How To Build A Money Saving Food Pantry
To fill up your food pantry can seem like it would never happen. Look around Facebook mom groups, couponing groups, budgeting groups and Pinterest you will find some pretty hefty stockpiling going on. You sit there and begin to look at your own pantry, it is quite bare compared to them.
It can be depressing for some and for others they become intrigued wondering what the steps are to also do the same.
It takes time and dedication of weekly tasks to get those food pantries and a room full of items, for mere pennies. I am very confident that you too will be sharing your own stockpile with us on one of our Facebook pages, we really would love to see it and get the breakdown of how you achieved it. You can find our Financially Living and Shopping Facebook page here and we would like to see those stockpiles on our Stormy Guide Facebook page as well, stockpiles come in very handy while recovering from those monstrous storms.
It is a good idea to be aware of the amount of money that we spend on items that are needed daily. When we need to survive on less income than usual, we learn some crafty ways to add money to our savings portfolio. This can help in more dire times in a big way if we do it consistently. Here are some tips on ways you can cut the cost of all the items in your pantry.
Watch Flyers For The Sales
Don’t just throw away the flyers that you find in your mailbox. Those flyers will help you fill up your food pantry over the next few weeks. Sometimes you can find some great deals in Wednesday or Thursday’s papers, we all know about the Sunday paper. Flyers are also an easy way to shop in several stores and to compare prices without much effort. Make a game plan of where you will shop and when, according to who has the best deals on each week.
Things typically have a sale rotation of six to eight weeks. This means that if Coke a Cola goes on sale this week, begin looking forward to them going on sale again in probably six to eight weeks. This will help you plan bulk buys. If you know that you drink one can of Coke a Cola per day, you want to have that can for as little as possible. So grab enough Coke a Cola to last you that full eight weeks. If it happens to go back on sale beforehand, this is beneficial to you! This means you have an opportunity to stock up, even though you have some left, you do still want to grab them while they are on sale.
For example, if a box of Coke a Cola is $5.99 for 12 cans, this makes each can basically 50¢. You find them on sale for $5.00 for 2 boxes of a dozen; this brings the cost per can down to only 20¢ per can! When they have a 3 for $12.00, the cost per can goes up slightly to 33¢.
- That would be a 13¢ difference between those two sales, though both good sales, the sale of 2 for $5.00 is going to be the better sale and that is the sale price you should really aim to stock up on. Sometimes you can also find coupons, this will help lower the cost per can even more.
This may only be a 30¢ difference, but it seriously adds up. You can easily see how it all adds up when you write it all down in your Coupon Savings Planner Challenge. If you grabbed ten of those deals above, you would save $3.00, which adds to your savings portfolio.
You don’t need to be an extreme couponer to have a food pantry that saves you money. It doesn’t matter if you have a linen closet or an entire garage full of food, if you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a money-saving pantry. Shopping your stock is one of the best ways to make meal planning a breeze, and save you money! Here is how you can build your own money-saving pantry.
Use Coupons Combined With Sales For The Best Results
Don’t overlook those coupons. They may seem more bother than they are worth, but some individuals become quite skilled in their coupon planning and learn to save large amounts of money. Even if you never end up with the reputation of an “extreme” coupon shopper, you can save money on both food and household goods with just a little bit of planning.
Create a Food Pantry Budget
Before you go off finding deals to help you fill up your pantry, you first need to create a Food Pantry Budget. A Pantry Budget is both the monetary portion as well as the inventory inside it.
Take note of what you cook regularly and think about what is seasonal as well. Begin with things you use often throughout the week. Think about how many of that item you will need for the next
If you don’t keep track of what is coming in and out of your home, it will be very difficult to understand what is a reasonable amount to spend on your groceries and household goods. Keep a budget and know what you are able to put towards these items each month. Stick to your budget as best as you can.
One of the ways you can stick to your budget and get into the habit of using sales and coupons to your advantage is by creating a Food Pantry Budget. For example, your budget is $200.00 per month, you would definitely grab all the coupons that you possibly can and do as many transactions that you can each week to ensure that you do not go over budget because you set up a specific per month to use and fill up your food pantry. This goes for the same as your Personal Care Budget.
Write Down Everything You Spend
Keep track of every penny that leaves your home and wallet. Keep a list on a piece of paper that stays in your wallet, or one on your smartphone. Don’t forget to use it each and every time you shop.
Create a Pantry Inventory sheet, this is where you would change
how many you have so you can be sure to not run out. Create a minimum item count. For example, peanut butter minimum count 4 jars. This means you have no less than 4 jars of peanut butter at any given time.
Stock Up On Staples
Take a look at what meals your family eats often. Be sure to pay attention to seasonal meals as well. For example, you may only eat soups during the winter. Once you know these meals, take a look at the ingredients list. Are there any dried goods or items that you can buy in bulk? Be sure to think of expiration dates as well. You don’t want to buy more than you can use before it goes bad.
If possible, when it makes sense because the sale is for pennies, and depending on expiration dates, sometimes you can find non-seasonal items on sale that you can stock up on.
Look For Canned Varieties
Canned goods make great pantry fillers! Canned goods go on sale all the time, and some can even be bought for less than a dollar! The best part about canned goods is their long life. Some canned goods won’t expire for years, giving you plenty of time to use them before they go bad.
For example, during the summertime, I can find Campbell’s canned goods on sale, even better when it is B1G1F find a few coupons to use, stack them and it can bring the cost per can down be at least half the price!
Don’t Forget The Basics – Buy These In Bulk
When grocery shopping, check the bulk bins to see if you can get merchandise at a lower price. Check out wholesale clubs, because you can often save money when purchasing both groceries and other items there. Sometimes these clubs also have their own coupon items, which makes the savings multiply. Ask your local store if they accept manufacturer’s coupons. Our local BJ’s does accept them, and we can stack them if BJ’s happens to have any sales and in-store coupons, which means I will save more money.
Baking mixes, flour, sugar, and other basics are staples in many recipes. These items typically have a long shelf life as well, making them perfect for your pantry! If you do a lot of baking, or prefer boxed mixes, you can find great deals on these items and stock up when there’s a good deal. For things like sugar, flour, cinnamon, and other cooking essentials, I like to buy them in bulk at wholesale and stores such as BJ’s or Costco’s. I buy pancake mix this way as well.
Be Careful With Bread Products
While you may be tempted to stock a life’s supply of taco shells or bread with coupons, these items do have a shorter shelf life. You want to make sure you can reasonably use the things you buy before they go bad. This is why I usually suggest against stocking up on bread-related items. Bread may not last you more than a week, and you may find a stale box of taco shells when you go to make tacos. Avoid this by being careful with the bread products you choose to stock, and only buy what you can use.
Sort By Expiration Date
Once you start building up your stockpile, it won’t take long before you lose track of everything you have. Organize your pantry by-product, and make sure to sort them by expiration date. This will make sure you are using what will expire first. Sure your pasta sauce may not expire for two years, but if you don’t use it that often, it could go bad before you get the chance to use it.
How And When You Fill Up Your Food Pantry Matters
It doesn’t have to be hard or be something that leaves you broke just to fill up your food pantry. Having a money-saving pantry will not only make your meal plans easier, but it will also save you money! Instead of being at the mercy of your grocery store, you can buy items at their rock-bottom prices. You’ll never be out of food again, and you’ll be saving so much more.
In The Comments Below Tell Me How You Fill Up Your Food Pantry – What did I Miss?