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In the first post of our Stockpiling 101 series, I showed you how to prepare yourself and your home for getting ready to build a stockpile. Now, I want to show you how to maximize your savings while you stock up. Stocking up doesn’t have to be a budget buster, but it can become that very quickly if you let it, trust me I've made that mistake!
Stockpiling 101 – The Budget
When you sit down and do your grocery budget each month, try to account for a few extra dollars to use only for stocking up. If you don’t have that kind of play in your budget, that’s okay and you can still stock up.
To start, sit down with the list you made from our last post and your grocery ads. Working from your list, add the items to your shopping list that are on sale. If you would normally buy 5 to make it through the month or week, buy a couple more. Even one more helps, but ideally you want to double the normal amount (if you’d buy 5 normally, buy 10 this time).
By buying just a few extra items at a time, each time you shop, you’ll soon start to build up an excess over what you’ll normally use in a regular month AND you’ll save money because you have that excess and won’t need to pay regular price for it. Once you’ve got the ads gone through, fill out your grocery list with the other items you’ll need.
Once your shopping list is filled out, it’s time to save! Hit up your favorite coupon printing sites! I always check Coupons.com coupons first, the Red Plum and Smart Source. You’re looking to match the items on your shopping list with coupons. If there aren’t any for a specific product, that’s okay, but be sure you check all of the sites so that you make sure you don’t miss a single cent. Even the Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Kelloggs Family Rewards sites have coupons. Also check your favorite brands Facebook pages.
Next, you’ll want to check any cash back grocery apps that you use like Ibotta, Checkout51, Jingit and Snap. I like to check these ahead of time so that I know where I need to submit receipts to. Try not to get lured by the cash back. If something isn’t on your list, don’t go for it. You can easy blow through a ton of extra cash by being swayed by glittery cash back. I also check Shopkick to see if there are any scans I can do in store for points.
Once you’ve got your list, coupons and offers, it’s time to head to the store! Here you will need to be careful. Don’t buy something if it’s not on your list! I’m also going to recommend something you may not agree with…do not shop with your coupon binder. The reason for that is that your binder makes it SO easy to overspend. The only time that I recommend buying something not on your list is if it’s a clearance deal, more than 70% off of regular price AND you know you will not find a deal that good on it again. Also, it must be an item that you use on a regular basis and no, once a month isn’t regular.
Once your shopping is done, sit back and put it all away! You want to also submit your receipt for credit and gift cards to Receipt Hog.
Make sure you check out our third (and final) Stockpiling 101 post on Friday! I’ll show you how to maintain your stock so that you don’t have any waste!