want to search for an available coupon to match to the sale price. I personally advise to purchase your coupon when it becomes available in the hopes that you you will find a great sale in the future as coupons are often hard to purchase the week they deal becomes available. When an item is at rock bottom and you have a coupon to match this is when you stockpile.
Understanding the Sales Cycle:
In the past products have cycled like this.
November - Cough Medicine, Cold Medicine, Soup (Campbell's), Jello, Oats (Quaker), Tissues
Summer - BBQ Sauce, Marinades, Condiments, Country Time Lemonade, Charcoal
July & August - Back to School Supplies
Also know that toilet paper and cereal cycle every 6 weeks. So you want to watch the brand you use and purchase it when it is at it lowest price in the cycle. Hopefully you have a coupon to match and when you do this is stockpile time!
Matching is comparing the sale ad with items that are at rock bottom to an available coupon. It is important that you stockpile when an item is at rock bottom (70% off) and when you have a coupon. Monitoring the sales cycle and/or keeping a price book will help you figure out when to stockpile a product.
In general brands will have a major sale 1-2 times a year. Stores will offer special sales on those brands during that time. For example Meijer will host a Lysol sale and Kroger will host a General Mills sale on average at least twice a year. During this time coupons and catalina offers "normally" match making it a perfect time to stockpile on those products. Both of which have a nice shelf life!
You can often get a good stockpile price on meat if your store offers a one day Meat sale. In my area $1.99 lb is a good price for 93/7 ground beef. When you find a managers special or sale price on meat even if it is near expiration bring it home and immediately prepare it for freezing. This extends the shelf life of the meat and allows you to take advantage of the deal that you just found. I suggest using the foodsaver to really protect and take advantage of those sales.
Also, Kroger marks down meat between 6-8 am every morning. This is a good time to stockpile when you can find meat that is at a nice sale price plus markdown. You do need to shop early to find markdowns though. The early bird gets the worm. Don't hesitate to ask your local butcher at your store when they do meat markdowns!
I hope this helps you understand the sales cycle and prepares you for ordering coupons and what to stockpile during the year!