7 Tips to Stock Your Pantry on a Budget
Saving money on groceries and household items makes a big difference to the monthly budget. Read on to learn tips to stock your pantry on a budget.
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7 Tips to Stock your Pantry on a Budget
Do you currently keep a stockpile of non-perishable foods and toiletries that your family uses often? Having a stockpile is a key way to save money on your budget each month!
Even if your stockpile only consists of 1 or 2 extra of each item, that stockpile can get you through those weeks (or months) when there are unexpected expenses that throw the budget out of whack.
A stockpile is also great for emergencies when you can’t get to the store. But don't just rush out and overbuy to stuff your pantry! Use these tips instead.
Know the Sales Cycle
Grocery store have sales on certain items every few weeks or months. It pays to learn these cycles so
that you know how much you need to buy when it goes on sale.
When you shop the same store regularly and read their sales flyer weekly, you'll learn the pattern. This will ensure that your stockpile carries you over until the item goes on sale again.
For example, chicken breast goes on sale for $1.99/lb about once a month at my local store. I buy enough at that price (and cut it up and freeze it) to tide me over until the next sale price.
Stock Up as Good Deals Come Along
Don’t rush out and buy a few cases of canned vegetables or boxes of cereal! Instead, wait until they go on sale. Once they’re on sale, you should stock up.
How do you know what a good price is? Keep an eye on those sales fliers and compare it to the regular shelf price. The whole idea is to get the best price and stock up when that price comes along.
Same goes for toiletries–I keep cheap and almost-free toothpaste in the linen closet. That way, when we run out, I am only taking the .50 tube from the closet rather than paying $2-3 for the same tube that week at the grocery store, CVS or Target.
Shop Grocery Outlets and Discount Stores
Grocery outlets and discount stores are great places to shop for deals. You know I do my weekly shopping at Aldi! Don't be afraid of store brands. I've tested out Aldi and Target store brands on my family, and we use them all the time.
However, you do need to know your prices at other stores to make sure you’re getting a good deal. You also need to carefully check expiration dates.
Match Sales and Coupons
If you don’t mind trading time for money, matching coupons to sales can save you a lot of money. One of the best deals is to match coupons to buy one get one free deals. When it comes to finding a way to stock your pantry on a budget you can save a lot with coupons by trading your time for money!
Some stores will give you an overage, so if you have a really good coupon, you may get an item for free, plus get money off your total.
Use Rebate Apps
Ibotta, Checkout 51, and other rebate apps allow you to save even more money. Even if you're using a paper or digital coupon, you can still use the rebate apps to save more (or even make money) on your purchases.
If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you could make a bit of extra money each month. Learn how I use ibotta for couponing after I shop.
Buy in Bulk – IF It’s Cheaper
Another great tip is to buy in bulk through Sam’s Club, BJ's or Costco. What you need to remember though is that bulk isn’t always cheaper. Check the prices and make sure you’re getting the best deal.
I shop at Costco about once a month, but the price of the store brand at Aldi beats the price of Kirkland brand often. Plus, sometimes Costco only offers the name brand of a product, and I'd rather pay the store brand price.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Closeouts and Markdowns
Last, but not least, keep your eyes peeled for closeouts and markdowns. Markdowns are usually items that need to be consumed in the next day or so or frozen.
Closeout items usually are being reduced because the store has decided to no longer sell them or the product has been discontinued. This happens with seasonal and holiday items, too.
A good stockpile is worth the effort. Start small and buy one or two things you see on sale each week. Before you know it, your pantry will be full!