Friday, May 23, 2008

Frugal Friday - Stockpiling

I'm still doing well on limiting my grocery shopping to once every two weeks and also am loving menu planning! In yesterday's post I talked about how I feel led to stockpile for my family and the needy. Stockpiling would also help me to limit my grocery shopping trips and save money. With a well stocked stockpile, I could stretch the time between major grocery shopping trips even further. Wouldn't it be nice to go to the grocery store only once a month..... or less!!!!

Last Fall I did a couple of posts on stocking up for winter here and here. Many of the items I stocked up on are just now beginning to be depleted. It has been really nice to know that I had many of my regularly used staples on hand.

I've decided that I must love to make lists! I'm always coming up with some kind of list every day. The following are my steps to stockpiling for the future.

1. Decide what kinds of things we need and that we actually would use. There's no point in purchasing things that we don't really need just because they are on sale. I've also learned from experience, there's no point in buying things my family doesn't already like or use.

These items also need to be things that store well, either in the freezer or pantry.

2. Inventory my existing pantry, freezer and other storage areas to see what we need. We need to throw away any old and outdated items.

3. I have cabinet space in my laundry room that is being wasted because it is filled with clutter or other unneeded items. I'd like to organize this space to be used for staples, paper products and hygiene items.

4. I'd like to keep a pantry/freezer inventory sheet in my homemaking notebook so that I can always know what I have, how old it is, and if I need to be on the lookout for more of a certain item.

5. I'd like to allocate a certain amount of money each week to increasing our stockpile. Yesterday I decided I would go to Dollar General on my lunch hour and spend $10.00 on canned goods. You would be amazed at how much I was able to purchase for $10.00. This gave me a nice little start on the stockpile!

6. I'm going to diligently watch the sales papers for unbeatable sales and loss leader items to buy in bulk. I also need to be aware of what the best price actually is for each item. For instance, even though Walmart is not my favorite place to shop, I know which items sold there are the best product at the best price, so I'll make an occasional trip there to buy these in bulk.

This is also true for Dollar General. I know which brands they sell that are good, and offered there at the best price I know of. When I made my $10.00 trip there yesterday, I passed up many things that I knew weren't the best price or I wasn't sure. For example, there was apple juice that was a product of China.... no thanks!

7. This summer I would like to be on the lookout for produce that I can freeze or store. I might even try to do some home canning. My mother has always done this for all her children. She doesn't need to do this, she just likes to do it. But, she really isn't able to any more and I would like to learn this skill. My favorites would be canned tomatoes and green beans. I have a book around here somewhere on this subject. It tells what to do with your surplus garden produce.

One item that stores very well with no work involved is sweet potatoes. Recently I came across some I forgot I had that were stored since last winter. They were still in perfect condition.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a root cellar?!!! You could fill it with all kinds of potatoes, carrots, cabbages, onions, and have a place to store your canned products. I bet some of you have one of these!

8. We are not growing a big garden, although we have plenty of land we could use for this purpose. I'm very interested in a square foot type garden, which I think produces as well as using the row system. Also container gardening appeals to me. My husband has several tomatoes in pots that are really growing fast! This weekend I am off work for 3 days, so I plan to work on this gardening situation.

For more Frugal Friday tips, go to the Biblical Womanhood Blog!


April said...

I recently started stockpiling and by using coupons, it helps alot(like the Bush's Grillin Beans for $0.25 a can after coupons)

By eliminating one or 2 junk foods, I can increase the stockpile and have a peace of mind it is there when we need it.

Vanessa said...

It sounds like a great plan. I have a pretty good amount of food storage, so now I am working on making it more of a variety of things.

Good luck!

Mom2fur said...

I think doing an inventory is a really smart idea--especially for a freezer. I was looking for a turkey breast that was buried in mine, so I figured I'd take a good look at what I had while I dug it out. I have enough chicken, beef and pork to last for three weeks and maybe longer. I found some nice sirloin and even a piece of salmon, which we will have for our Memorial day barbecue! It's nice to know what you have, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

You need to go learn your mother's canning methods now, especially if she has something that's her specialty. After my great-grandmother passed away, we found out that no one in the family knew her pickle recipe -- the only kinds of pickles I actually liked. My aunt, who helped with the pickling, apparently spent all her time watching dishes. What was she thinking?

I think I saw Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew on your sidebar a few days ago. If not, I found it a very good book.

Pen Pen said...

It is a wonderful feeling to go into the pantry and see a surplus of items, isn't it? Sometimes when I need a certain ingredient and discover I already have it, I get so excited that I don't have to run to the store. I need to be more organized about stockpiling so that I will know what I have. (now that I'm buying for two different places, it is hard for me to remember which house a certain item is located... this is now my challenge: getting both places stocked)

Candace said...

Your list is great and makes a lot of sense.
Good luck with stockpiling!


Mom2fur said...

Hey, did you get the camera fixed? (Thanks for the nice comment on my blouse, btw!)

Mom2fur said...

Hi, again, Deb. I didn't get your e-mail. I might have accidently erased it if it went to my spam file. Send me one again, okay? Lufmikidz at aol dot com. Put something like "From Debbie J." in the title so I know it's you!
BTW, guess what? My husband put up a clothesline for me today! I'll blog about it tomorrow.

Dianne said...

You have some very good ideas and it is very evident that list work real good for you. I may put some of your ideas into practice. Thanks for the tips, Debbie!

Currently, my freezer needs defrosting and I am trying to live out of my freezer and pantry to use up some things that have been there a while.

I will use your techniques when I get my stash down to a reasonable level. Good Job!! and good post!

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