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Friday, May 6, 2011

How I Keep My Budget Under Control - Stockpiling

You've seen my grocery trips where I have bought 20 yogurts, or 30 bags of cheese. The other week I bought 6 containers of mayo. The week before, a ton of cream cheese. All these items by themselves don't make meals. But combine them with the items I have already stockpiled and are sitting in my pantry/freezer, and I'm good to go.

What is stockpiling? It's when an item is at it's rock bottom price and you buy as many as your family will use over a period of time (usually 3-6 months, sometimes up to a year). When you use coupons when these items are at their rock bottom prices, you can get products for pennies on the dollar.

There are several different ways to obtain coupons. Online, through the mail, newspapers inserts and directly from the manufacturer. You can also order your coupons from a clipping service, but there has been a lot of controversy lately over if this is legal or not.

Stocking up with coupons does take some time, but the process is really simple. Look at your life and figure out what products you and your family are using the most. Then, grab a sale flyer for the week. Keep your coupons close by. Grab your price book. You should know by now what a great price on your products are. When you see your product go on sale for the lowest price, look for coupons to make the price even lower.

For example, Peanut Butter is on sale this week 2 for $4. There are $0.50/1 coupons available HERE. When you buy 7 peanut butter (or any products in the category) you get $3 off instantly. My store doubles coupons up to $1. So the math looks like this :
  • Buy 7 Peanut Butters @ $14
  • Use 7 $0.50/1 coupons (doubled) @ $7
  • $3 off instantly
  • Total is $4 for 7 jars of Peanut Butter or $0.57 a jar
This sure beats paying $2 (sale price) for 1 jar of peanut butter because I ran out. By buying 7 jars now, I'm saving at least $10. (If I were to buy 7 jars on sale it would be $14, I'm spending $4 now. ($14-$4=$10 savings))

7 jars of peanut butter would get used up in about 3 months in my house. My kids eat PB&J for breakfast and lunch if I let them. Hubby takes it to work. This would be a great example of stocking up FOR ME. If you don't eat Peanut Butter, or don't eat that much peanut butter, you would have to find another deal that worked for you.

So how do you figure out how much of something you need? Get your list of the most used items that your household uses. Next to each item put down how many of that item your family uses per month then multiply it by however long you're trying to build your stockpile for. I usually try to keep a stock for at least 6 months, sometimes even a year. In the winter, I don't like to go out in the cold so I try to have enough "supplies" to get us through the winter. :)

The hardest part of stockpiling is actually finding the deals. That's where it pays to be organized. Have all your coupons organized and not just thrown all around. Know where your store circulars are. Have a pen and paper to write out your coupon match ups while you're going through your ads. I use We Use Coupons a lot. Its the best resource I've found to help me in my match ups.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments or email me at feedingfour@comcast.net and I will be glad to answer them for you!


  1. THanks for the web site! I need the organization help with my coupons!

  2. I forgot to vote for you on the fence when I was here earlier so I came back to do it.

    Stockpiling.... I know it is a good thing, but sometimes my Hubs drives me nuts when he does it. Especially with his snacks.

    You really got a good deal on the peanut butter. Good For You!!

    After I get back from vacation, I have a surprise for you. I will need your address but not yet.... I am leaving to Atlantic City and I will get back to you when I get back. Wow... that was a mouthful!

    I have things ready on my blog to auto post... just incase I am not going to be able to use my computer.

    Anyway. I will talk to you later. Terry

  3. Awesome information for new couponers. I've had a lot of people question me because I have a ton of one item or another in my pantry, it is all dependent upon preferences. My family loves BBQ, thus the 20 bottles of sauce really isn't all that much. A couple of bottles in one big crockpot full of chicken quarters that lasts a couple of meals a week, twice a month, yep 4-5 bottles a month. Really not a LARGE stockpile.

    Great Job sticking to budget!!!


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