My stock piled goodies don't appear as frequently on my grocery list as they used to.
This frees up more money for other things or to be used elsewhere in my budget.
I started out slowly until I got the hang of what I was trying to do. This was not an overnight revelation but more of a trial and error process. What to stock pile? Number one answer: toilet tissue! So, instead of getting just one package, I began to put 2 and sometimes 3 packages in my cart. I planned for an additional $25.00 during my shopping trips that would be dedicated to my stock piling plan. It doesn't take long for things to start piling up . . . which is what you want to happen.
In this scenario, excess is good!
How do you decide what to stockpile? I looked at our needs and went from there. Canned goods are very easy to stockpile because there is usually a sale on canned goods weekly. When something was on sale that we ate and liked such as green beans; instead of buying the sale quantity, I doubled and sometimes tripled what I bought. Pay close attention to the outdates of whatever you buy. I'm buying canned goods with 2 to 3 years forward outdates.
My stockpile also includes dairy products like butter and cheese, coffee, salad dressings, flour, sugar, peanut butter, certain cleaning supplies, paper towels, cereal, pasta and rice.
Everything is neatly stored in our basement on shelves built by my do-it-yourselfer husband.
For those of you who think you might like to start stock piling, here are a few tips.
- Figure out your storage possibilities ahead of time. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can find unused space for storage. In a box under a bed is a good spot, for example. I've know people to build a shelf over the door to store items, but because the vibration of the door slamming could cause an avalanche, I wouldn't recommend heavy objects, unless you wanted your canned peas to double as an anti-theft device.
- Buy up "loss leaders." Grocery stores entice you into the store by offering a few items at ridiculously cheap prices. These items are generally on the front page and can be seasonal. So when soup is on sale four cans for a dollar, fill your pantry until the next sale
- Combine coupons with sales. Ask friends and neighbors to save their coupon inserts for you, buy extra Sunday newspapers, or make friends with the local convenience store, all great sources for lots of coupons. When instant oatmeal went on sale at 1.00 each, I had 20 .50 coupons that doubled to make the oatmeal free-all 20 boxes.
- Shop in bulk at a warehouse club. Fresh meat, produce, cases of canned goods, flour, toothbrushes and diapers are usually good deals. Watch prices on frozen convenience foods and non-food merchandise. Resist the 50-pound tub of mayonnaise. Trust me you'll never use it all before it becomes a science experiment
- Be selective. Don't stockpile a case of instant coffee if no one in your family will drink it.
- Donate any excess. Never has my family ever gotten bored with something I stockpiled, but we do like to share our bounty with others. Older neighbors will be especially grateful when you show up with extra staples and treats during a snowstorm.
Why do I do this? My logic is simple: price and convenience. Our grocery bill is consistently under $200 a month and we save on unnecessary trips to the store. Now, I can simply go shopping in my basement. I am at the point where I don't have to grocery shop unless I find a super sale.
It is a good feeling to know that I am prepared if we are hit with an emergency.
Kimberly is enrolled on the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Kimberly is very active in the Community Forums, some of you may recognize her Community user name; Tiquie. Recently retired, Kim shares how she and her husband manage the financial challenges of living on a fixed income in their home state of Illinois. The John's have found some really creative and fun ways to offset the limitations of a retirement income. Kimberly generously shares smart and tested tips in her A Straight Talk on Debt blog! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.