What To Stock Up On In December
Today, it’s all about what to stock up on in December. Oh, how I love to save money on items I need to keep our home flowing the right way.
December is a great month to stock up on so many items we all need. Let’s get started saving money right now. Some things are in short supply, I have seen that myself.
It’s interesting to note that most businesses have over half their annual sales from October through December. So, they need to unload some items to be ready for the new items coming in January.
What To Stock Up On In December
Be sure and look for some baking items you need to stock your pantry. The two top items that will be cheaper this month are flour and sugar. Please only buy the amount of flour you can use in 12 months or so. That’s the safest shelf-life for white flour.
Sugar will last indefinitely if it stays dry in an airtight container. I know a lot of us are cutting back on sugar, but if we have a long-term grid down, sugar will be our new best friend.
We can bake cookies, cakes, bread, and so much more that we can sell or barter with, besides knowing we have the food to keep our family full.
In some areas watch for clearance on flour and sugar because once the temperatures get too hot, some people stop baking altogether. This is a great time to stock up on baking items.
My favorite cake mixes are Duncan Hines. I use them as a base and add some really good stuff to add flavor and texture to the cake. If you haven’t made my chocolate cake you may want to try making it.
Plus, my mother taught me a secret on how to make your cakes really moist. I love a moist chocolate cake.
I have seen my favorite cake mixes for .75 to .95 cents for each box. This is a great time to stock up on your favorite ones. Here’s the deal, you can volunteer to take a cake to a party because you’ll already have the mix ready to go on your pantry shelf.
Let’s make it a point to fill our pantry with some canned food items you and your family will enjoy all year long. If by chance you don’t use them up before they expire, you can donate them to your local food bank.
If you missed my post on which ones I suggest you stock, check out Canned Food I Recommend
Some of the basic ones are vegetables and fruits. It’s nice to have a few cans of food we can save money on and eat right out of the can if we need to. Be sure and keep a few can openers on hand.
I want to encourage you to stock up on garden seeds anytime you have a little extra money. My heart and gut are telling me we must produce more of our own food. We don’t need several acres to grow food, yes, it would be nice. Mark and I have 4-foot square raised garden beds. I raise potatoes in large pots. It doesn’t matter about the quantity of food, it’s the quality. We can grow food in pots, bags, or any container with drainage.
We all need to keep garden seeds so we can grow our food. My favorite place to buy my garden seeds is SeedsNow I have two of these containers below. They are perfect for storing my garden seeds. Photo Case 4″ x 6″ Photo Box Storage and my label machine is easy to use to organize my entire house. Brother P-Touch Label Maker
Christmas/New Year’s Eve Items
If you’re big into playing board games, watch for games that go on sale. My favorite game is Clue, and it was sold out. But there were plenty of other choices the day I checked.
It’s a great month to stock up on stocking stuffers at the lowest prices available. Just think about small tubes of toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, and conditioners.
We may as well fill those stockings with useful items over things we will toss two days later because they are broken or food items that spoil.
Watch for paper plates, cups, and tablecloths with a holiday theme for both Christmas and New Year’s Day. You will see them drastically reduced at the beginning of the month, so buy them when you see them on sale.
The closer we get to the actual day, the prices go up because they are in short supply.
After Christmas, you will see great markdowns, but the choices will be limited. So, if you have your heart set on a certain theme, snatch them with the first markdown.
Keep your eye on crackers that are marked down just in time for greeting friends and family on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Serve the dips you make or the ones you buy along with the crackers, it’s a win-win.
You will see all those Thanksgiving turkeys on sale because most people want ham or prime rib for Christmas. This is a great month to watch for a spiral ham or regular ham that will be cut in price as well.
Just think, you could make a ham dinner, ham sandwiches, and ham soup. You gotta love the options.
You can also stock up on some turkeys for your freezer. Last year I saw them get down below .50 cents a pound. If you have room in your freezer you may want to grab some.
Check the instant mashed potato aisle, as well as the ready-made mashed potatoes in the refrigerated aisle. I stocked up on StoveTop stuffing, it’s one of my favorites. They are super cheap this month.
Last week I saw some Christmas trees marked down 40-50%. For some reason, people have been putting their trees up early. I’m guilty of that this year.
