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Recently I shared a question on our Facebook page on how to build a stockpile when money is very tight. One response caught me off guard. Their helpful tip was “Don’t stockpile”. It made me realize that maybe we need to review a quick basic topic.
To save the most money on groceries we need to only buy what’s on sale. That sounds super easy, but it’s really not. If I go and make a list of what we are out of, I’ve just made a long list of everything that isn’t on sale. To correctly shop, and only buy what’s on sale, I can’t shop based on need. This means changing how you shop completely.
First, it’s important to know that in the south grocery cycles run on a 6 week cycle. That means if peanut butter is on sale right now, it won’t be back on sale for another 6 weeks. If you pair that handy tip with the concept of stockpiling you are going to save a ton!
To explain, if pasta sauce is on sale today for $1.50 and you have a coupon for $1 off you will get it for 50¢. That’s a great price! If you only buy one jar (like most folks who shop based on need) then in a week or so when you use that jar you’ll need more and pay over $3 for the same jar. Instead of buying one, buy enough for 6 weeks when it’s on sale. You can buy 4 jars, use coupons for each, and pay $2 now or… you can buy them one at a time and pay 50¢ now and another $9 for your 3 other jars. I vote for the $2 now!
You want to do this with most of the common items that you use. Always buying enough for 6 weeks. Let me repeat that last part, enough for 6 weeks. That’s it. You don’t need 6 months or 6 years. It will come on sale again. This is where some folks think stockpiling isn’t for them. I’m not telling you to never park in the garage again. If you get to that point then honestly you’re hoarding (I know that upsets some of you, but it’s the truth). All you need to do it buy enough of the products you use regularly to get you through until they are on sale again. For most products this will be 2, maybe 3, tops.
How do you start?
Each week focus on the items on sale and buy enough for 6 weeks for anything you will use. The lists on Southern Savers only list items that are on sale (I don’t type out the entire weekly ad as many items aren’t on sale at all). So use the list, buy 6 weeks of anything you will use that is on the list. For the first few weeks you have things you need. Buy one week worth of what you have to get. Each week the “need” section will get smaller and smaller as you stock up on more items. After 6 weeks your pantry will be the grocery store, and you’ll be really seeing just how huge the savings are when you truly only buy what’s on sale!