November is nearly upon us. In the US, that means grocery stores are going to be slashing prices on certain foods and making them ‘loss leaders’. A loss leader is an item marked so low, it drives customers into their stores. Although there are some grocery item on sale in December prior to Christmas, November is really the big kahuna of savings. This is when I stockpile my reserves.
Flour: I tend to buy my flour in the big bags, but if you don’t use quite as much flour, you are bound to see the smaller bags of flour go on sale at this time.
Cookie and Cake mixes: This is the only time of year when I’ll buy these because they’ll never be lower at any other time. Although I prefer to bake from scratch, these are useful when you’re pressed for time or ingredients.
Butter and Oil: Butter (sticks and spreadable) goes on sale several times a year, but you can absolutely count on them to be at their lowest just before the holidays. The same goes for vegetable oil. Most oil if kept in a cool, dark place is good for up to two years unopened.
I regularly freeze butter. I know how much I go through in a year and try to buy enough to last us until the next year.
Sugar, brown, white, and confectioner: Grocery stores know that holiday baking will be on everyone’s mind. Expect equally good sales for sugar.
Evaporated and Sweetened Condensed Milk: I use condensed milk in so many recipes, I always make sure I buy extra when they go on sale.
Marshmallow and Chocolate Chips: Both necessary components for some decadent fudge.
Cocoa, Coffee, and Tea: These are loss leaders to get you in the store.
Canned Pumpkin and Dried Fruit: Every year, I buy my obligatory three cans of pumpkin puree. I dislike the smell and taste of pumpkin or yams, but Greg loves it. Every year, I make him two pies, and one to take or give to friends.
Cranberries: There is nothing like fresh cranberry sauce. They freeze beautifully too. Just toss the bag in the freezer. Cranberries are some of my favorite fruit, so I buy plenty for cookies, bread, and sauce.
Turkeys: Every once in a while the universe surprises me and turkeys don’t go on sale. It’s rare, but it happens when there’s been a problem with turkey production. Happily though, most stores offer a very good sale on turkeys to draw people in. I buy two. One for Thanksgiving, and one for later in the year.
Stuffing: Stuffing always goes on sale. It’s ridiculously easy to make your own stuffing with old bread, but if it’s too much trouble, buy your stuffing mix in November.
Canned Broth: Expect to see these in the sales flyers often during November and December. If you can’t make your own, always keep some stored in reserve. Very handy for richer tasting soups, stews, and rice dishes.
Canned Vegetables: This is one of those items that invariably go on sale. They’re not as cheap as they should be, but it’s a good time to stock up if you liked canned veggies.
Fresh Vegetables: Keep your eyes open for green beans, Brussels sprouts, and winter squash to go on sale. These will go on sale closer to the holiday.
Are you a holiday baker? Is there a special treat you like to make for the holidays? I’m always looking to expand my repertoire.