When I went to Target a few weeks ago there were so many trees, and now there are limited choices. I’m not sure we will see many artificial trees left after Christmas, at least where I live, that is 70-80% off.
You can get so many decorations right now at 40-50% off and it’s only December 1st! If you buy in December you will find so many great buys on Christmas decorations of all kinds.
The Christmas lights are marked way down, put them in your emergency stash if they are 60-70% off, right?
I’m not big into cosmetics, but I know a lot of people are, and you may as well save money on them. Look for those buy-one-get-one-free coupons this month.
I’m talking about eyeliners, mascara, blush, and lipstick. Take a friend and split the cost. Or just stock up on the ones you use the most. Some companies are giving away free items even with the buy one get one free.
Some of the more expensive cosmetics that don’t usually go on sale will have discounts of 30-40% off. This may be to entice people to get dressed up for that holiday party coming up.
Frozen Pies/Pie Crusts
Oh my gosh, I saw some pies today that were frozen and all you do is serve them after thawing. There were some that you do need to bake them. How easy is that? I may have to go back and get one of those Key Lime pies.
Thank goodness, whipping cream will start going down in price. I picked up a pint of organic and it was $5.49. Yep, I put it back and went for the non-organic. Eventually, I hope all products will become organic.
I’m a huge believer in organic, don’t get me wrong, but not when the cream is twice the price. I have to think again before paying the higher price. Luckily, now the whipping cream will be cheaper and I can pick up some organic for less than $3.00 a pint, fingers crossed.
Kitchen items are definitely my weakness, probably since it seems like I spend most of my day in the kitchen. This is a great month to pick up a new hand mixer, toaster, coffee maker, can opener, pressure cooker, or whatever you feel is needed to complete your kitchen stash.
They will all be on sale, so grab some for gifts. Not just Christmas gifts, but for wedding and birthday gifts as well. Or if you have a child or grandchild going off to school, they may need a hand mixer or a toaster.
On the first of the month, many of the stores will have coupons. Often emails are sent letting you know about discounts on toys in the toy department. You may even see coupons to buy one toy and get one toy free, of equal or less value.
Be sure and sign up for emails with your favorite retail stores because sometimes you will hear about pre-sales that the rest of the world doesn’t know about.
You may even be able to save another 10% if you sign up for your favorite retail stores’ app. Some stores give you a discount if you order an item online, pay for it ahead of time, and pick it up at their customer service counter. It’s a win-win for saving money and time.
December is a great month to stock up on wrapping paper. Yes, you will find a lot of Christmas designs, but it’s also a good time to pick up plain colors for other holidays. Here are some wrapping paper storage containers.
You may not see pastels this time of year, but you will see white, red, and shades of green. White wrapping paper is great for wedding and graduation gifts.
If ribbon goes on sale, stock up on Tulle since it goes with those paper bags with handles. It’s also perfect for dressing up a gift box with plain-colored wrapping paper.
Unique December Holidays
- December 1: Eat a Red Apple Day
- December 2: National Fritters Day
- December 3: National Roof Over Your Head Day
- December 4: Wear Brown Shoes Day
- December 5: Bathtub Party Day
- December 6: Mitten Tree Day
- December 7: Pearl Harbor Day
- December 8: National Brownie Day
- December 9: National Pastry Day
- December 10: Nobel Prize Day
- December 11: National Noodle Ring Day
- December 12: Poinsettia Day
- December 13: Ice Cream Day
- December 14: Roast Chestnuts Day
- December 15: National Lemon Cupcake Day
- December 16: National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
- December 17: National Maple Syrup Day
- December 18: Bake Cookies Day
- December 19: Oatmeal Muffin Day
- December 21: Humbug Day
- December 23: Festivus
- December 24: Christmas Eve
- December 25: Christmas Day
- December 27: National Fruitcake Day
- December 28: Boxing Day
- December 29: Pepper Pot Day
- December 30: Bacon Day
- December 31: New Year’s Eve
Let me know what you find this month at clearance prices. Also, let me know what items you feel should be included in my “what to stock up on in December” post today. If you saw some other bargains, I will add them.
