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The Ultimate Guide To Building A Grocery Stockpile
Have you ever heard of stockpiling? It is the most important thing that I do to stick to our budget. Basically, I buy groceries at less than retail price. When we run out, rather than going to the store, I just shop my stockpile. This is a really popular method to save money in the couponing world, but it can work for anyone! No coupons necessary. I’ll show you how!
Related: Life Hack: How To Easily Coupon In Little Time
How To Stockpile Groceries to Save Money
Every time that I tell someone how much money I spend on groceries per month, they are astonished. With our family of five, I only spend $250 a month feeding my family real food. And, my kids eat. My boys are past the baby portion stage. Sometimes, they eat more than I do! So trust me when I say that this can be done! However, the only reason I manage to stay within this budget is because I buy everything I possibly can in large quantities! Sometimes this means buying in bulk, and sometimes it just means buying more than one!
I basically learned how to cook by gathering recipes off of Pinterest. My mom was a great cook, but I wasn’t really interested in learning. It’s not her fault, she tried! In my defense, we do cook together when we get the chance now.
Then, when I became a stay at home mom I knew that if I cooked from scratch, it would save us a ton of money. My options were basically to cook real food, or get a job and leave my baby. Obviously, I learned how to cook!
Since Chris was a picky eater, I cooked a new recipe almost every night, searching for things that he would like. It didn’t take long to realize that no matter what culture the food comes from, most of the basic ingredients are the same. I stock up on these basic ingredients every chance that I get! The more that you cook, the easier it will be to tell what your stockpile needs to include. Think of items that you use frequently. These are your staples!
Extra Perks of Building a Stockpile
1. Save time at the grocery store by shopping your stockpile instead.
2. Be able to feed your family for a significant length of time without grocery shopping if necessary-perhaps for a no spend month, or even in a crisis!
3. Avoid impulse buying while at the grocery store. This is a huge budget killer!
4. Eliminate stress while grocery shopping with your kids, because you can get in and out.
5. Cook real food on a budget.
What To Stockpile
I have spoken to a few people that have told me that their stockpiles go way too quickly. They believe that stockpiling just doesn’t work. If this is something that you have also experienced, then perhaps you aren’t stockpiling the right ingredients.
When I talk about stockpiling groceries, I’m not talking about starting with convenience food. I’m not talking about buying a bunch of snack cakes, baking mixes, frozen pizzas, or even Chef Boyardee and calling it good. These grab-and-go solutions disappear in a flash because when they are around, we have an excuse. We use them as a crutch when life gets hectic, and instead of taking five minutes to toss together an Instant Pot meal, we grab the box. We begin to rely on them.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Buying these convenience foods is totally fine, and I do! I talk about that when I tell you how to stockpile casually. However, in order to really save money with the stockpiling method, you have to start with the basics. Buy the versatile ingredients that can be used in almost any dish first. Then shop for the convenience food. If you try to do it backward, you will fail every time.
What If I’m Time Poor
You might be thinking “But, cooking from scratch takes too much time.” Amazing news! If you are short on time, this will help you. If you go to the store frequently, it might even save you time. My goal at this stage of my life is to make everything run seamlessly. I definitely don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen every day.
Although I highly recommend cooking from scratch, there is no reason why you can’t stockpile shortcut ingredients that you normally use. Start with what you are comfortable with, but be aware that ready-to-eat food will disappear much more quickly! If you must, stock up on shortcut ingredients(like enchilada sauce and rice mix) rather than ready-to-eat foods(like chili and ravioli), to help it all stretch further.
However, cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be hard! Follow me on Pinterest where I share simple but delicious recipe ideas from my favorite food bloggers. My goal is less than thirty minutes a day, including clean-up!
RELATED: The Best Kitchen Essentials to Save You Time & Energy
Different Ways To Build A Grocery Stockpile
There are a few different ways that I shop for my basic staples in bulk. Some of them are seasonal, and some I work into my weekly grocery shopping. In order to explain everything as thoroughly as possible, I will be sharing these methods in their own post over the next few weeks! Join my mailing list if you’d like to be notified when these articles are posted!
How To Buy From Case Lot Sales
How to use annual case lot sales to keep your pantry stocked, with tips to help make it fit in your budget. Read the post here!
How To Stockpile Casually
The routine that I use weekly to make the most of my grocery budget.
How To Stock Up On Meat For Cheap
Ways to cut cost on meat. Ideas that don’t include becoming a vegetarian, unless you want to of course. We all know about meatless Monday, right?
What To Buy From Warehouse Stores
The basics on what to buy from stores like Costco and Foodsmart Service, and what to pass on! Plus, a cost comparison between those two.
How To Organize Your Stockpile
Of course, once you get all of this food, you are going to need a place to put it. If you are short on space, think creatively. Can you store it under your bed? In your laundry room? Think about where you have space and whether or not you can make this work before you start shopping!
Keep It Fresh
I’m blessed to have a cellar to store my food in, but it comes with its own disadvantages! Every spring, we have a bit of flooding and on occasion we have visitors. AKA mice. We do live in farmland, so it’s pretty common. But still! I have taken a few extra measures to keep my food safe and to make sure that we eat it before the expiration date.
I keep my bulk dry ingredients in food-safe buckets, and in their original packaging inside of totes. Then, I keep a convenient sized jar or container in my kitchen so that using these ingredients isn’t a total pain! I just refill them when necessary.
I use shelves to line cans up. The can organizers are a neat idea, but I have found that the store-bought kind waste space. If you already have some groceries stockpiled, just make sure to rotate your food so that the oldest ingredients are in front and get used first. It honestly works just as well.
Keep It Sorted
For extra items that I buy on my weekly trip, I have a couple of miscellaneous bins.
The first bin is the savory bin. This one is only for cooking ingredients or convenience food. It’s like the melting pot of ingredients, and it’s a great place to brainstorm for new recipes. If I found a great deal on chili or Chef Boyardee, I would put it here as well. This is where I go when I am needing something fast!
There is another for baking items. Brownie mix, cake mix, canned pumpkin, Jello, extra oil. You name it! If I have three or less, they go into the sweet bin.
The last bin that I have is for snacks. When I buy a box of snacks, I dump them into the bin. These are eaten relatively quickly so we don’t really worry about them going bad. I mostly buy these items from Costco, Grocery Outlet, and while couponing. I keep a space next to this box for items like cereal and crackers! Having the snacks in the cellar means that my kids only get them when I bring a few up. It really helps them last!
How To Stockpile Groceries To Save Money
Well, there ya have it. Having staple ingredients on hand is a great way to save yourself time, money, and stress. Take a few minutes to sit down and brain dump all of the ingredients that you normally use. Think about recipes that you typically make and the staple items that you buy on a regular basis. Then, create a customized stockpile that will serve your family well!
Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for great recipe ideas! And if you really loved this post, please share it with your friends!
Don't forget to check out The Ultimate Christmas Shopping Planner to help you enjoy the Holidays on a budget!