Some of us have the stocking bug year around. We become nervous and agitated when our resources drop below a 6 month supply. We have the sudden urge to go running to the store, to replenish our dwindling supplies.
Then there are others of us, that see September approaching and realize in panic, that we might not make it thru the week, let alone thru the winter!! Again we have the sudden urge to race to the grocery store, especially if we live in an area that gets a lot of winter weather. The problem with that is, without proper planning and careful buying, we defeat one of the purposes, of stocking, which is to save money. All is not lost though, with careful planning you can restock your pantry before the snow sets in or at least to be be ready for next winter.
We moved this last spring, and because of this, our pantry was getting a bit thin, along with poor health, and thus no garden or canning, our stores were in serious need of replenishing.
So I decided I needed a plan, and I started at the most logical place, my food stockpile that I did have. My food stores are located in 3 separate places, so I decided I needed to make an inventory of what I did have. I started with my freezers, and divided my paper into sections. Each section was a category of food type, such as meat, once-a-month-cooking (oamc) meat, oamc meals, veggies, fruits...etc. I listed what I did have. I worked thru my house, adding categories, such as canned goods, starches, cereal, etc., listing my stores.
Once I had made my lists, it was time to figure out what I needed to add to my stockpiles, and what I wanted to add to my oamc stock.
Next I made a wish list, I keep a running list of my most common meals, and I used this to remind me of things I would need. Again I divided this list up into categories, this time, Meats, canned foods, dry stock, etc. Keep in mind as you make this list, that you should shoot for 3 months stock pile but the key is to be sure you balance each of your categories, so that you have the same amount of stockpile in each.
Once my list is made, the rest is easy, each week commit a certain amount of your grocery money to stockpiling, and even if you do not think you have enough you would be surprised just how far $10 will go if you shop the sales. Get your local grocery store fliers out, if you have and use coupons pulls those out too. Circle the sales, and make your list, based on your wish list, the sale fliers and your coupons if you have any. Try to stick with loss leaders, (items that are usually on the front page, and are usually such a good deal, that the stores lose money on them, in an attempt to get you in their store, to spend more money). If you can find coupons to match the sale items then so much the better. As you purchase the things on your list, cross them off.
If you do this each week, every 2 weeks or every month, you will soon have a stock pile to be proud of. And remember even if you have only 5 dollars that will be 5 dollars more you will not have to pay later, and that five dollars adds up. How much groceries can you buy for 250$? I can buy a lot for that, and that is what a years worth of 5$ a week makes.
Here are some examples of what you can buy for for the extra money you have. These examples are from my fliers, please keep in mind however, that you prices may vary from mine either higher or lower, these are considered good for my area, and only serve to show you what a difference a small amount of money over a given time can help. I also do not use coupons, in my area they are hard to find, and rarely of any use, in my style of cooking.
Cornflakes Storebrand 69 cents a box: 4 boxes $2.76
Peanut Butter $1.00 for an 18 oz jar 2 jars $2.00
Sausage .79 cents for a 1 lb roll; 5 rolls $3.95
Potatoes 10 lbs. $1.00; 2 bags $2.00
Green Peppers 4 for $1.00; 8 peppers $2.00 (these will be diced up and frozen to be used later)
Onions 5 lbs for $1.00; 10 lbs $2.00 (these will be diced up and frozen for use later)
Broccoli Crowns .58 cents a lb; 10 lbs $5.80 (blanche and freeze these)
Pork Steak 1.09 lb; 9 lbs $9.81
32 oz bagged cereal $1.79; 2 bags $3.58
Top Ramen 10 for a $1; 20 pckgs $2.00
Spaghetti Sauce Hunts cans .68 cents; 5 cans $3.40
I think it is important to say, that you can do better by the use of coupons, gardening, canning, and cooking from scratch, but these lists are more typical of what someone who is just starting out on the road to frugality or a busy family might encounter. The key to successful shopping, is being realistic, accept your abilities and your time limitations, and work within what you are capable of. It does no good to buy large quantities of a food that you will never use. That is money wasted if it sits on the shelf collecting dust, and you eat out, simply because you donít have the time or resources, to make it into what you invisioned. Every dollar that you save counts. Keep track of your spending, but as an added bonus keep track of your savings, this will really tell the tale, and be an added incentive to hit the fliers every week.
Reprinted with permission.
on this article or submit your tip to CreativeHomemaking.com.
for a printer friendly version of this page.
Follow me on Pinterest
Receive new article links via Twitter
Follow Creative Homemaking on Facebook
this article to a friend!
our article archives.
to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.