I’m a huge fan of stockpiling non-perishable items in moderation. We don’t have a lot of space to store food or other items so my stockpile can never get too big, which is a good thing! I do have enough space for stockpiling certain items which we use on a regular basis and whenever I can get these items at their lowest in the shops, I buy as much as my budget allows.
When I meal plan for the month, I always make sure I check my pantry and freezer for items which I already have and which I can use in the coming weeks. This helps us keep our grocery bill in check and also helps us save overall – if I bought an item at a very low price this means that the meal I prepare with it will cost me less overall (you can read more about this in my post Meal Planning Around Specials).
Stockpiling allows you to take advantage of very low prices and this carries on throughout the year. Starting a stockpile doesn’t have to cost you a whole lot. Simply spend a bit extra, within your budget of course, to stockpile certain items when they go on special. I try and look for rock-bottom prices. In August, for example, I bought 4 bottles of Comfort fabric softener at R25.00 a bottle when normally a bottle costs over R40.00 and even on special it comes down to only about R36.00 so. This was a huge saving.
In July I found Alpo Purina dog chunks at R 149.00 per 8kg (normally this bag is over R200.00) as well as Husky tinned dog food at just over R17.00 per tin (normally they are about R23.00 or more each) so I bought as much as I could within my budget that month. This means that I will be saving money on those particular items by not buying them at a higher price.
It is important to check the expiry dates on all your stockpiled items. I do this twice: I first check the expiry date on the items before I buy them and when I store the stockpiled items I make a note of expiry dates somewhere visible in my pantry so that I am reminded of what needs to be used up and by which date. This really does help as it’s so easy for items to end up right at the back of a shelf and you only get to them when it’s too late, and you don’t want to turn your intended saving into a waste!
If you stockpile already, what are some of your favourite items to stockpile when you can? Here are my top items to stockpile in my pantry which you might find useful if you are just starting out with stockpiling.
- Coffee and Tea.
- Tinned meat (tuna, sardines, corned beef).
- Tinned vegetables & fruit (baked beans, for example).
- Pet food.
- Pasta, noodles and rice.
- Oil, sugar, pap and flour.
- Rusks & crackers.
- Laundry washing powder & fabric softener.
- Household cleaning supplies.
- Toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper)
Having a stockpile, even a small one, can help reduce your expenses each month. While starting your very first stockpile can seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be if you start off small. If you see an item at a really good price, or on ‘special’, start by buying two or three items. As you build up your stockpile you will start to see more and more savings in your grocery budget each month which you can then use either to top up your savings account, or top up your stockpile, or both.
It also pays, in savings, to know your prices. As you go about your weekly or month end shopping, and prepare your shopping list, you’ll get to know the prices – both the regular prices and the lowest price when on ‘special’. It’s best to add to your stockpile when you can find an item at its rock bottom price. Buying 3 for 2 items can be a very good saving. Buying in bulk, half a dozen or more, can also be a good deal but be sure to check the price per item and compare what the item costs when it is on sale or on ‘special’ in other stores.
Have you ever taken part in a Pantry and Freezer Challenge in order to reduce the amount of items you have in your stockpile, no matter how small, and to save a bit of money? I have! You can start by reading my post Take the Pantry and Freezer Challenge.
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