Several months back a friend of mine got me into the drug store game. Its truly been a Godsend. It gets me my shopping fix w/o spending lots of cash AND I've been able to give out these cute gift baskets to my family full of free goodies I've collected along the way.
I also like to save at the grocery store, although that's not quite as easy these days. When Kroger first ran their gift card promotion (allowing you to purchase a $300, $600, or $1200 gift card and they would add 10%) I immediately jumped on it. Since I normally just spend about $40-$60 a month on groceries, I only got a $300 card. Smart move, since I still have a $240 balance.
Mr. Right is the economist and I'm the shopper. After doing some research on the value of the dollar and the way prices are headed, he asked that I start to stockpile food. He's convinced that the value of the dollar will continue to decrease and that food prices will continue to increase. And since most savings accounts aren't keeping up with inflation, what better way to combat the problem them filling the cabinets with non-perishable foods?
Even if the economy was more stable - I agree its a good idea. I'm going to consider our stockpile sort of a backup emergency fund. As a true Dave Ramsey fan, I have my 3-6 months worth of expenses in the bank. Side note: Mr. Right and I need to do a budget and see if combining our emergency funds would work or if we need to increase/decrease the amount.
When he suggested buying a lot of food we would use any way, I thought it would be a great idea. If something unexpected happened and one of us couldn't work, how great would it be if we could mostly eat out of the pantry and just spend $20 or so a month on groceries?
The plan will work okay because we eat a lot of spaghetti, chili, and other canned tomato/pasta meals. Also, I'm OCD enough that I will rotate stock when I buy groceries each month. Once I get the stash built up, I'll continue grocery shopping each month as normal. But I'll be careful to use the oldest item first. I would hate for 2010 to roll around and all my pasta start to go bad.
I noticed that I was a few weeks late, and prices had already gone up again. A box of Kroger brand rotini pasta jumped from $0.99 to $1.15. Sure, an extra $0.16 isn't going to make or break my budget. But raising the price by 15% price is quite a large increase.
My mom isn't a Kroger shopper, so ever so often they send her coupons. This month was $6 off a $60 purchase for 4 weeks (starting this week). Since yesterday was the last day of the gift card promotion, I took my coupon for this week to the store. After buying my $300 gift card I spent $58.47 on the following:
4 cans cream of chicken soup
4 cans cream of celery soup
4 cans chicken broth
2 cans enchilada sauce
2 cans refried beans
2 cans tomato sauce
4 beef broth
5 cans sketti sauce
5 lbs rice
10 packets sketti mix
10 packets chili mix
4 packets alfredo
4 2 lb boxes sketti noodles
2 boxes rotini pasta
2 boxes penne pasta
1 container salsa
1 large container peanut butter
Next week's items will include ramen noodles and more canned tomato products. We use a lot of tomato sauce, paste, and diced tomatoes.
Any other suggestions for food that save well? I've got 3 more $60 trips to go!
Check out other money saving suggestions at Frugal Friday.