Last month I ended up straying from my planned list a little. I know there was a possibility of a .49 cent pasta sale, and I didn't put it on my list, but when it did end up happening, we bought quite a bit. I also stocked up a fair amount on some items from my list, which meant I had to pass on other items. And some things, like oranges and onions, never did come down to the prices I was hoping to see. I'm hoping oranges and onions will come down this month, especially the week before Christmas.
December is a great month for holiday sales: baking items, hams, and citrus fruits.
Oranges. I'm looking for a price under .33 a pound. Normally they are .97 a pound here, but a sale close to Christmas can bring them down, sometimes as low as .20 a pound. We've had a lot of grocery stores closings in this area, so I don't know if we'll see prices this low or not, but if we do, I'll buy half a cart's worth of oranges. They last several months in the refrigerator (or in a cold, above freezing garage) so we can eat them next month, too.
Onions. I am hoping for under .25 a pound, and then I will buy 50 pounds. So far the lowest price I have seen on yellow onions (yellow are usually the lowest priced option) is .48 a pound. I'm hoping for lower before I stock up.
Clementines and/or mandarins. I buy these on sale for $1.00 a pound. There are occasional coupons for these as well; I used one last month for $0.50 off. They come bagged in 2, 3, and 5 pound bags, and this is the season for them. These are one of my favorites, and my family's favorites, too. All nine of us can easily eat a 3 pound bag's worth at the end of a meal, so I'll buy a fair amount of these.
Potatoes. We bought less than 100 pounds last month--a big change from our usual November purchase of several hundred pounds. My family can easily go through 40-50 pounds a week in the colder months when potatoes are on sale. I'm looking for $0.10 to $0.20 a pound for russets. My plans to dry some have been halted at this point; I'd still like to do it, but physically that is too much for me right now.
Apples. I'll look for sales at .79 a pound or lower on Galas and/or Fujis. Both are good keepers and will last a long time in the fridge drawers (or even in the cool garage; they store well at 34ºF.
Frozen sweet peas. I thought I would see a sale on this, but I never did. The price I was looking for was $1.00 a pound or lower. Most places sell 10-12 ounce bags. Albertson's has their brand (which we prefer) in a 16 ounce bag, and it occasionally goes on sale for $1 a bag. These are specifically marked "sweet peas" or "petite peas" and are sweeter and more pleasant than the regular peas. I go through 1 1/2 pounds at a meal, so if I find this price, I'll buy a large quantity for the freezer.
Pork roasts. Several cuts of pork roasts should be on sale this month. I saw great sales last month on boneless pork loin roast, but I didn't buy any, since I had spent my money on other items. I'll look to purchase some this month on sale, including pork shoulder roasts.
Hams. I bought two hams last month and we ate one. I'll look for another one on sale this month.
Milk. I plan on buying lots of milk this month, both to drink and to make yogurt. Prices have been a bit lower lately; I've been paying $2.57 a gallon for whole milk.
Cream cheese. I bought some on sale last month (they were $1 a package when you buy 10). If I see that sale price again, I'll buy at least another 10 packages, if not more, to last us through next year. Expiration dates are 6 months out, but unopened they will last at least twice as long as that with no change in quality.
Orchids. I didn't find any great prices on orchids last month, though a reader did mention some prices to me that she saw at Home Depot. I know Trader Joe's typically has small ones for $8. Grocery stores have great prices on orchids during the winter. Sam's Club has also had them before.
Marshmallows. Sales should have these at .99 a bag.
We're harvesting lots of Meyer lemons from the garden now. We also have Swiss chard, beet greens, beets, green onions, and herbs. A warmer than usual December and January are predicted, which should mean faster growth of our winter seedlings, including beets, lettuce, radishes, turnips, and more.