I haven’t bought toilet paper in two years. I haven’t bought dryer sheets or floor cleaners in five years. It’s not that we don’t use these products, it’s just that once they were on sale at a price I couldn’t afford to pass up, I bought so many that I haven’t had to think about buying them since.
Since the economy began heading south year, the shopping advice from local and national media has been “try not to buy more than you need at one time” which makes me cringe every time I hear it.
While it may seem counter-intuitive to shop for something you don’t need and buy a boatload of it, if you’re buying an item at its rock bottom price and you can stock up on it, then you won’t have to buy it later at full price.
The key to this strategy? Add one or two sale items a week that weren’t on your list that you’ll likely use anyway. Use coupons to sweeten the deal and buy as many as you can at that price. Today at Target, 150-sheet lined notebook paper was on clearance for .12 cents each. Needless to say, at a savings of 88% off full retail, I bought enough paper for the kids that I won’t I won’t need to buy it again for several years. I’ll toss it in a Rubbermaid tub and pull it out when we need it.
As you begin to shop this way, keep a few things in mind:
- How much can I budget on building my stockpile each week? Take a percentage of what you currently spend and reallocate it to shopping for long-term-use deals.
- Will my family use up the product before it expires? My kids go through one jar of peanut butter a week, so when I can get it for less than .50 cents per jar, I buy at least 52 jars to get me through a whole year.
- Do I have room to store these items in a way that makes sense? An investment in storage totes, shelving and a deep freezer can help you save in the long term.
If you can incorporate this tactic into your personal shopping routine, you might spend a little more at first, but ultimately, it will reduce your groceries costs more each month. A few years of shopping this way, I’ve cut our grocery bill down to about $200 a month. My family could live off the products stored in the garage for several months if we ever came on tough times. And best of all, I can take the money we save and use it somewhere else.