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5 Common Reasons That Stores Put Some Items On Sale — It’s Never Because They’re Expired!

Some people mistakenly believe that they could be stocking up on poor-quality items when they buy products that are on sale. But, that isn't always the case. Just because something is on sale, however, does not mean it is a good purchase. Explained below, are a few common reasons why the grocery store may offer certain sales due to factors like the time of the year, the quality of the product, and demand.

By Cookist

Just because that local superstore near you is selling items for lower bucks, it doesn't mean that they are looking for quick ways to toss out the not-so-great goods. Instead, sales are dependent on various reasons as outlined below:

1. A Holiday Is Approaching


Certain items are more likely to go on sale at certain times of the year, such as around holidays, football season, and throughout the summer when you want nothing more than to grill up a storm outdoors. And grocery stores tend to highlight these items by moving them near their entrances, where shoppers will inevitably see them.

"Holidays and timely moments are when people are most likely to buy or stock up, so think of chips for game day or canned pumpkin close to Thanksgiving," says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, founder of NutritionStarringYOU.

This is actually a good time to save on festive foods, which are priced lower but should be of good quality. Still, only buy what you need unless the item has a long shelf life. An excess will backfire and lead to food and monetary waste.

2. An Item Is in Season

Produce often goes on sale due to seasonality, when it is fresh and most coveted. You can find the most in-season produce during the warmer months of spring and summer. And if the quality and price look good, toss plenty of it in your cart!

3. An Item Is not Selling


When a store is not selling much of an item, it is a signal to get rid of it to make way for different inventory instead. So, stores generally sell these items at extra-low prices. "Stores are happier to lower the price to get rid of stock that is not moving versus letting it take up valuable shelf space, so this is a great chance to pick up the last of an item if it's one of your favorites," Harris-Pincus says.

4. An Item Is Almost Expired

When foods get closer and closer to their expiration date, they are bound to go on sale if there is still a good deal of inventory left. Otherwise, there is zero use for them, and the store will lose money.

It is more desirable to lower the price on items that are about to expire instead of having to throw them away, as some money is better than no money, as Harris-Pincus says. Yet, be careful here, as you do not want to buy anything that contains mold or will expire before you can use it. Check all items for signs of decay or damage, including packaged goods (to the extent that you can).

5. A Holiday Is Over


"Stores are very quick to discount their holiday and seasonal items after the date passes because they need the space to stock the next round of merchandise," Harris-Pincus says. Just like swapping out Halloween candy for Christmas treats and peppermint candy canes once November hits.

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