If you’ve been following this blog at all, you know that I’ve been encouraging you to “stock up” when there are deals to be had on certain items. While an episide of Hoarders or Extreme Couponing may come to mind, what I’m suggesting is not nearly as dramatic. In fact, it’s the key to saving money on groceries.
Here are just a few examples:
Breakfast Cereal: If our family goes through 1 box of Lucky Charms every 2 weeks, and I normally pay $4.00 per box, I would be paying $8.00 per month on cereal. However, if I get that box of Lucky Charms on sale for $1.05 as I did at Kroger recently, I would be paying $2.10 per month. This equates to $6.00 savings per month. The reason I bought so many boxes is with the goal of buying enough to last me until the next sale comes around. Savings: $6.00 per month
Apple Juice: Alyssa goes through 64-oz of apple juice every 2 weeks. The retail price for apple juice, even store brand, is about $2.00. Recently, I was able to get Juicy Juice (name brand) for $0.79. By stocking up on Juicy Juice, I’m saving $2.40 per month.
Meat: We eat a lot of chicken breasts in our house. Probably 2-3 meals worth per week. Kroger has deals for boneless, skinless chicken breasts every few months for between $1.88/lb and $1.99/lb. If you compare that to a regular price (I’m assuming $2.99/lb. – I don’t know; I haven’t purchased it at regular price in a long time!), that’s a savings of at least $1 per pound. For our family, that equates to about $3 per week – or $12 per month. My goal is to never run out of chicken. I stock up on it when it’s on sale, and it lasts me 2-3 months. Savings: $12 per month.
Ice Cream: Ice cream is a treat in our house, so we might go through a carton every couple of weeks. Recently, I got Breyer’s Ice Cream for about $1.50 compared to the regular price of over $6.00. Savings: $9 per month
Pasta: We love our pasta dishes in our house. It’s definitely a once a week meal. Even the store brand of pasta is over $1, but a couple of months ago I got pasta for free with coupons. I was only able to get a limited number because it was a Facebook offer, but I still got 4. Savings $4 per month.
These are just five examples of what I try to do on a weekly basis (and just those add up to $34 per month in savings!). I am having to learn what is actually a “good deal” on certain items, but as a general rule of thumb, my goal is to stock up on an item if it’s 50% off the regular price or better after sales and coupons. Many items, such as toiletries, I can get much cheaper at Walgreens at the right time. I’ve gotten toothpaste, razors, floss, and more for free or almost free. This frees up the budget for items like produce and baking goods that don’t go on sale much.
It took me about six months of stocking up to be able to see a dent in my grocery budget. That’s because when I first started, I was buying my regular items PLUS stocking up. Matt teased me that in my quest to save money I was actually spending more. That was the case at first, but it has definitely paid off. Now my goal is to plan my meals around what I already have in my pantry, and use my grocery trips for produce, dairy, and more stocking up.