Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Well Stocked Pantry

Let's chat about the pantry for this week's Thrifty Thursday post.  Wait?  What?  The pantry?  Yep, the pantry.  How is the pantry going to save me money?  What is so thrifty about it?  Read on...
A Glimpse of Normal, Thrifty Thursday, Well Stocked Pantry,  Saving Money
When you first think about the pantry, you are probably thinking...I don't save money on anything in there, but I dare say you are wrong.  A well stocked pantry can save you a lot of money over the course of time.  Don't rush out and buy 20 cans of tomatoes so that you can stock your pantry because that will totally blow your grocery budget.  Start small.  When you start out stocking up the pantry, buy just what you need for a week's worth of meals and then see what you are left with at the end of the week.  The items that are left over can be the start of your stock or they can be planned into the next week's meals.  Keep doing this process to see what your family is actually using and what items you can stock up on.  In the meantime while you are tracking this (it really doesn't have to be an elaborate, formal tracking system, just make a list and adjust that list as needed), look for good sales on dry goods, canned goods, condiments, sauces, and snacks.  When you find a good sale on items you use, try to stock up on a few of those items. 

Good sales vary by store and location so a good sale for me, might not be the same where you are.  An example of a good sale is when one of our local stores does a sale on cereal.  They only run the sale every few months.  They either offer 4 boxes of cereal for $10 or buy 2 boxes get 3 free.  These are stock up sales for me.  We don't eat tons of cereal in our house, we tend to go in spurts, but at this price I will make a point of stocking up on the cereal we do eat and if I have enough money in my budget I will get enough cereal to last us a couple of months.  Another sale that one store runs every few weeks is a buy 10 items (mix and match different items) and get the 11th free.  Some of the items in this sale are better deals for me than others and that would make them a stock up price.

Back to stocking up...  Once you know what items you are using regularly, you can start keeping them on hand at all times.  I do this by buying these items every week.  Canned tomatoes are something we use a lot of so every week I buy at least 2 cans of tomatoes until I have 10 cans in our pantry.  Once I get to 10 cans of tomatoes I will focus on a different veggie or soup we use regularly.  Don't worry I don't keep 10 of everything in my pantry, I would run out of room quickly.  Once our items are stocked up in the pantry, I can use more of our grocery budget for meat instead of dry goods. 

So far all I have talked about is spending money, but I promise it does save me money to keep a well stocked pantry.  I check my pantry when I am meal planning to see what items we have on hand to go with meals.  I also save money by not eating out as much because I have ingredients I can make meals out of in the pantry at all times.  If my pantry doesn't have much in it, chances are that I won't have everything I need to make a full meal and then I will have to go to the store or eat out which isn't cheap. 
What types of things do I stock up on?  Canned goods, crackers, cereal, chips, baking mixes, baking ingredients, coffee, and paper products.  I also keep at least one extra mayonnaise, mustard, and salad dressing on hand as well.  I don't buy a lot of extra of these items because they are perishable and I don't want them to go to waste.  I shop my pantry before I make my list to shop the store and that is how I save money.  Do you stock up on anything?

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