Guest Author - Reshma Vyas
Do you love candy? Do you relish making spectacular, calorie-rich holiday desserts using your favorite candy bars? And of course, candy is always a much-loved, reliable stocking stuffer. The stretch of time between October and the first few weeks of the New Year presents an ideal opportunity to take advantage of seasonal sales promotions to stock up on candy. In order to reap maximum savings on your purchases, it is helpful to:
• Do comparison shopping ahead of time.
• Organize all your coupons before you go shopping. Generally, the coupons for candy will be good only for that week so it is good idea to make certain that your coupons are up-to-date.
• Take your calculator when you go shopping so you can figure out the price per unit as you will likely want to buy quantities in bulk. Knowing the unit price can help you determine whether or not the item is truly a "buy."
• Determine your use and storage needs. Set aside a portion of assorted candy to be included in "goodie" bags for kids or homemade gift baskets. Take some of the candy to the office so you don't have to waste money on vending machines. You can freeze large chocolate bars, packaged chocolate candy "squares" or "mini-pieces" and bags of candy bars for future baking projects.
• Buy "variety packs" whenever possible. Packaged candy is conveniently sold in a wide assortment of different sizes. Try to have a broad selection in your purchases.
• Stick to your list no matter what!
Getting Ready To Shop
1. The first place to begin is at all discount chain stores, dollar stores and warehouse retailers. Check the store websites for special deals. Make a preliminary list from weekly store circulars. Use coupons/coupon codes and promotions for more savings.
2. Drugstores are another prime source for buying candy in bulk. You may be able to use your store card, coupons and/or rebates in conjunction with ongoing candy sales promotions for even greater savings. Save all your weekly store circulars to compare candy prices. You can also check the store circulars online. Buy in bulk whenever you see sales advertised such as "2 for $3" or "2 for $5", "4 for $6", "3 for $5", "buy one get the 2nd bag 50% off", "take an extra 25% off on specially marked clearance candy", "50% off" or "75% off". Check clearance aisles and bins for additional savings.
3. Supermarkets may also feature weekly or monthly specials on select bagged, boxed and packaged candy. In some instances, the sale prices may be comparatively lower when compared to discount retailers. You may also be able to use coupons, manufacturer rebates and/or your grocery store card for extra savings.
If you enjoy reading about the candy industry as I do, you may find the following books of interest:
See's Famous Old-Time Candies: A Sweet Story, Margaret Moos Pick. Chronicle Books, 2005.
The Great American Candy Bar Book, Ray Broekel. Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 1982.
For informational purposes and not intended as advice.