Stockpiling is a common frugal shopping technique. The idea is that you buy several of an item you use when its at the lowest price. The goal of stockpiling is to never pay full price for anything. Here are the basic steps:
1. Keep track ( mentally or in a notepad) of the prices you see and pay for commonly-bought items.
2. When you see something on sale for a “rock-bottom” price, stock up. Usually you will find “rock-bottom” prices when you can combine a good sale or mark-down with coupons.
3. Menu-plan from your stockpile, only buying dairy products and fresh produce as needed on a weekly basis plus whatever is at stockpile worthy prices that you use. Shop from your stockpiled pantry when planning meals because you know all of those items were purchased for a bargain.
4. Don’t stockpile things you don’t already use! This will turn into waste and that is definitely not frugal.
For example, a can of organic Muir Glenn diced tomatoes ranges from $1.89 -2.79 at regular prices at several grocery stores I frequent. I use diced tomatoes in several of my go-to recipes so this is a good stockpile item for me. Once in a while, the store will have them on sale 4/$5 ($1.25 each). I also usually have several $1 off or $0.75 off coupons making these $0.25 -$0.50 each. That is the “rock-bottom” price to me.
I buy several cans of diced tomatoes when they are at a stockpile worthy price so that I never have to pay anything close to the full price.
As an alternative price-comparison, Costco sells another brand of organic diced tomatoes for approximately $0.87 each. These are always for sale at that price so I will buy a case of those when needed if I’m unable to find my “rock-bottom” price mentioned above at the normal grocery stores.
Stockpiling allows me to shop at several different stores, stocking up on certain things from each store that I like without going to every store each week. By menu-planning from my stockpile and just buying the perishables and fill-in items, I am free to menu-plan without worrying about finding the best deal on all the ingredients I need every week.