Please keep prepping and take stock of your food storage. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda
What To Stock Up On Each Month:
- What To Stock Up On In January
- What To Stock Up On In February
- What To Stock Up On In March
- What to Stock Up On In April
- What To Stock Up On In May
- What To Stock Up On In June
- What To Stock Up On In July
- What To Stock Up On In August
- What To Stock Up On In September
- What To Stock Up On In October
- What To Stock Up On In November
Copyright Images: Deposit photos_95115104_m-2015, December Christmas Calendar AdobeStock_234388405 by MagicalKrew, December Calendar AdobeStock_300721018 by New Africa
51 thoughts on “What To Stock Up On In December”
Most food shelfs can no longer accept expired canned goods. I just wish manufacturers were required to show the expiration date with enough contrast that you can both find it and read it.
Hi Penny, you are so right. That’s why I wrote if you do not use them before they expire donate them. I wish they were easier to read as well. Linda
And,, the sad thing about food banks not accepting such canned goods is that most of the dates are a “BEST BY” which in no way is an “EXPIRATION” date. Our local food bank here in the Texas Hill Country will accept canned goods up to one year past a “BEST BY” date. We donate canned goods to them frequently because God has blessed us and we are able to help our fellow man. And, our local food bank screens folks so they only distribute to the TRULY needy.
Most canned items are usable way past a “BEST BY” date. I recently found a can of Spam that had migrated to the way back portion of our pantry. The “BEST BY” date was some time in 2012. I opened it, smelled it, tasted it and ate the whole thing. It tasted just like freshly bought Spam and I had no repercussions from eating it. So, much for expiration. LOL!!!
And, you mentioned stocking up on sugar. We had been somewhat deficient in our sugar stores, just because we don’t eat that much refined sugar. Plus, if you buy it in normal bags, you have to repackage it. I recently found that Sam’s Club sells a six pound bag of organic cane sugar, branded “Wholesome.” While it is somewhat more expensive than regular sugar, it comes in a heavy duty plastic bag that does not have to be repackaged for storage. To me that makes it worth the extra expense. Just drop enough of those in a five gallon bucket with a gamma lid and you have instant long term sugar storage.
Okay, enough rambling. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and did not eat too much. LOL!!
Hi Harry, I agree those bags of organic cane sugar would be awesome to stock. It’s totally worth the extra expense and less work. We had a small but great Thanksgiving. The Spam story, so many cans will last a very long time! I love it! I did not eat too much, I could hardly eat a piece of pie afterward. But I had whipped the cream, so, yeah bring it on! I learned from a reader I can freeze whipping cream in the carton, that was a game changer! Life is so good! Linda
After reading about the whipping cream prices above, I was wondering if it could be frozen. Thank you for that info. How long will it be good if frozen, just so I know how much to buy when it goes on sale here. Thanks for all the helpful info you share.
Hi Pat, I only buy enough whipping cream for six months to freeze. I hope this helps. Linda
Penney–I’d like to share a story(off topic) about BB dates.
We think they mean something..well, I read on a prepper site this girl that worked in a warehouse..not the manufacturing company.
She said forget BB dates because they can be arbitrary. She has witnessed canned goods that had been on the shelves for a very long time being being stamped with the latest BB date just like the new ones.
Now, this makes sense to me. I opened 3 cans of green peas..ya’ll know my food storage history>>LOL
One brand was old, I discarded…one brand of the same BB dates when opened had a good one and a bad one…same brand, same BB date, same case.
Because?? the above.
Which is why I always suggest opening before discarding any expired BB dated canned goods.
God bless us and protect us in this time of turmoil.
Hi JayJay, great comment with good information!! When in doubt, throw it out. Interesting about the BB dates!! Linda
We just called our food pantry about this very thing. They said the USDA will now allow them to accept food 5 years past expiration date!
PS. This was in reference to the first comment, and refers to canned goods.
Hi CT, that’s interesting. Here in Utah, they will not accept expired food at the food banks. There may be some leaders who let it go, but even on the bags that are distributed to collect food say, no expired food. Linda
I am in Utah, too. Perhaps it’s new, may want to check with your local food bank again.
Hi CT, I will call them on Monday, thank you. Linda
You are right. Outrage food bank will not accept them.
