Parts 1, 2, and 3 can be found here.
In the last entry we talked about how to use leftovers to help stock our pantries. This week we’re going shopping. Of course, we stock our pantries by shopping but are we just filling our grocery cart or are we SHOPPING to fill our pantries?
Here are some ways I shop to fill my pantry ...
16. I pray about my pantry. I pray before I shop, while I shop and for pantry stocking wisdom. Yes, I really do this!
17. I make a grocery list and menu before I go shopping. When I plan my menu before I go shopping my grocery list is a lot smaller. When I shop from my pantry before I go shopping my grocery list is a lot smaller. You know what this means? Menu planning and shopping from my pantry leaves more money in my food budget to use on the great deals that I find as I shop!
18. I scrutinize grocery store flyers. I take a marker and circle the items that I’m interested in then I transfer the circled items to my grocery list. Before I head to the store I check to see if there are any coupons available.
19. I use a price book/price sheet. In order to get the best deals I have to know what a good price is. My price book/sheet gives me that information.
20. I use coupons IF and ONLY IF it’s for something we use or IF it’s for something new we want to try. If we won’t use it, I don’t need it in my house!
21. I take advantage of clearance food sales.
22. I use the 1 + 1 rule whenever possible. When I purchase a food item, if possible, I buy an extra one and add it to my pantry.
23. I check unit prices. Sometimes a lower price seems like something really great until you compare unit prices. Yikes, I want to keep my pantry well-stocked but at the most economical prices, don’t you?
24. I ‘know’ the stores I shop at … meaning I know when they usually mark their meat down, where their clearance food is located, what their coupon policy is, whether or not they have a rain check policy and if so what it is and when their sales start and when they end each week. I make it my business to know everything about their marketing that I can. See this post on Shopping at Sam’s Club as an example of ‘knowing’ the stores you shop at.
25. I shop seasonal sales. Turkey in November; ground beef and chicken in the summer especially around Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day; ham at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas; cranberries, canned soups, canned vegetables, celery, spices and baking supplies in November and December.
26. I buy marked down candy after the holidays. I bring it home and vacuum seal it in quart or pint jars for later use. Some examples are: red hot cinnamons after Valentine’s Day, chocolate after Valentine’s Day/Easter/Halloween/Christmas and candy canes after Christmas.
27. I watch for items to go on sale that my family uses on a regular basis. When I find a sale, I buy as much as my budget will allow using coupons if I have them.
28. I buy in bulk. Some examples are toilet paper, paper towels, all kinds of dried beans, a variety of teas and cooking oils.
29. I add items to my grocery list as soon as I open the last one of any item. This gives me time to restock the item before I need it.
30. I take advantage of Amazon’s subscribe and save program.
31. We have grocery stores, etc that we stop in and check for great deals at when we’re out and about running errands … if time permits and we have any money.
32. I shop at farmers markets and road side stands.
33. I shop at Mennonite/Amish non-electric stores. Twice a year I get to shop at a non-electric Mennonite country store. I absolutely love it. This is when I restock my spices as well as other things that are considerably cheaper than main stream grocery stores.
34. I shop at Asian markets. I get to do this about once every couple of months.
35. I shop at warehouse type stores. The bulk of our grocery shopping is done at Sam’s Club.
36. I shop at dollar stores.
37. I shop at discount grocery stores such as Aldi’s and Save-a-lot.
Okay, I’ve shared with you how I shop to keep my pantry filled, how about you? What tips do you have that will help us all stretch our food budget and fill our pantries at the same time?
Your comments are what will make this series more helpful so please share your wisdom.
To see how I incorporate all these ways in my daily life, join me at A Working Pantry.
patsiA Working Pantry
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