One of our favorite ways to save money on groceries is to stock up when you find a great sale. For instance, when our favorite spaghetti sauce went on sale for $1 a jar, we bought 30 of them. This ensures that we won’t be buying much sauce at full price, saving a good .38 to .50 a jar on something our family of six uses lots of. But then we’ve got another problem: where do we put 30 jars of spaghetti sauce?
When we lived in our 3600 square foot house in the ‘burbs, the house with the huge storage area, stockpiling was no problem. We just cleared out a wall of built-in shelving space and designated it for our great food finds. Now that our house is half that size, and the storage space is minimal, we’ve had to learn to get creative.
Some people avoid stocking up big when they find a great sale, simply because they don’t know where to put everything, but there are ways to store those stockpiled items and still keep your house looking neat.
My favorite? Under the beds. Under three of the five beds in our house, you’ll find an ample supply of toilet paper, paper towels and napkins that we’ve found on “super sale”. Not only does this prevent piles of random “stuff” from accumulating under the beds, but it makes for nice storage space that others can’t see unless they’re really looking. Other options? Closet floors, unused cupboard space, and in the garage. Search your house for hidden storage space and see what else you can find.
One of the keys to stockpiling in a small space (and even a large space) is organization. Keep your designated storage spaces in neat order so that you know how much you have of each thing at each time. Your stockpiles should be arranged in such a way that you can look fairly quickly and know how many cans of soup, boxes of mac & cheese, or bars of soap you’ve got on hand. Line things up in rows and keep them neat and orderly, rotating perishable goods with the oldest stock in the front, like they do in grocery stores.
Don’t purchase 50 boxes of Rice-a-Roni you’ll never eat, simply because you got a deal you couldn’t pass up. Make a list of the things you always buy, figure out how much of it you use in a year, and stock up big when it hits its lowest price, like we did with the spaghetti sauce. This will ensure that you don’t have to do extra clean-up and organizing later when you have to go through your stockpile and throw away or give away stuff that you never used and is now nearing or past its expiration date.
If you’ve never taken advantage of great sales by stockpiling before, start slow. Stockpile one item at a time, and then add a second as you figure out where in your house or garage is the best place to store each item. For instance, we store only canned and jarred goods in the garage, knowing that rodents won’t have a chance to get at them. We have designated shelving in the garage for this very purpose. In the house we work to find areas where we can put boxed or bagged goods, knowing that mice and other rodents won’t have a chance to get at them with two hungry cats roaming around.
An organizing stockpiling plan can easily save you several hundred dollars a year on your grocery bill, especially if you have a larger family. Use the tips above and see how much you can save.
Do you stock up big when you find a great sale?