The perfect resource for anyone beginning stockpiling! Learn all about how stockpiling works and how it can benefit your grocery budget and help you save.
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I try to share as much information as possible in my weekly What I Spent & Saved posts, to help you understand the things that I do to make our $200 grocery budget work. But I still get a lot of questions about exactly how I do it and frequently have requests for more details. So, in an effort to make things more clear and hopefully help you spend less on groceries as well, I’m doing this series that is all about our $200 Grocery Budget- the way I shop, the key things that help me save, my favorite money saving tricks and more!
There are a number of different ways that I save money on groceries, but one of the key things that I do, that may well save me the most money, is to stockpile. I don’t know what pops into your mind when you think of stockpiling, but I’m guessing it may be an image of some slightly crazy person that has a garage full of detergent and toilet paper and lots of shelves filled with spaghetti sauce, tuna, and peanut butter.
But before you get the wrong idea and start picturing stockpiles like you’ve seen on Extreme Couponing, a show I’ve never watched but have heard a lot about, let me explain just what I mean when I talk about stockpiling.
What is Stockpiling?
Basically, stockpiling means that when an item is on sale for a rock bottom price, you’ll buy as many as you can afford.
Pretty much any grocery, household and toiletry item goes on sale occasionally. But sometimes that sale will be super awesome and you’ll be able to get an item at a rock-bottom price or even free.
If the item is something that you regularly use (like toilet paper) or could regularly use (like canned tuna), then it makes sense to purchase as many of that item as your grocery budget allows, within reason.
Why do I love having a Grocery Stockpile?
It’s obvious that I stockpile because it enables me to save money on groceries, but what I think people often don’t understand is just how much money buying ahead and building a stockpile can actually save.
Here are a few examples from my own shopping trips:
* Saved $25.05 stocking up on Hanover frozen veggies
Hanover frozen veggies were on sale for $1.67 at Giant back in March, and by combining coupons and sales I was actually able to get 15 bags of veggies for totally free. Actually, they were better than free because I actually made $5.45 on them!
Frozen veggies typically have a regular price of somewhere close to $2.00 a bag. If I just waited and bought a bag whenever I needed more veggies, I most likely would have paid full price and as a result would have paid the equivalent of $30.00 for the 15 bags that I bought. That’s some significant savings!
* Saved $6.30 stocking up on Blue Diamond almonds
We love eating almonds on our salads and I also like to have them on hand for a quick, healthy snack when needed. In January, by taking advantage of a sale, I was able to get 6 of the small 6 oz. cans of Blue Diamond almonds for just $2.17.
Aldi sells the 1 lb. bags of almonds for $4.99, meaning that by buying ahead when the Blue Diamond were on at such a low price, I saved myself $6.30!
* Saved at least $30.00 stocking up on Scott toilet paper
Recently Giant had a deal where I was able to get 5 Scott toilet paper 12-packs for just $2.99 each. Normally, these 12-packs cost at least $8.99, often more. But let’s just assume that I would get them on sale for $8.99 each or $44.95 total. By stocking up on 5 packs of Scott toilet paper when it was on sale at the rock bottom price of $2.99, I was able to save at least $30.00!
* Saved $14.28 stocking up on Domino brown sugar
In December, I got 12 bags of Domino brown sugar for free after coupons and sales. That’s a lot of brown sugar! But since it’s something that I regularly use and it was totally free, it only made sense to me to go ahead and buy it. (Just in case you are curious, I just used the last of it up a couple of weeks ago.)
Our Aldi regularly sells brown sugar for $1.19. By stocking up on brown sugar when I could get it for free, I was able to save a total of $14.28!
* Saved at least $9.50 stocking up on KidFresh meals
This week Giant has KidFresh meals on sale for $2.50 each. By combining coupons with sales, I’ll be able to buy 15 KidFresh meals and actually make $9.50 on them!
I don’t typically buy this kind of thing because it quickly gets expensive, but this is a case where I will stockpile and buy the product simply because it makes sense financially. And, I can’t say I will mind being able to pull the meals out for quick lunches this summer! 🙂
I don’t know of anyone that wouldn’t enjoy having an extra $70 in their grocery budget, and that is exactly what stocking up on these 5 things did for me.
Sometimes the savings aren’t as big- it might just be a savings of $0.50 from buying an extra can of beans that was on sale.
But here’s the thing. By implementing this practice of buying ahead and stockpiling with multiple items a week, the savings slowly add up to give your budget a big boost!
Other Benefits of Stockpiling
Obviously, saving money is the biggest reason that I buy ahead, but here are some of the other benefits that I’ve discovered from having a stockpile.
- Helps me be more prepared for unexpected guests because I always have extra food on hand that I can quickly throw a meal together with.
- Keeps us from eating out as much since I have food on hand to easily make meals.
- Allows me to bless others by donating or passing along my freebies and the things I don’t need.
(Sometimes I buy things simply because I can get them for free or make money on them, but they aren’t things that I really want, so then I have the fun of getting to share them with other people!)
Want to save money on groceries and get started stockpiling too? Learn how to start building your own grocery stockpile!
Missed the other posts in this series? Here they are!
All great ideas! I typically can pick up baking things super cheap in the fall with coupons or sales….always good to keep on hand for unexpected guests or to whip up a quick treat for my family. Thanks for the great tips…as always!
Yes, I’ve noticed too that it seems like there are always great sales on baking items in the fall. Last fall I was able to get a bunch of Nestle chocolate chips for free and they lasted me until just recently, which was awesome!
I’m commenting late but this is very timely for me —
I just had an emergency vet visit that left me with about $50 until pay day in 2 weeks (I don’t use credit cards).
But I have plenty of good food and other necessities because I stock pile pantry, freezer and home products whenever they’re on sale and I have coupons to match. Some produce, milk, bread and eggs and I’m good.
I stock pile for this very reason and am so glad I do!
Wow, that’s great, CA! What a blessing your stockpile is right now, for sure. Thanks for sharing your story!
I’m starting my own stock ple now. I find that I can save alot at ALDI even without coupons and can buy in bulk there. Dollar General, and Deals are alos good options. Thanks for the post.
Thank you for sharing that, Cari! And I love how you are making a stockpile work at Aldi even without using coupons. I hope your comment can encourage others who aren’t couponers too!
Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving
Thank you for this! This is exactly how and why I stockpile. Like you, I save so much by buying things I need at rock-bottom prices. I even made up a list that I can reference so I know a deal is really a stock-up worthy deal. Of course, after years of shopping this way, it becomes second nature! Our grocery budget stays low because I stockpile. (We also have a $200 budget for our family of 3.)
Yes, I have a price list too! I kind of know by now what is a good price and when I should jump on a deal or pass it up, but it is still handy to have the list to refer too when I’m a bit unsure. Love meeting other $200 grocery budget folks. 🙂
I don’t understand where you get coupons ..most in my paper inserts are for pet food and hair coloring… Please give me some guidance as I need to start all the budget ideas I can do
Linda, I use the newspaper insert coupon some, but the majority of the coupons that I use are printable coupons. If you go to my Weekly Spending Posts, you’ll see a list of printable sites. Hope that helps!