Spell check. Sorry. It should read our food bank won’t except expired food
HI Carol I will fix it. Linda
Linda, your “What to stock up on” posts are among my favorites. Oh, and I love your seed storage method. I plan to steal it. I do have to disagree with you about the shelf life of white flour. It may only be a year if you leave it in the original bags, and even then it could go buggy. But if you store in in Mylar bags with plenty of O2 absorbers it will stay good much longer. I use “stackable” type Mylar bags, add more O2 absorbers than are probably needed, then place the bags in food grade, 5-gallon buckets. As an experiment, I recently opened a bag of flour that was four years old and made some cookies. Tasted great, no problems. My wife used the same flour for a cake with similar results. Since it’s sealed in Mylar I doubt our low humidity here in Az has anything to do with how well it lasts, but if a person is concerned about high humidity they can add desiccant packs as well.
I plan to repackage cake mixes we buy on sale the same way–though I haven’t done so yet, there’s no reason to think it won’t work.
I completely agree with Harry about the best by dates on canned goods. Those dates come from marketing people and lawyers and NOT from nutritionists.
Oh, on a completely different note, I’ve completely revised and updated my non-fiction Prepper book, “Bugging In: What to Do When TSHTF and You Live in Suburbia.” I’ll let you know when I have it edited and re-release it.
Hi Ray, thank you so much. I’m such an avid bread maker I have to have fresh flour. You know I don’t use Mylar Bags or oxygen absorbers because of the experience I had with a church DIY dry can it yourself. I have heard the USDA shut them down because they were not following safer guidelines. I read that on Google. I wanted to know why the food I did myself there went rancid. $1200 worth. I call it a learning curve, a big mistake. That was about 8 years ago. Lesson learned. After that, I have chosen to buy from professional companies like Thrive Life, Honeyville Grain, Mountain House, etc. I will watch for your book, thank you! Linda
I would be interested in your book as well. While we live in a rural area, our daughter and SIL live in Suburbia due to their employment. I certainly would be giving them one of your books when it is revised and updated. So, please post that on Linda’s blog when it is ready.
Harry and Linda,
I’ll keep you both posted about the book. I’m keeping the same cover, so it shouldn’t take long to get it out there. I’m certainly shooting for before Christmas. Normally, I recommend Preppers buy print versions but with all the links I’ve posted in the revised edition it would probably be more useful to get the much cheaper Kindle version.
Harry, I’ve been told by past readers of the earlier version that the book is helpful to people who live in rural areas also, but it is intended for those stuck in suburbia, like your daughter.
Linda, I understand why you don’t use Mylar bags and O2 absorbers. A bad experience can leave permanent distrust, but they’ve worked quite well for me over the years. I wonder if the people you were using them with didn’t put enough O2 absorbers in, or if the bags weren’t well sealed.. I always use more than the “recipes” call for. I use Mylar bags and O2 absorbers on almost anything I don’t can, freeze or vacuum seal. I even use that method on some of the things I dehydrate, though much of that gets vacuum sealed in mason jars. Oh, and I also buy from Thrive Life, Augason Farms, Honeyville Grain, Mountain House and Saratoga Farms, among others. I even have both A and B MRE’s with the self-heaters. But whatever works for you and whatever you have confidence in is best for you. There is, after all, more than one way to skin a cat (and isn’t that a weird way to say there’s more than one way to achieve a goal).
Hi Ray, I love the hard books over the Kindle type books as far as survival type books. In case we lose power, etc. the hard copy is always better. As far as the O2 absorbers, I took two classes on how to use them. I was given used ones at the church as in “opened” ones that would not work. It was a church volunteer place, they had no clue how to use O2 absorbers. At the classes I took, they suggested when in doubt use more of them. They showed us how to weigh the goods and we all had a calculator to determine the correct CC’s to use for different types of food. I applaud you for using them. I have read a few blogs on “how to use O2 absorbers with Mylar bags” and I have yet to find one that is doing it correctly. I don’t want to be responsible for other people’s food storage. THIS is why I will not recommend them or write a post on how to use them. Linda
Maybe I have success with them because I use heavy weight Mylar bags and put more O2 absorbers in than are “required.” Also, whenever I open a package of O2 absorbers I immediately place the ones I’m not using in a mason jar and screw dow the lid. This keeps them fresh for the next time I use them. The ones I am using go in the mostly filled Mylar bag. I squeeze as much air out of the bag as I can without spilling the contents (or in the case of flour, shooting a plume of flour dust up into my face 🙂 then I immediately seal that bag with my hot jaws clamp heater. This process has worked well for me for years now and I’ve never had any spoilage. Were you sealing dehydrated foods? I could see spoilage happening if foods that were not dehydrated we exposed to air that still has oxygen in it.
