Thursday, December 18, 2014

Should You Stockpile?

Today's question--Should you stockpile?

I would give this question a big YES answer!

I don't care what your family size, living situation or yearly income, stockpiling is a wise choice.

Stockpiling will save you money, probably save you time and help you get organized if done thoughtfully.

By waiting until items go on sale or their rock bottom price to buy them.....and then not buying them again until they go back to that rock bottom WILL  save money.  And you can do this with not only grocery items, but HBA products, paper goods, clothing, gifts, and just about anything you need/want to buy.

But all this saving does mean you have to do a little work, plan ahead and be a little organized.

Everyone no matter where they live has room for some sort of stockpile.
Even those you live in a rented room or a small apartment can get creative with ways to store their stash.  An easy stashable place is to put your bed on risers so you can store plastic tubs underneath.  And fill those tubs with goods you get at rock bottom price(RBP).
Have you got unused oddly confrgured space under a stairway?  That's a great place to stash products.  A high shelf in a closet you can't reach easily?  Store some stockpile there since you only need to access it on occasion.

If you have limited space for a stockpile think smart and stockpile the items that will save you the most money by buying at rock bottom price.  If you only have room to stash 12 bottles of something and it's a choice between 12 bottles of spaghetti sauce(where your savings are $3)and 12 bottles of shampoo(where your savings are $20) you know which is the better use of your cash & space, right?

Once you stash away items you got great deals on be sure to rotate your stock, just like the grocery stores do.  Put your newest items at the back of the shelf, etc. so that the older ones get used first.  Take a marker and put the date you bought the item and/or the date it needs to be used by.

And it does help to write down a master list of what you have so you can see, without having to actually go look at your stock, how much you have of which items on paper or on an electronically stored list.

If you are new to stockpiling, start small, BUT START!
If you don't have large wads of cash to just go buy lots of items, start small, by taking $5 or $10 of your weekly grocery budget(or whatever you can spare)and using it to buy extras of something you regularly use that are at a rock bottom price that week.

This is how I started, by buying loss leaders in quantities to last our family until that item went on rock bottom price again, when I'd stock up again.

I did a thorough post about Stockpiling back in 2010.  If you want to learn to stockpile I'd suggest you go read that article HERE .

I found this site that guides you to build a stockpile of necessities in a year with only spending $5 a week HERE .  Of course you can change items bought to suit your situation.

Now that this is my shopping norm, if you look into my grocery cart each week, it's not like most people's carts with a wide assortment of goods.
This week you'd see lots of peanut butter, cold cereal and frozen veggies because those are the best deals now.  A couple of weeks ago it was lots of coffee and bacon or canned tomatoes and not much else.

If you don't feel you can stay on top of a grocery stockpile(with using items before they are out of date)then stockpile HBA products or laundry detergent, toilet paper, or other items that don't go "bad".

Even if they don't release coupons for what you buy, you can still save money by waiting until an item is the lowest price to buy it. (Of course, if you can pair a coupon with a sale that's even better.)  If the place you shop at doesn't ever put what you buy on sale, then do some research and find another place to buy those goods.  Don't limit yourself to grocery/drug/warehouse stores.  Consider trying Discount Food Outlets or Restaurant Supply Stores, Farm Stands, Buying from a Farmer Directly, CSAs or even Grocery Auctions.  Think outside the Grocery Store box.....

Other ways to save money on the items you need is to start or join a co-op or food buying club.
Some folks use warehouse clubs(Sam's BJ's Costco, etc.)and buy in bulk to save money on groceries.
If you don't stockpile, once you start buying at these stores it may force you to, because of the large quantities you are required to purchase. ;-)

I don't find shopping at those sorts of stores helpful very often, unless I need very large quantities.  If you can split what you buy with a neighbor or friend at one of these warehouse clubs, that can solve that problem some times. 

But be careful as just because it's a large quantity doesn't always mean you are getting a great deal.
I recently activated a Sam's Club membership I had won in a giveaway.  Hubs and I took over an hour to just stroll the store and check on the prices of items we use and compare them to my rock bottom prices at the regular grocery stores.  Most items at Sam's were a comparable price(w/the rock bottom prices)but I didn't have to buy in mass quantities at the grocery stores that the warehouse store required.  Some items seemed a great deal but once you broke it down into unit sizes it wasn't a deal at all.  If I still have a family of 5 or more to buy from the warehouse club might be a better choice for us or if I had a stand-alone freezer still.

Once you get the hang of shopping this way it will come natural to you.
Thanks to my efforts, we are on track to spend under $5K on food/toiletries for the year for my family.....and that's for EVERYTHING food, HBA, laundry detergent, cleaning products, dog food and paper goods related.

Even though we have spent so little on food/toiletries/etc. we can find ways to bless others as well.

Anonymous commented on my last stockpile post that I may have "too much" for my small family.  If they haven't been reading here for a few years they may not have realized that what they suggested I already do......

*  I fill giveaways boxes with excess items and gift them on this blog(and pay out of pocket for the postage).  I've been doing this for about 5 years now.

