So I have a huge confession to make. I guess it isn’t really a confession… so much as it is an admission. My stockpile is at capacity. A few days ago I was going through the freezer in my garage and I realized that there was no free space in it. And the freezer is ginormous. Then I was going through one of my pantries and I realized it too did not have much free space. And I started feeling guilty. When I blog on Addicted to Saving and when I give coupon classes, I help all of you learn how to get the best deals while you are shopping and I give you tips on growing your stockpile. But I also tell you that if you let your food expire or if you have more food in your stockpile than you will use, that you are actually being wasteful and not good stewards. So, all that to say, I am going to be going through my cabinets, pantries and freezers and we are going to start really living off of our stockpile. And we are going to give away a ton of food that we will not eat.
Why do I need to tell you this? For a couple of reasons First, I want you to see that it IS possible to grow a stockpile even with the tightening coupon policies, higher prices of food and less and less high value coupons to use. (I’m still sad about the fact that we don’t get Red Plum coupon inserts in Tampa Bay.) When I first started couponing, we bought 8 (yes eight) newspapers every Sunday because I wanted 8 of each coupon. Now, we buy 4 papers. And most often, you will find us buying 2 boxes of pasta (even if they are dirt cheap) or two bottles of juice, etc etc. Even with us buying lesser quantities, we still have grown our stockpile. So don’t think that you have to buy 10 boxes of pasta at one shot. If you buy 4 boxes of pasta this week and then another 4 boxes of pasta next month, chances are that you will have a sufficient enough stockpile of pasta to live off of one box a week for quite a while. (Of course every family has different food preferences and your family sizes are different – so if you go through more pasta than once box a week, you will want to stock up on more than my previous example.)
Secondly, I want this to act as a reminder to you that you too should go through your stockpiles and make sure that your food is all fresh and that if you too have 10 boxes of pasta (5 of which you will never eat) you should give some away! There is nothing better than giving food away and blessing others!
And lastly, I am showing this because you are going to notice that my weekly Photo Show & Tell is changing. For the past 6 years, every Friday, we have gone grocery shopping with the intent of taking advantage of all of the best deals and then showing all of you what the best deals are. Every week we have bought food we didn’t need strictly with the intent of taking a photo of it and giving you step by step instructions on what coupons to use to take advantage of the deal. For us, money has become tighter recently. And I can’t bring myself to pay for and buy more food that we don’t need when we have more than enough to eat for months and months to come. In the freezer in our garage, we have at least 25 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and at least 20 lbs of lean ground beef. And I have at least 15 freezer slow cooker meals that I just need to thaw and cook. I just can’t justify spending more money knowing I have all of that food! That said, if there are stellar deals, we will still take advantage of them and instead of adding them to my stockpile, we will just immediately give them away! I can’t resist stellar deals!
SO – starting tomorrow, I will do my weekly shopping trip and I will take advantage of some of the sales. But not all of them. And you may notice that I’m buying a lot less (and fingers crossed – spending a lot less). But in addition to that, I will also put together a shopping list you can follow that gives you all of the best deals, prices, coupons and total out of pocket spending. I know many of you rely on my Photo Show & Tell to help figure out what to buy each week. And I don’t want to stop helping you. So my Photo Show & Tell will show you what I bought and how I bought everything. But it will also give you a grocery list that will show you what I would buy if I had room in my stockpile. Sound good?
Update – I wanted to add one more thing For fresh produce (we love our fresh produce) we will either continue to get it at the coop we belong to OR we will stop the coop and get the produce that is on sale at Publix, Aldi or maybe even Sam’s Club. We haven’t decided yet how to handle produce…
To end this, I would love to hear how your stockpiles are doing? Are you too overflowing at the seams? Or do you need to add to it? Have you had a difficult time growing your stockpile? Share your thoughts! I would love to hear them!
Go HERE to read Introduction to Stockpiling and learn how to grow your stockpile!