For example, why is soda, a completely manufactured product, half price during the summer months? Why is it that turkey and ham are more than 75% off during the winter holidays?
The answer lies in marketing, of course. Products like these are known in the business as "loss leaders." A store will choose a product, in this case one you'll need for your holiday or seasonal gathering, and sell it at cost or even at a loss. They know that once you get into the store, you're going to round out the meal or the weekly grocery list with items that still have high mark-ups.
And all this brings me to the subject of corned beef. I confess, I did not make corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day. It's not that I wasn't feeling festive. It's that I'm the only one in the house that will eat it. So instead, we went to a restaurant where my wife could chow-down on a nice grilled chicken breast and sip green beer while I enjoyed my corned-beef. Win-win, except for the leftovers. Oh, but there WILL be leftovers.
You see, I'm not shy about still taking advantage of these loss leader deals. The next day, I marched right into the store, snatched-up two good-sized pieces of corned beef, headed home and stuck them in the slow cooker. I then broke it up into pieces and froze it for months worth of breakfast meat, tasty sandwiches, and delicious home-made corned beef hash. Mmmm...
(Tonight's dinner...a corned beef sandwich)
And I don't just do this in honor of St. Paddy. Around Christmas and Thanksgiving, I stock-up on Turkey or Ham (who can beat 19 to 25 cents a pound?!?). Sometimes, I keep it frozen whole and other times I roast them up, slice or de-bone, and re-freeze to be used in other meals like soups, stews, stir-fries, brunch--you name it. You can really get some great deals this way.