Stockpiling. Does the word bring to mind piles upon piles of cans and jerky and maybe even some Spam while air raids are going off? No? Well, good. That’s not what I meant.
A stockpile is simply a supply of something stored for future use. How does that help you save money at the grocery store? Consider this scenario. It’s late and you are tired. Supper still needs to be placed on the table. You haven’t made it to the grocery store in weeks. You have no idea what to feed your family. Instead of making a frantic dash to the store, you just calmly stroll to your pantry and peruse the shelves. Sure enough, you find more than you need to put together a quick, delicious, and healthy meal from your own stockpile of food.
Stockpiling can also save you a lot of money. The first step in the world of stockpiling is the price book. A price book can simply be a small notebook or spreadsheet that you use to track the cost of food (or anything) at area stores. Say Mmm has a feature for tracking grocery prices that makes creating a price book easy. Whichever method you choose, note the cheapest prices you find and where and when you find it. By doing this, you will begin to see trends emerge. Pay attention! When the item it at its lowest price, that is when you stock up. By following the trend, you will discover the sale cycle. Be sure you buy enough to last until the next sale cycle.
Beware of the fine print. Sometimes, if a store is having a particularly great sale, they will limit the number of units you can buy. For example, Triscuits are on sale this week, but I can only buy four boxes at the sale price. If you notice the fine print, then go ahead and abide by it. If you are really motivated, you can always come back in an hour and buy four more boxes of Triscuits. If you don’t notice the fine print, but do notice that when they ring the product up at the cash register, the sale price doesn’t appear, then remember you can always say you’ve changed your mind. Tell them you’ve decided you don’t like Triscuits and would only like four boxes, please :)
Also note what fresh produce is on sale. This is typically what is in season. Either stock up at the grocery store, a farmer’s market, or directly from your own backyard garden. Learn how to freeze or can or otherwise preserve your food. Bake all that extra zucchini into zucchini bread now, freeze it, and you’ll have it to enjoy for a few extra months or have some to give out as gifts for the holidays.
Or, if you see a coupon that gets you particularly fired up, clip it, and then call your mother, your mother-in-law, and your best friend and ask them to clip it too. Then you have four coupons for a favorite product, and you can stock up!