Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How I Feed my Family of 8 for $300 a month - Part 5

With the holiday weekend i'm a little late in getting this up, so please accept my apologies.

Ok, now on to business. This week I will cover stockpiling. Stocking up on items when they are vey low priced or free is a key to helping stretch your grocery budget. You don't want to have a completely empty pantry each time you have to grocery shop.

The goal is to shop for "fillers" for your meals, not for the whole meal itself. Now, I am not saying that is all I shop for. There are things that I have to buy each time I grocery shop, like fresh fruits, vegetables, flour, sugar, and meat.

I have a bi-weekly budget of $150. I do my menu plan for two weeks and then shop according to that menu. I know I have mentioned the fact that out of that budget I try to save at least $10.00 for any great deals that come up. Now, this 2 weeks I have an extra $30.00 that i'm excited to be able to use to stockpile. It doesn't happen very often that I have this much money leftover, so I plan to use it to help cushion my future budgets.

Let's take for example a deal or two that I know i'll be doing this week. I am going to buy 10 boxes of Green Giant vegetables and 10 Muir Glen organic tomato products. At Target they have a printable coupon for $1.00 off of any 2 frozen Green Giant vegetables. I have manufacturer coupons that I can stack on top of this.

I also have Muir Glen coupons for $1.00 off. Before any coupons the total I would have to pay for all of this would be $28.00. After using my coupons that total would drop to $8.00, which is still a great deal, but I have a $5 off of any $25 grocery purchase. That means I will pay right around $3.00. We go through lots of vegetables here, but I should only have to buy my fresh vegetables on my next shopping trip.

Another example is at Walmart they have Dino Bites chicken nuggets 2/$2.00. You can get a $1.00 coupon from Money Saving Mom, which makes them free. I don't normally buy this kind of stuff, but since it's free it'll make a nice quicky lunch if I need. I'll probably save them for after the baby is born.

Now, I do want to say that even though something may be a good deal, does not mean you have to stock up on it. If it is something that you will never use, unless it is free, then don't buy it. I will only get things that I don't use, if they are free, so I can donate them.

It is by watching for these kinds of deals that I am able to stock up. By putting aside a little each time I get my grocery money, I can afford to work the deals without blowing my budget. Then, when I am planning my next menu, I make my meals according to things I have on hand.

This is just one more tool for you to use. It is getting increasingly important to find ways to save money on food, since the prices keep climbing. It takes a little time to learn it all, but it is so worth it in the end. Stockpiling is an art!

Coming up next week: How to get free or even get paid to buy all of your toiletries and paper products at the drugstores. You definately don't want to miss this!


Anonymous said...

Hi Teresa!

Well, guess what! I will not have to buy anything this week except milk and that will not be until Fri. There are no sales at Publix on anything that we use to stock up on and we don't really need anything. I'm shopping in my own "store". And the same for next week, I'll have to just pick up eggs/bread/milk fresh veggies/fruit, but that will be hardly anything. It works out perfect b/c that wonderful mortgage payment is just around the corner again. Thanks for your help :)

Debbie in Ft. Lauderdale

Teresa @ A Life At Home said...

Debbie, that's great! It makes it nice with one less thing to worry about, doesn't it?

Carlie Faulk said...

Hey - the Muir Glen deal is great. I printed 20 qs total between my PCs. I also printed 20 target Green Giant qs and bought 20 1.00/2 Green Giant. My total at Target for 48.00 for 20 Green Giant and 20 Muir Glen. I paid 4.39 OOP. Yeah for me!! Not all I need is some pasta and we have dinner.

Sensible Cents said...

I wish we had a Target here! Those are some great deals!

Just another crazy family said...

Hey Teresa,
I have enjoyed getting all your tips on shopping and meal planning. I have been doing this for years now, but am always looking for ideas. Just wanted to let you know that since I've been visiting daily, I'm going to add you to my blogroll - "Blogs I Read." Keep it up! I'm going to add Carlie too.

Kate said...

Stockpiling certain is an art, and one I have yet to master. It always seems as though I only have enough in the budget to get us through the month, which means we have a few very lean days at the end of the month. I am definitely going to begin incorporating some of these tips into my shopping. What a fun challenge it is to see just how FAR we can stretch our grocery budgets. Another fabulous post Teresa!

Also, thank you so very much for your kind and encouraging words left on my confession post today. I hope you and your family have a wonderful and blessed week!