Friday, January 15, 2010

Fruitful Friday.... "Stocking Your Pantry!"

There is a big difference in "Building" your pantry and "Stocking" your pantry.

"Building" your pantry is designing a food storage program that works for you... Like the things we talked about last week.

"Stocking" your pantry is now that you have a food storage program that works for you, this is when you decide how you are going to buy all the items on your list from last week along with adding those weekly  items to your pantry that you use regularly, milk, pancake syrup, cereal, pasta sauces, plus all your fresh fruits, vegetables and meats.

Some ideas that work are...

A. If you have enough money, just go out a buy everything and "Stock" your pantry. (We use half of our Tax Refund)
B. If you have a revolving budget then you can buy two or three of each items each time you shop.
C. If you have a fixed budget then you buy 1 or 2 extra items each month or each time you shop.
D. If you in bulk, are in case lots when they are on sale. Also if you buy the whole case, don't be afraid  to ask if you can have the "stocking fee" taken off the price of the case. Most grocers that I have asked will give it to me as they do not have to pay someone to put it on the shelf and they still get paid for the item.
E. If you find that buying in bulk gives you to much at one time then you can always find a group of friends to go in with you. Our local homeschool and church group buys in bulk from a co-op. It's a great way to get high quality items for less. In addition, because there are other families, we often split a "bulk" item. That way, we are able to buy what we need, split the order with another family, keep things fresh and get the savings without a lot of cash outlay.
F. Shop with coupons, but only use coupons for the items that you normally buy. Don't buy an item just because you have a coupon.
G. Watch name brands, sometimes generic or in-store brands are cheaper and just a good tasting. Often the products are all from the same plant, just labeled different.
H. Garden, Can or Freeze foods. Some people say this isn't a savings. It just depends on how you do it. I water my garden at the same time that I water my lawn with the automatic sprinkler system. I would have watered the same area if it were grass, we just get fresh produce to enjoy, plus extra vegetables and herbs to can and dry.
I. Our favorite thing to do is shop the local Fresh & Farmer's Markets. I can usually find huge saving by shopping there. I buy extra and then I freeze or can it.

After you've stocked your pantry, supermarket trips may be less frequent. You'll only need to shop for perishable foods and depleted pantry items.

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