To preserve a 5-pound bag of flour in Mylar I use “stackable” Mylar bags. These have a narrow top. Think of it as a flexible, oversized, upside down light bulb. The narrow top makes the bags a bit harder to fill than a regular rectangular Mylar bag, but I’ve found my canning funnel fits perfectly and makes filling them much easier. Once they are filled, I throw in at least three, one hundred cc O2 absorbers, squeeze as much air from the bag as possible and heat seal the bag. If was using a larger bag for a larger quantity I would use more O2 absorbers.
I’ve always been perfectly okay with sifting the weevils from any bags of flour that didn’t get used up soon enough, but my wife is extremely bug averse, which is what got me started with the whole Mylar bag thing.
I’ve also vacuum sealed flour and other dry goods in Mason jars, which accomplishes the same “remove the oxygen from contact with your food” goal.
Hi Ray, thanks again for sharing how you use Mylar Bags. To be honest, I cannot do one more thing. My food storage items must be simple and easy to do. I have plenty of food storage, I’ve been doing this for 50 years. Need I say more. God help us get through this darn pandemic. Linda
Linda, the main reason I’m recommending the e-book version of Bugging In is because of the clickable links. It makes it easier for readers to check out the sites I’m recommending (including yours). Otherwise they have to type the URL into their browser, which can be a pain. But my own Prepper library is all hard copy because if TSHTF my Kindle Paperwhite will eventually make a good paperweight.
Hi Ray, oh my gosh, the Kindle will become a paper weight!! I had to giggle over that one! LInda
I read some place and can’t remember the sight right now that the best way to store flour is in the freezer and that it would be good indefinitely. I have mine in 3.5 gallon buckets in the freezer. I have never had any problems with sugar that I store in 5 gallon buckets with no mylar bags, just opened and poured in the buckets.
Pat, I’ve never stored flour in the freezer. I suppose the cold would kill the weevils so it should work. I use the Mylar bags and O2 absorbers and it works for me. I really don’t have room in my freezer for all the flour my wife and I store. Barely have room for the meat–and we currently have two refrigerator freezers and three other freezers, including one large chest freezer and one large upright. I suspect we’ll be selling the large chest freezer and a small chest freezer at our next garage sale.
I like to pick up extra cookie/cake decorations. It’s the little touch you can add to an unexpectedly needed sweet. I love the sprinkles/colored sugars red/white for valentines, green for St Patty’s, etc:) Many of the tips and such for home decorators are also on sale during xmas shopping period.
Around this time there are also paper/cellophane sales which can be used generically for celebrations be they birthdays or surprise pancakes at Gramma’s. I know these items aren’t strictly emergency type items but having them on hand can simplify your life also.
Hi Nancy, oh how I love your comment! I have 17 grandkids and when they were little I loved using “sprinkles” it’s so fun! Oh, and the colored sugars are the best! I believe they are great “emergency items”. It’s the little things that will help lift people’s spirits after a disaster. Children or adults, great tip, we need these! Thank you, Linda
Linda, this is totally off topic but if you love to laugh I heartily recommend The St. Mary’s Chronicles novels by Jodi Taylor. It’s time travel made human and hilarious. Taylor’s wit seems endless. It would give you something to read in your copious spare time. The first in the series is “Just One Damned Thing After Another” and the title alone sold me. I’ve read them all and just pre-ordered her latest.
Here’s a link (not via my affiliate hook up) https://www.amazon.com/Just-Damned-Thing-After-Another-ebook/dp/B08739BH9S/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1FI1RT7FSPXD8&dchild=1&keywords=just+one+damn+thing+after+another&qid=1606589139&s=books&sprefix=Just+One%2Caps%2C214&sr=1-1
Hi Ray, thanks so much for the book ideas! I hope she has an audible book because I walk and read! Thanks for the heads up, my friend. Linda
Hi Ray, I just ordered her audible!! Thank you. Linda
Let me know how the audible version is. I’ve only read her books–and I mean ALL of them.
