Stockpiling means you won’t run out of those everyday items your family needs. You’ll purchase items like deodorant and shampoo at a fraction of the retail price, stashing them away so that they are available when you need them. You won’t have to make a middle-of-the-night run for milk or bread.
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Know What to Buy When
You can be most effective in stockpiling when you learn the seasonal sales cycles. Discounted prices go hand in hand with what retailers consider to be people’s greatest needs during different times of the year. When you know what to buy when, you have a definite advantage in your purchasing power.
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As you begin to build your stockpile, you need to think ahead. The seasons, as well as popular opinion, play a major role in what goes on sale and what foods are in abundance. For instance, if you want to serve turkey for your Easter dinner, instead of the usual ham, you need to think about finding it on sale in November and freezing it. That way you aren’t caught the week before Easter paying full price for something you could have gotten at a fraction of the cost by simply planning ahead.
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Combine Sales with Coupons
Stock up during store sales events by pairing coupons with on-sale items. This will get you the absolute lowest price. Shop a store that doubles the coupons, and you’ll get even more for your money. To get multiple coupons for the items you need, purchase several Sunday papers, swap coupons with friends and print online coupons. We do the coupon matchups for you on Faithful Provisions, matching store sales with currently available coupons. Plus, we offer a Weekly Meal Plan that takes advantage of those sales as well.
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When produce is on sale, you can stock up by flash freezing those fruits and vegetables. Here is how it works: (1) Dice the vegetable or fruit. (2) Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. (3) Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for one to two hours. (4) Once frozen, transfer the frozen produce to freezer bags. (Be sure to double-bag them.) I use this same method on items like strawberries, blueberries, carrots, celery and more, so that I can make the most of fresh produce at its lowest price. Watch a step-by-step how-to in this video.
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Freeze Fresh Herbs
You can use another freezer method with fresh herbs. I put about four packed cups of any herb (washed and stems removed) into a food processor, add about 1/2 a cup of water and pulse until finely chopped. Then I put the mixture into ice cube trays, adding enough water to cover the tops. Once frozen, I remove the herb cubes and store them in a freezer bag. They can be used anytime I need fresh herbs, especially in pastas, and can also be used in fresh salad dressings. Thaw, then measure out what you need.
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Keep Your Stockpile Organized
The key to successful stockpiling is organization. But don’t groan if you aren’t organized! There are multiple tools and resources available to help you get and stay organized, like my free downloadable Freezer Inventory List and Pantry Inventory List. It won’t do you any good to stockpile and store your grocery items if you don’t know what you have and where you will put it.
Because I’m stocked up, I can donate food to others. I’ve found that having a full pantry makes this so easy to do. There is no rushing around to buy extra food when you already have it on hand. Homemade meals can be a real service to people who are experiencing difficulties, such as the loss of a loved one or a stressful time at work. Or, a meal can also be the perfect gift for a happy new mom. Often I will keep a meal in my freezer, like Chicken Spaghetti or Cheesy Tomato Stroganoff just so I have it on hand for these occasions.
In addition to saving money, stocking up has an unexpected benefit: peace. I can relax knowing that my staples are on hand and available. Like having money in the bank, I feel good, and things just seem to go more smoothly when I know that I am stocked up and prepared to meet my family’s needs.
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Maybe you've seen those couponers on TV with their carts piled high with more mustard or toothpaste than any family could go through over the next 20 years. That is not what I'm talking about when I use the term "stockpiling." Stockpiling means learning how to take advantage of store sales to only purchase the items you use and enjoy when they are at their lowest price. (If you're unsure what those rock-bottom prices are, use the Provisions Price List on my website, available as a free download and as a free iPhone App. Or you can create your own personal price list with this free download.)