The cost of food is one thing that can never be eliminated from the monthly budget. We all have to eat and we also want to enjoy our meals. But there are many ways to cut down your grocery expenses without sacrificing the foods you like. Here is one excellent way to save money on your grocery bill. It’s called stockpiling. Most people buy the same items week after week, and stockpiling takes advantage of this simple principle.
Avoid Buying the Products at the Regular Price
You may already stockpile to a small degree by picking up one or two extra of a reduced-price item. But if you really want to save money, you must take it a step further. You have to buy your cereal, peanut butter, soup, and other groceries only when they are on sale – and at no other time. You can still buy the brands you prefer – you simply avoid buying the products at the regular price.
Here’s how you implement this strategy. Get a little notebook that you can keep handy and take to the store with you. You are going to create a list of the items you usually buy each week or on a regular basis. This list includes non-perishable items such as canned soup, canned tuna, peanut butter, and cereal, as well as foods that can be frozen such as chicken breasts and pork chops.
The next time you’re at the supermarket, you will record the normal, non-sale prices of all these items. Having this master list makes it easy to tell when an item is truly on sale. Is $2.99 a pound a good price for round steak? Is 4 for $5 a good price for canned Yummios? You can just refer to your price list and you’ll know the answer.
Get the Weekly Supermarket Flyers
Your next step is to get the weekly supermarket flyers and use them to make your shopping list for the week. You’ll usually find that the products advertised on the front and back are the best deals. When you go shopping at your favorite supermarket, buy enough of each sale item to last for a while. Try not to buy anything at full price. If it’s convenient to go to several supermarkets, you may want do so.
What about fresh foods that are perishable – fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, fresh fish, and eggs? Obviously, you can’t stockpile those. But you can keep track of the normal prices and take advantage of any bargains. For example, if salmon is on special, put it on the week’s dinner menu. There is always something on sale in the produce aisle, usually fruits and vegetables that are in season and at the peak of quality.
How Much Should You Buy?
If you pay attention to the timing of sales, you will probably notice that they repeat in 12-week cycles! That means you should buy enough of an item for three months, or until the item is likely to go on sale again. It may take you a few weeks to stockpile all of the basics that your family needs. Once you get the hang of it, though, you will rarely have to pay full price for groceries.
And don’t limit this useful strategy to just food. Shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, vitamins, paper towels – anything that you use on an ongoing basis and can store for a few months is fair game for stockpiling. The more of your regular purchases you can incorporate into your buying plan, the more money you’ll save. Families who take the stockpiling idea seriously can easily save up to 20 percent on groceries and household necessities!