Hi Ray, oh my gosh, I love audible books! I will let you know!!! Linda
Great list, Linda! I’d suggest that folks add checking out the clearance aisle in any store you shop in. I do this frequently, but December seems to have some of the best deals as it literally is the last chance for stores to get some items sold & off their inventory.
Ray, thanks for the info on mylar bags & O2 absorbers. Will also be looking forward to your book!
Hi BDN, I agree, December is a great month for sales. We’re all waiting for Ray’s book! Yay! Linda
I was ready for replenishing the pasta bucket.(since 2009, I remove from packaging, bucket holds more) and had the Kroger brand in the cart…got to the clearance aisle and the same boxes were 50¢. Saved $5. Hey, it’s gas money!!!!
Good info. but to add to the mix, white flour can be stored in 5-gal. containers with strong lids for over a year if you add a hand-full of dry bay leaves. It works great and I have used this method for years. The flavor of the flour is also good with no flavor from the bay leaves. Just remove the bay leaves when you open the container. Also, I use cake mixes for making cookies. See “I Can’t Believe It’s Food Storage” . You make them with cooked beans instead of fats. They taste great and it’s a good way to use your food storage, Our favorites are chocolate cookies with mint chips and the oatmeal ones with chocolate chips and dried cranberries. there are others, too.
Hi Cheryl, oh my gosh, I need to get some recipes to make cookies with cake mixes. I went to Walmart and they had my favorite Duncan Hines cakes mixes 2 for $2.00. Generally, $2.49 each. SCORE! Oh, and some brownie mixes, so I grabbed some of those. Chocolate is my best friend!! LOL! Linda
About bugs…weevils…I had egg noodles removed from the packaging and in a 5 gallon bucket.. I didn’t know about weevils until I went to restock my pantry.
I just sifted with my sifter. It worked and I saved the entire bucket. I had a happy ‘sift the egg noodles’ day!!
Hi JayJay, oh my gosh, I love this!! Sift the egg noodles day!! Linda
My end-of-December (or Jan. 2) stock-up is–candy canes (especially the little ones). Did you know horses love peppermint? And they know what crinkling cellophane means!
I’m another who will sift out “little critters” from flour or whatever (although I’ve been lucky, haven’t actually found them in my flour, which I usually wrap and put in the freezer). Probably desensitized at a young age, finding mealworms in the livestock bran… Did you know that sailors in the old days would tap their hardtack biscuits on something hard? It apparently made the weevils crawl out!
Please include me for a (hard) copy of Ray’s book, whenever available!
Hi Rhonda, oh my gosh, the hardtack story!! I have never heard that one before!! Best comment ever!! Here is one of Ray’s books: https://amzn.to/3I9nehA. He’s an excellent writer. I did not know horses love peppermint!! Great information! Linda
I just wanted to let you know that I now save your what to buy emails by date. I put the year after the title of the article and save it that way. It helps to know which ones are current. I do love reading the older versions because they sometimes have information that isn’t in the newer one.
I do have a question. Where can I buy Mylar bags and 02 absorbers?
Hi Jackie, I love hearing you save the posts, What To Buy, it’s getting harder to get stuff at discount prices, that’s for sure. I do not buy Mylar bags or O2 absorbers. Hopefully, a reader will see your question. Linda
I buy O2 absorbers from the LDS Home Storage online store.
Hi Amy, thank you, Linda
We are working on eating what is in our big freezer. As you know I have 1extra large freezer a medium freezer and 4 refrigerator freezers. Right now if we don’t eat what we have in these freezers we will have to buy a humungus freezer. I am already dreaming about what I could put in a walk in freezer and refrigerator. I better get that out of my mind or Jack would have a real hissy fit. Those things cost a fortune!
Hi Jackie, oh that would be awesome to have a walk-in freezer, but I bet it would be expensive to buy and to run electricity!! We can dream…..LOL! Linda
Love all the suggestions and much food for thought! Ref frozen pies (Key Lime in particular): we had planned to serve Key Lime Pie to our northern friends who had never tried it. Forgot to thaw it. My husband suggested we try it frozen. It was even more delicious! I will never thaw it again. ❤
Hi Anne, oh I need to purchase a frozen Key Lime Pie and eat it frozen!! Yummy!! Linda