Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Adventures in Stockpiling- Save money, pay debt.

I have a friend who laughs at me when I talk about my deals. He asks, “You know smart shopping is not a new concept, right?”

Yes, I know. But, for a long time I was a very bad shopper. I thought the fact that I shopped at Walmart meant I was getting the best prices and the best deals. The truth is on a day by day basis, Walmart does have better prices, but only by a few cents in most cases. The problem is Walmart never has very good deals or sales.

A few months ago, I started trying to reign in our grocery spending. I started reading about stockpiling and shopping the sales ads. It took me a while to “get” stockpiling, but I actually fell right into a groove with it. We now have a rather large stockpile of different items. Read on to learn more about it.

Stockpiling is obviously the building up of household items or food. However, there is a right and a wrong way to do this. The right way is to buy items when they are at their lowest prices and to buy as many as you can comfortably fit into your budget at that time.

By stockpiling items when they are on sale, but when you may not need them, you are taking away the seller’s right to tell you what you must pay for them. For instance, this week I bought 4 Dawn dish soaps. They were on sale for $1 each. I had coupons for them totaling $3.75 so I paid $0.25 for the soap. I can’t even touch a Walmart brand dish soap for that price, and I got four NAME BRAND soaps. When you buy more of an item at its sale price and save it for later, you end up cutting your monthly bills. You get the items you need in advance of when you need them, but you pay less.

Walmart is not a good place to stockpile. Like I said before, they do not have many deals and a “rollback” may be for as little as 12 cents. ( I saw that last week) Your local chain grocery stores are a great place for stockpiling food, and CVS is probably the ONLY place to stockpile household, hygiene, and medicinal products. (This is because of their unbelievable customer reward program, but that is a whole other blog!!) I get most of my meat from our Winn-Dixie which really doesn’t have the greatest sale prices, but they have BOGO sales every week. If you have a deep freezer, stockpiling meat is a great way to save money on groceries.

I have now started giving myself a “stockpiling” budget each month. This actually comes right out of a portion of my old grocery budget. Since some of the items I stockpile are groceries, I can get away with using some of that money. Also, buying items on sale and using coupons has reduced our grocery budget by so much I hardly notice the money is gone.

When I first heard about stocking up on items I thought it would cost us MORE money. Somehow it has actually done the opposite. Now, the money we are saving can go toward debt repayment. The only downside for me is that I have to cook a lot more instead of using all those convenience meals we used to eat. My family is NOT complaining :)

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