My favorite thing about the holidays is getting to spend quality time with family and friends. My next favorite thing is all the holiday food clearance items! However, it can be tough to decide what to buy and what to skip. Here are a few tips on what is a good deal and what isn’t.
There are a few seasonal fresh food items that we tend to forget about after the holidays that you’ll be able to snatch up at a good deal.
- Butternut and other squashes – These will typically keep at room temperature in a dark and dry area for a week or two. However, unless you’re planning to use these quickly or doing the prep work to cook and you have room to freeze mashed butternut squash, soups, etc., these are a skip.
- Sweet potatoes – I always stock up on some extra sweet potatoes, as they can last at least a month in a dry dark area at room temperature or up to two months in the fridge. They can be baked, made into mashed potatoes, fries or pies, all of which can be frozen for future meals. These are a definite buy.
- Cranberries – Whole cranberries can be frozen for about a year, so as long as you’ll use them by next year’s Thanksgiving, you can score a great deal on these tasty berries.
- Other green veggies like asparagus and brussel sprouts are likely already on their last legs and should be skipped unless you want to freeze them immediately.
I always condone buying meats on clearance year round, just be sure to immediately freeze or cook them! Hams will be on clearance for a great Easter meal, or cuts of beef can make your Valentine’s Day extra special.
There are various beverages that can be found with clearance prices after the holidays.
- Eggnog – According to the USDA, eggnog can actually be frozen for up to six months, though taste and texture may be slightly altered. If you want to continue making eggnog pancakes, ice cream, etc., you may want to pick up some extra eggnog.
- Ciders – Most ciders have a date that won’t expire for several months (if they aren’t already refrigerated) so just check the dates on the bottle and enjoy your favorite ciders all winter.
- Sodas – Love cranberry sodas like I do? Check the date on the bottle and these will likely last for several months as long as you keep them dry and cool.
- Wine, beer and ales – There are several seasonal alcoholic beverages and they will last for months to come as long as you keep them in a dry, dark and cool area.
Shelf Stable Items:
Items like canned goods, nuts and chocolates are things that we use all year round. Look for a few of these shelf stable items that you can stock up on after the holidays to save for the months to come.
- Nuts and dried fruit – I love to buy these normally expensive items on holiday clearance, as they can be frozen for several months.
- Cereals and dry toppings – These items often have expiration dates that are good for another year or two.
- Chocolates – There are several types of almond barks, chips and chocolate candies with holiday themes that will be put on sale. All of these will likely have an expiration date of up to one year or more that can be further extended by freezing.
- Other candies – Candies that aren’t individually wrapped usually only last up to a month. Wrapped candies like candy canes can last up to a year, but can eventually get stale and soft.
- Canned items – Pumpkin is one item I always try to stock up on at clearance sales because it can be used year round and generally lasts for a long period of time. Pretty much any canned item should be good to invest in for your pantry at a great deal.
All in all, if you have a bit of time and freezer space, holiday food clearances are a great investment! What are some of your favorite foods to stock up
on during holiday clearances?
Post contributed by Michelle Pegram of Money Savvy Michelle.