A few years ago I was BIG into couponing and deals. I had a stock pile of everything. I was buying enough, and then some more.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love great deals and coupon when I can. But when couponing changed (the rules got harder and the savings decreased), it got harder to save money. And then our tastes changed.
On top of that, we also moved and I had to move my stash to the new house with less storage. It was not fun moving all that food. or laundry detergent (25 bottles).
A lot of it had to be tossed out because it expired before we got a change to use it. Which got me thinking.
What if we just buy enough?
What if we started buying enough for just a year? Buying enough to last us for a year, instead of for 3 years. Food does have an expiration date you know!
I recently found mustard that expired 5 years ago in my basement. 5 years ago!
Tips to buy what you need
Here are somethings I use to save money and buy enough food/supplies for year.
- Know the cycles. Food still has cycles on when they go on sale at the store. Buy your condiments in the Summer, when they are on sale. Buy enough for just 12 months. I get 10-12 bottles of ketchup, 6 bottles of mustard and 2 jars of relish. I might get 1 jar of Mayo for the year. That is about what we go through in a year.
- Track what you use. Do you use something every month/week? Note how many you use and buy enough for the year. This may take a couple sales cycles to collect what you need.
- Buying Meat and fresh food is the exception. Only buy what you can use in 3-6 months. Food should be rotated in your freezer, not kept in there for a year. It won’t taste right if it’s freezer burnt. Fresh fruits and veggies can only be bought as needed as they will spoil unless you are canning food.
- Expiration dates. Check the expiration dates on the items you are buying. That should also be your signal of when you have to use the food by. Is it a year, 6 months? That should be your buy enough until then sale.
- Pantry food – Always put the recent purchase to the back of the existing foods in your pantry. If you buy 5 peaches. They go behind the peaches you have already.
- Deconstructed food – We buy the ingredients of foods we like and put them together ourselves. Instead of buying boxed mac and cheese, I go to the bulk stores and buy my pasta and portion it out so the kids can make the mac and cheese themselves. This is cheaper than $2-3 per box from the store.
- Non-Food items – Ask yourself if you are really going to use 10 bottles of glass cleaner in a year. How much laundry soap you go through in a month, hand soap, etc. Times that by 12. That is what you need for the year.
stock pile smart
There is no need to clear shelves. There is no need to having mounding carts. If we buy enough for a few months and work towards enough for a year, we will save money. Use the coupons where you can to save more on sale items.
You don’t have to buy everything all at once. Buy it as you can afford, maybe 1 or 2 things extra.
Buy what you need for the next twelve months when the items go on sale. As you have money, buy extra. Find coupons and save more.
What are your tips to buy what you need?