This week, I was talking to a friend about couponing, and it dawned on me that most people don't get the idea behind the coupon/stockpile strategy, and how it saves money. So I'm going to try to do a better job explaining. This is Bargain Grocery Shopping 101.
1. Set a budget for the month. For us, that budget is $550.
2. In any budget, there is wiggle room, the amount between necessary and discretionary spending. Some budgets will have more wiggle room than others. If your wiggle room is only $5, so be it. But use this wiggle room to your advantage. Use it to start your stockpile, and stock up on a good deal!
3. Use the strategies I've outlined here and here to give yourself a little more wiggle room in your budget. Then start snowballing; use your savings to generate more savings. I know that when I go to the store that I don't need 14 bottles of shampoo this month. But I do know that right now, they're at a good price, and I will eventually use those 14 bottles. If I'm only paying 25 cents per bottle, then I'm saving future grocery money. That enables me to buy 30 buddy bars, to stock up on 5 bottles of laundry detergent, to stockpile toothbrushes.
And it gets me to my goal of lowering my grocery budget. Over time, the savings start rolling in. I am able to lower the cost per item of the items I regularly buy. By practicing stockpiling, I have managed to lower my grocery bill by $50 over the last 3 months. Not too shabby, considering how low it was to start with.
And just to give you some inspiration, today I bought 3 bags of Hershey's Kisses for 39 cents - total. I also got some frozen pizza, our only convenience food, for $2/pizza, and 16 ounce tubs of sour cream for 25 cents each.