They say education starts at home, but it can happen just as conveniently in the supermarket.
“The wholemeal pasta is on special, better grab three packets.”
“What’s ‘on special’ mean, mummy?”
“That means it costs less money.”
“…That means…we will have more money for chocolate and ice cream!”
The boy, he’s on the ball, this one, he’s on the ball.
My parents took stockpiling to a whole different level that still bemuses me, even into adulthood.
“Dad, why do you have 17 cartons of long-life milk in the linen closet?”
“Well, we’ll never run out of milk, will we?”
And my nana? I won’t even go into what my nanna kept under her bed.
I’m not one to stockpile food for the coming Armageddon, although I’m all for prepping, so if you want to fill a bunker full of spam, by all means, go for it.
But it does pay to buy extra items when they go on sale.
I’m loving this definition of stockpiling, I think it sums it up nicely:
Stockpiling: “The practice of buying what you use, when it’s at its rock-bottom price so when you need it, you have it and you don’t have to pay full price.” [source]
Just say you buy dishwash for $3 a bottle and it lasts 1 month. If you buy 3 every 3 months when it’s half price, that saves you $18 a year.
Now $18 a year doesn’t sound like much.
But…if you apply this to as many items on your grocery list as you can, the savings start adding up to hundreds of dollars a year and all with very little effort.
how to stockpile food and save money on the groceries
1. ADD $5 – $20 TO THE GROCERY BUDGET AND STOCK UP ON ONE OR TWO THINGS PER SHOP
You can start stockpiling food with as little as $5 a week.
It’s that easy!
Tinned tuna on sale? Buy a few extra. Two for one on tomato sauce? Get the two.
Little by little, and without a large initial outlay of money, you will have built up a significant stockpile of food within just a few months.
2. ONLY STOCK UP ON THINGS YOU ACTUALLY USE
It’s money down the drain if you stock up on foods that you end up not liking and therefore not using.
To avoid waste, only stock up on things you actually use.
If there’s a great special on a brand you don’t normally buy, then buy one and taste it. If you like it, then stock up.
4. CHECK COMPETITOR’S CATALOGUES FOR REALLY GREAT BARGAINS
I’m not one for shopping here, there and everywhere to chase every discount. Who has time to do that?
But you’ll save even more if you keep an eye out for really great bargains at other stores and stock up big.
My father would only ever buy coffee at half price. He didn’t shop around for every discount, but saved significant money when it came to coffee.
5. TAKE CARE OF YOUR STOCKPILE
You’ve invested money in your stockpile, so you don’t want to see it go to waste, otherwise you aren’t saving any money, which is the whole point!
Here are a few tips for taking care of your stockpile:
- Rotate what you’ve bought to make sure the oldest food gets eaten first.
- Shop from your pantry. Menu plan based on what you already have on hand. Then grocery shopping becomes a matter of replacing what you’ve used rather than buying what you will need in the next week. Never run out of anything again!
- Store food in airtight containers, in a cool, dry place, to prevent spoilage and pest infestation.
- Don’t go overboard, even non-perishable items like crackers go stale after their best before date. You just want to stock enough that you can eat within best before dates.
- Over the counter medicines have expiry dates, so don’t stock up on more than you can use before the expiry.
- Freeze and preserve fresh foods but remember, even frozen and canned foods have a shelf life.
Stockpiling food, or in our case, buying extra on discount to avoid paying full price, is just one way to save money on the groceries. Combined with other strategies like menu planning, you can reduce your grocery bill by hundreds of dollars a year.