*  I take bags of excess items to friends and family when I visit them. 

*  I hauled bags of toiletries through the Midwest this Summer to give away.

*  I took 20 tubes of toothpaste to the Blogger get-together to give away last March. 

*  I have a box of items for my brother in-law for Christmas and a box of items to take to my son & his GF in Pittsburgh later this month and another box started to take to my daughter's house in LA sometime after the 1st of the year.

*  I use to sell my excess at a local flea market and hold stockpile sales(like a garage sale) though I haven't had to do that in a few years since I scaled back how much I stockpile.

*  And I give to the local food bank.

This week all this is going to my local food bank......

20 bottle of shampoo.  I bought 20 Qs specifically for the sale on Tresemme last week at Rite-Aid, getting 20 bottles for pennies.  Even paying $3 for the Qs from a clipping service this was still an awesome buy!

Plus 10 bottle of laundry detergent also for the food bank.  Didn't have to buy any extra Qs for this score so it was acquired even more frugally.

I have been giving to my local food bank since 2009.  I use to give more when I couponed more vigorously.  I still try to give a few times a year.

If you go back to Thanksgiving of 2011, I instigated the Great Gravy Caper.
If interested you can read about that adventure HEREHERE, HERE, HERE .  That was fun and reminds me how much I miss Judy. 8-(

But enough about stockpiling and shopping for now.
Lets get back to Christmas stuff.....



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Current State of the Stockpile

I am lucky in that I have lots of room to maintain a stockpile of goods bought at low prices for our use.

My Daughter's old bedroom is now a spare bedroom AND my stockpile room for HBA & TP.

I have 2 dressers filled with products.......

 3 of the 5 drawers with items in it.  I can't pull them all out at the same time or the dresser would fall over!

6 drawers on this dressers overflowing with products.

The top of the dressers are also filled....

Only half of the tall dresser is filled as my boxed up coo coo clocks are sitting up there too.

The top of the book shelf is also filled.....

And there is a plastic tub in the hall closet too with mouthwash, razors and saving cream.......

Plus there are bags I still haven't found room for.....

That plastic purple tub above has product piled on top of it too! lolz

And this doesn't count anything I have bought at Rite-Aid since Sunday....... 8-)))

I need to spend down my remaining +Up Rewards and take a break from Rite-Aid for a few months as I am out of room! ;-)

Do you stockpile goods?
Do I need to apply to be on that Extreme Couponing Show? lolz



Last of the Rite-Aid This Week

This should be my last trip to Rite-Aid this week.  I had that $10 off $50 purchase Catalina to use on this card and next week looked pretty miserable for deals so I used it this week.
I finished off the $5 Cough/Cold Deal and did the $5 Select Soap/BodyWash and the Dove Deals in this transaction.  The Theraflu also got me within 3 cents of a $5 Rebate on SavingStar.

2 x Axe Gift Sets BOGO50%=$17.98
1 x Theraflu on sale=$5.99
1 x Excedrin on sale=$3.99
1 x Dove Body Wash on sale=$6.50
1 x Dove Men's Soap 6 pack on sale=$6.50
2 x Herbal Essence Body Wash BOGO50%=$4.48
2 x Ghirardelli Chocolate bags on sale=$5.00

Coupons Used
1 x $10/$50 Purchase CatalinaQ=$10.00
1 x $2/1 Axe Gift Set ManuQ(11/23? insert)=$2.00
1 x $2.50/1 Theraflu CatalinaQ=$2.50
1 x $3/1 Excedrin CatalinaQ=$3.00
1 x $1.50/1 Dove Body Wash R-A mailed Q=$1.50
1 x $1/1 Dove Men's Soap 6-pack IPQ(dove dotcom)=$1.00
2 x .75¢/1 HE Body Wash IPQ(coupons dotcom)=$1.50
1 x $1/1 Ghirardelli Choc. Bags IPQ(HERE)=$2.00
Coupon Total......$23.50


I used $26 in +Up Rewards and paid .94¢ OOP.
I received back $19 in new +Up Rewards($4 wyb2 Axe sets, $5 wyb$20 Cough/Cold, $1 Excedrin, $4 wyb $12 Dove soap/wash, $5 wyb2 select Body Wash/Soap).

Total +Ups used......$26
Total +Ups earned.....$19
Total spent OOP...... .94¢
Total value of items bought.....$73.20


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hop Over to MyCokeRewards

If you are a member and you have points and drink soda get over to MyCokeRewards because they have the 12 packs for 30 points again.
Limit is 4, unless you got it a couple of weeks ago, then you can get 3 more.


Monday, December 15, 2014

More Shopping Today.....Rite-Aid & Weis

I feel like all I do lately between visits to the dr. is run to Rite-Aid and the grocery stores!

I stopped at Rite-Aid before my appt. today.
The Herbal Essence Body Wash is also generating that $5 +Ups wyb2.
There are .75¢/1 Qs on coupons dotcom.

