Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Notes from My Stockpile

One of the great things about stockpiling is that when I grocery shop I can be selective, for the most part, about what I purchase. Then I just add in my dairy and fresh items that I will need for that week.

Each week, when I look over my grocery sale papers, I ONLY look for the best of the best deals. I like to think of my style as planning ahead shopping. I know what items and what brands my family prefers and so I keep my eyes focused on only those items.

In my most recent Meijer shopping trip I purchased 10 boxes of Fiber One granola bars. Normally they cost about $3.89 per box, but they were on sale and I had coupons to make them $1 per box. Since I love to keep one of these bars in my purse, just in case I get hungry when I am out, to keep me from snacking on drive through food- I snatched up as many boxes as I had coupons for. I am pretty confident that before they expire I will have eaten (or shared) every last delicious bar.

If I am looking to build my stockpile for future needs (food and household items) then when I can get the best price- I will buy as much as I can, all while staying inside of my grocery budget. Spending $10 on 50 granola bars that will last me several months is much more wise then spending almost $4 a box of 5 bars when I run out.

You need to know that building a stockpile does take time and patience.

Time: the best sales do not happen all at the same time!
Patience: learn to love the thrill of the hunt. You will be greatly rewarded.

Little by little your stash of stuff will accumulate IF you religiously by multiple items when they are on their best sale.

Often my grocery cart only has 8-10 items that I have multiples of (like 10 of the Fiber One bars) and my fresh items. I don't have to shop the whole store, wander aimlessly, or decide what I should purchase- because I have already depended on my surfing of the store's flyer and my clipped coupons while I was still at home. This gets me in and out faster, I spend less money and I know that I have scored some of the stores best sales!

Coupon Lady Snippets:
ROCK BOTTOM PRICES. Rock bottom prices, in the coupon world means items that are their best sale price + the use of a coupon. For example, say my family likes Muellers pasta. I see it advertised in the sale flyer for $1.29 per box. I have a coupon for $.50 off per box- which the store will double- making by box of pasta $.29. $.29 would be the rock bottom price. Then, if I had several of the Muellers coupon from buying several papers- I would be able to stockpile my family's favorite pasta for about 20% of the original price.

LOSS LEADER ITEMS. Loss leader items are the greatest deals in the sale flyer! Often they are promoted on the front page of the sale paper. For example, this week (Thanks Gina for the heads up!) Kroger, on their front page, has an advertisement for 2 FREE gallons of milk or juice when you buy 3 Kellogg's products- which also happen to be on sale for 3 for $8. I had (2) $1 off coupons Kellogg's products- making my purchase of 2 gallons of milk, one box of cereal and 2 boxes of breakfast bars = $6. I would have paid more than $6 for just the milk... so I essentially received 3 FREE items!

*Loss leader items are the items that the store is willing to take a financial hit on. Meaning the store will pay more for an item than they sell it to you for... because they want to lure you into their store. The store's logic is that you will come for the items that they are willing to lose money on- BUT they will earn it back when you do the rest of your shopping in their store. Its not kindness- its strategy on the store's part.

BUT... you can shop like me, stockpiling loss leader items and shopping two stores per week- all to get the best prices!