When it comes buying in bulk, the key to maximizing your savings is knowing what to buy—and when.

January: Oatmeal

Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Variety Value Pack, 18 Count via amazon.com

Before you start stockpiling, it’s important to follow sales cycles. “Sales cycles are simply designated time frames that grocery stores reduce items and place them on sale,” says Joy Hearn of Cards and Clips, a Facebook page that offers tips on extreme couponing. The best time to buy in bulk is when you can stack coupons on top of sale prices, which usually cycle every six to eight weeks. Once or twice a year, however, you can find products at their absolute lowest prices. January, for example, is National Oatmeal Month—a great time to stock up on granola bars and other Quakers products. It’s also when department stores host “White Sales,” meaning deep discounts on sheets, towels, and bedding. Find out the items that are a waste of money to buy in bulk.

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February: Asian foods and condiments

Kikkoman Japan Made Soy Sauce, 33.8 Ounce via amazon.com

It makes sense that chocolate goes on sale around candy-oriented holidays like Valentine’s Day, but the sweetest deals start the following day when all that chocolate hits the clearance shelf. The Krazy Coupon Lady also suggests stocking up on Asian food ingredients this month. “Chinese New Year starts at the beginning of February and goes into March, so during this time, look for deals on items like soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, noodles, rice, and more,” she writes.

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March: Frozen food

Amy's Black Bean Tamale Verde, 10.3-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)via amazon.com

“March is Frozen Food Month, which means consumers can expect lots of coupons on products in the frozen food aisle,” says Courtney Jespersen, Nerdwallet‘s consumer savings expert. And with over 3,000 products to satisfy any craving or dietary need, according to the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association, you’ll want to make sure there’s plenty of room in your freezer! While you’re in the mindset to save money, here are 10 foods you should never buy full price.

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