Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Grocery Stockpiling~Lessons Learned

I have always been a couponer, to some degree. Thanks to some great blogs like Southern Savers, I am learning to be an Xtreme Couponer. I just finished tallying my January shopping totals, spending $440 on $1235 worth of grocery and personal care items over the 5-week month. That is an average of less than $90 a week, and a savings of 64%. Now, I do not intend to spend that much per week in the future. My January purchases have been replenishing my reserves. (We travel for an extended period during the holidays, so I intentionally cleaned out my pantry and freezer beforehand, only buying perishables for the entire month of December.)

But, I have gone beyond replenishing what I had. I have a true stockpile for the first time ever. I have all of the personal care, laundry detergent, dish detergent, and other cleaners that I need for the next 6-12 months. I also have a 2-3 month supply of most of our staple food items, including meat.

Here are some things that I have learned in the past month:

1. Xtreme Couponing = Stockpiling. It is the only way to truly get the best value out of your money.

2. Stockpiling creates a ready environment for giving. If I am aware of a need, I can meet it. I simply go shopping in my stockpile.

3. Many of the things that I bring home for free or nearly free are purchased at full price by other people in the same store, on the same day. (This was a true revelation.)

4. I don't have to worry about emergencies. If I get sick or there is a snowstorm (like now), we have all that we need in the house to get us through it.

5. It is ridiculous to pay $2.69 for a jar of peanut butter weekly when I can buy six now at $.99, and do the same thing again, six weeks from now. (Think about it, Full price- $2.69 x 6 = $16.14. Xtreme Couponing price- $.99 x 6 = $5.94. That's a savings of $10.20, Now, think about saving that much for every staple grocery item.)

6. The money that I save gives me freedom for little splurges, to save up for something special, or to bless someone else. In other words, I've become a better steward of what God has given me.

7. Shopping three stores with a plan is quicker and cheaper than shopping one with no plan. Yesterday, I hit 4 stores in 1 hour, 15 minutes. I spent $40 on $160 worth of merchandise.

8. People look at me funny when I walk through a store with a big ol' coupon binder. Some come back and ask me how it works ;)

9. Some cashiers will actually celebrate with me when I save 80% on an order, some will not.

10. If I am already getting a huge discount on an order, I usually don't get picky over a small coupon dispute, although I may ask for the item to be removed from my order. I would rather keep a great rapport with my stores than become known as that "Pushy Coupon Lady".

11. The amount of stuff that I can bring home FOR FREE is truly astounding.

12. Just for kicks, I kept up with the number of coupons that I used. 241 Coupons! (I know, I'm a nerd for keeping up with it.) And I used to think that store brands were a better buy, HA!

I'm certainly not a pro, yet. My coupon filing system still needs tweaking. But, overall I am very pleased with where all of this is heading. Everyone does it a little differently, and that is okay. The key is to find your own system and go with it.

This post is linked to Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.


  1. Amy, This is a great post about the value of stockpiling. You should link it up to Frugal Friday @ Life As Mom.

  2. Thanks. That's a great idea! I'll do that this week.

  3. Great post, I just finished up a series on Couponing 101 basics and this hits the nail right on the head :)

  4. I'm a pretty new couponer myself (just started 4 months ago) and I'm amazed at the value of stockpiling and truly how much money can be saved that way. It's awesome, isn't it?!

  5. Thanks, Candi!
    Leslie, it is awesome! Once you make the mindset shift about shopping, there's no going back! Thanks for stopping by ladies!

  6. I came across your blog today and I have to say, I love it! I hope to learn how to save money like you.

  7. Wow, thanks! I appreciate the kind words. I'll help any way I can! Let me know if you have any questions.


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