I did this on the BIL's card......

2 x HE body wash BOGO50%=$4.48
1 x Excedrin on sale=$3.99

Coupons Used
2 x .75¢/1 HE body wash IPQ=$1.50
1 x $3/1 Excedrin tension headache variety CatalinaQ=$3.00
Coupon Total.....$4.50

$8.47-$4.50=$3.97 + .09¢ tax=$4.06

I used a $3 +Up Reward and paid $1.06 OOP.
Again, the tax meant I couldn't use $4 in +Ups and I had a dreaded "over $1 paid" out of pocket.  8-)

I received back $6 in new +Up Rewards($5 wyb2 body wash/soap, $1 Excedrin).
And the Catalina machine spit out another $3/1 Excedrin tension headache Q and a $10 off $50 purchase Q that expires 12/24.
I'll try to see if I can put a transaction together later this week using that $10/$50 Q.
I love a good challenge. lolz

After the doctor I hit Weis Markets for this stuff......

2 x Cheerios cereal=$6.38
2 x Oatmeal Crisp cereal=$7.98
2 x Skippy peanut butter on sale=$4.00
2 x Skippy choc. pb spread on sale=$4.00

Coupons Used
Instant $6 Discount wyb4 GM cereals=$6.00
2 x .50¢/1 Cheerios IPQ(doubled)=$2.00
2 x .75¢/1 Oatmeal Crisp IPQ(doubled to $1)=$2.00
4 x .55¢/1 Skippy PB or Spread(doubled to $1)=$4.00
Coupon Total.....$14.00

$22.36-$14.00=$8.36 paid OOP
Savings of 66.25 over reg. shelf price.

After Qs and Instant Discount each box of cereal was $1.09.
After Qs the PB was $1 a jar.

Of course all this pb and cereal will be going back to school with College Boy next month.  8-)))



This Week on the Dining Table

The "Christmas is Right Around the Corner & I am Feeling Silly" Edition......


Onward to the meal planning!

What was planned last week--

1.  Turkey Day Leftovers
2.  Fish, Leftover Coleslaw, Collards
3.  Chicken Parm, Salad, Spaghetti(for Hubs)
4.  Meatloaf, leftover Man & Cheese, leftover Collards
5.  Quiche, Tossed Salad
6.  Pork Chops, Sugar Snap Peas, Sweet Potato leftovers
7.  Leftovers or Fend for Yourself Night
And this is what actually happened--

1.  Turkey Day Leftovers
2.  Fish, Leftover Coleslaw, Collards
3.  Chicken Parm, Salad, Spaghetti(for Hubs)
4.  Meatloaf, leftover Man & Cheese, leftover Collards
5.  Quiche, Tossed Salad
6.  Broccoli stuffed Chicken Breast, Sugar Snap Peas
7.  Leftovers or Fend for Yourself Night

The Pork chops didn't happen(still thawing in the fridge on Saturday)so that moves to this week.
Last week I made 6 trips to 5 different markets and spent a whopping $138.64 on $229.23 worth of groceries.  I cherry picked the good deals at each store.
I bought canned green chiles(because fresh is not an option here)on sale and got $3 in free chicken or beef, so I paid .84¢ for this chicken.....
I also earned this $10 Catalina Q at Weis.....
I'll use this plus $5 on a Weis gift card(from a Cat Deal a few months ago that didn't work right so they gave me a gift card)to buy our Christmas dinner meat.  Well I'll probably get a Rib Roast so it won't cover that but it will help pay a portion of it.
I also did 10 transactions at Rite-Aid, where I spent $4.95 total on $404.47 worth of items there for the week.

Going into this week, in leftovers we have........1 or 2 pieces of quiche, meatloaf, collards, 2 pieces of chicken parm and some sugar snap peas.

I took the last of the turkey from Thanksgiving plus stock I made and constructed a Turkey Noodle Soup on Sunday.......

This is what is leftover of that soup.  I still have a large container of stock which I put into the freezer for later.

With College Boy home I need to cook more food for the next 5 weeks.  I never know when he'll dine with us so we may be eating many many leftovers in the coming weeks. lolz

Here is the plan for this week.........

1.  Pork Chops, Braised Cabbage, Mashed Potatoes(for Hubs and son)
2.  Tacos
3.  Meatball Subs, Veggie TBD
4.  Leftovers or Hamburgers
5.  Chinese Chicken(using my .84¢ chicken) w/Ginger Stir-Fry
6.  Leftovers
7.  Leftovers or Fend for Yourself Night
What I need to buy for this menu.........nothing, not even sub rolls after College Boy came home from visiting his old work(the bakery)and brought all this home.....

Rolls and more rolls! lolz
Plus a loaf of raisin bread.

I think I'll have to fit in more sandwiches for dinner somewhere now.  8-)

I am up to $232.22 in food spending for December halfway through the month.  This week should be a light spending week with just a few loss leaders to buy.....peanut butter, tomatoes, cereal and frozen veggies.
What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten that week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?