How to Stockpile

A reader recently posted a very good couponing question:

Until now, we have planned our weekly menu depending on how much we have to spend for that week out of our food budget. We usually shop at Winco for the best deals (their non-sale prices are really good) with a few things at Trader Joe’s. The problem is that by the end of the week, our cupbords, fridge, and freezer are basically empty and we begin again the following weekly shopping trip. How would I change my shopping habits to not only get the best deals, but also to build up a pantry? I expect that I will probably have to spend more the first few months because we’ll be getting enough for weekly meals but also catching deals and buying in bulk, right?


One thing I remember when I first started to coupon is that I questioned whether or not I would be able to build up a pantry and not have to eat rice in beans in the process.  I can honestly say that I live a much better life now that I coupon. I am going to try to lay out some steps to help answer this question.

     

  • Plan your meals:  When I say this I don’t mean just pick whatever you want to eat that week and go buy it.  Take a look at what you do have in your freezer, refrigerator, and pantry and plan out of that.  If you need meat that week find the best deal and create a meal or two out of that.  I love to use allrecipes.com to give me ideas.  If you used their advanced option you can plug in ingredients that you have and it will give you a recipe :) Just remember to plan your menu around the sales.

  • Set aside a certain amount to build up your stockpile. Say $25 a week.  While this may seem like a small amount, you will be amazed at how much this will last when you are using coupons. Keep it in a cash envelope so that you know how much you have left.  If you have money left from the previous week add it to the next.  You never know when meat will be on a super buy.  For instance Chicken is at Food Emporium this week for $1.69lb.  I just went and got 29lbs!

  • Know how much you should buy.  When something goes on rock bottom price take a minute to think of how much you will need.  If you eat spaghetti once a week then you will know that you need 52 jars of it.  I like to buy six months ahead of time because by that time it will be on a great sale again.
Any type of change in our lives takes dedication and time.  You are going to have to make a commitment to save your family money.  In the beginning you will be going to the store more in order to build your stockpile.  But within six months this will be less and less.  By following blogs you will be given the best ideas on what to buy that week.

Here is an example of what you could buy using that $25 dollars in week and still have money left over:


Danimals- Yogurt- Free
Sponges- Free
Arm & Hammer Laundry Sheets- $0.59
Ziploc Bags-buy 4, pay $1.98 and receive a $2.00
Barilla Pasta- Free
Post Cereal-Pebbles- Buy 4, pay $1.96 and receive a $3.00 catalina

I could go and do this and only spend $5.12 and get $5 in catalinas!


S&W Beans- $0.41 each!


Scrubbing Bubbles, Pay $1.98, and receive a $2.00 Catalina

I would personally then go to Food Emporium and stock up on Chicken with my left over stockpile money :)

I hope this gives you an idea on how to build a stockpile and how far $25 dollars can really go.  If you are new to using coupons you may not have all the coupons for these products, and I know how frustrating that can be.  While there are ways to buy those coupons I never did that when I first started out.  Within a few months you will be able to jump right in on all these deals so be patient and it will come :)  Feel free to leave a comment or email me if you have any other questions.
And if you are wondering how to coupon without doubles, please read this post here on How to Coupon Without Doubles