How do you Stockpile?

(Julius?) Moser (* 1808): Spaghetti essender J...

How do you stockpile? I was at the grocery store last night when I heard an argument between a man and his pre-teen daughter. He was picking up the spaghetti and pasta deal (buy 2 spaghetti sauces at $0.99 and get pasta up to $1.50 for free) and she didn’t want spaghetti “again this week”.

That threw me back for a second. Why would they have to eat it this week? Pasta lasts forever. Is that really how most people shop; do most people buy the food they need for a week and nothing more?!

It is no wonder that people are confused by the “make a menu from the sale items” tip listed on almost every coupon blog, website, and article. If you grocery shop for one week at a time then you will have to buy a large amount of items that are not on sale. There are not enough sale items to make 7 good meals. Now, if you have a stockpile of the items you use most often then you can make meals out of the sale meats, cheeses, and grains. You can also pick up the other sale items for future meals.

How do you shop? What questions do you have about stockpiling and “making meals out of the sale items”? I will be writing a post about this in the next couple of weeks and I would be happy to include your questions and stories. Are you a week to week shopper struggling with this sale item strategy or are you an A+ stockpiler? Just reply to this email to email me or leave a comment!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tiffany July 28, 2010 at 9:11 pm

I have started stockpiling after trying attempting to do once a month cooking. The OAMC didn't go so well because of the variety. I wish I was better at stockpiling.
I don't have any questions but I am looking forward to your informative post!

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2 ThriftyPuppy July 28, 2010 at 9:28 pm

We have 2 freezers and they're both full, and we regularly "churn" what we have in them. The new stuff goes in the basement freezer and the older stuff is in our pantry freezer. Ice cream and stuff we use all the time goes in the refrigerator's freezer. I stockpile several months worth of anything that doesn't go bad – TP, paper towels, deoodorant, shampoo, razors, etc. Everything else, I only stockpile what I know we will use by the expiration date (or close to it). I give alot of stuff to the neighbors or food pantries. 🙂

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3 LittlePeopleWealth July 29, 2010 at 2:34 am

My kitchen is pretty small. I wish we had room for an extra freezer – that is a great idea. I've never tried OAMC for the same reason.

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4 Chicagolandia July 29, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I stockpile toiletries typically "buying" (using coupons and little $$) one year at a time. For edible nonperishables, I try to buy 6 months woth of an item at rock-bottom prices, if it's free after coupons – I grab all I can. I share with relatives and donate to the food pantry.

I have a chest freezer and stockpile meats, breads, freeze my own veggies and fruits (when they're cheap and in season). I only shop the deals now, and sometimes go weeks without doing major grocery shopping, most weeks I just refresh the few things we need to get fresh like eggs, milk, and the like.

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5 LittlePeopleWealth July 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm

A chest freezer sounds like it is the way to go! Keep those ideas coming. Does anybody only buy food they need for the week (or know of somebody who does that)? I'm interested to hear their side.

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6 JoeTaxpayer August 1, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I'd share a picture to answer the question. http://www.twitpic.com/ljkw1
This soup retails for $2.39-$2.59 Most of what's there was bought for $0.75-$1.00 per can. Sales, coupons, or both. With that kind of deal, it's just a question of how much the store allows you to buy. I have never had a can of soup go bad.

Elsewhere on frugal BBQ topic – I offered a bit of advice. Beef tips, chicken breast, or other BBQ meat on sale. Put in Ziplock gallon bag, add marinade, suck out air with straw or squeeze out, and freeze flat. Mark the bag with the content and date. The liquid will really help avoid freezer burn and soak the flavor in. The flat bag is easy to "file" in the freezer, rotate the stock
and defrost quickly in cold water.

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7 Slackerjo August 1, 2010 at 4:07 pm

I live in a 500sq foot apt so there is not much room for stockpiling. I get paid every other Friday so after work on payday I take out 2 weeks worth of money. I put $15 of gas in the car (I don't drive much), buy 14 days worth of groceries and the rest of my cash is for what ever I want. The money left in the bank is zapped out for bills and rent. This system helps me control my weight and my finances. The only thing I have stockpiled is toilet paper, vitamins and diet coke (mainly to avoid having to haul it into my building over and over again). I really don't have room for anything else. The main reason I don't stockpile food is that I don't want to be tempted to snack when I am bored. I don't keep cookies in the house. I have some at work in my locker and I have 2 at break and then lock them up right away. People laugh at me but I'm not spending money every 2-3 months cause my pants don't fit!

I don't know if this is the best system, but it's a system that works for me.

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8 LittlePeopleWealth August 1, 2010 at 8:36 pm

It is hard to stockpile when space is limited. I love that meat/marinade tip! That would make it easier to store and use later.

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9 eemusings August 2, 2010 at 5:09 am

TINY kitchen here, with little to no storage space! (Not even a cutlery drawer).

We shop every week, but try to keep things like flour, rice, spices, sauces etc stocked.

I actually blogged about stockpiling not long ago: http://eemusings.wordpress.com/2010/06/30/you-know-youre-a-grown-up-when-you-have-a-well-stocked-pantry/

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10 LittlePeopleWealth August 3, 2010 at 4:28 am

Great post! It is hard to stock up when you do not have the room. My kitchen is pretty small so can't stock much, but I stock what I can! We do have quite a few cupboards.

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