Are you wanting to build up your pantry supplies but have a set amount you want to spend? Learn how to stock your pantry on a budget!
Are you looking for ways to save when it comes to stocking up your pantry? My family is always looking for ways to save money and one of the easiest ways is by stocking up on supplies.
Did you know that buying in bulk and using coupons can really increase your savings when you’re shopping at the grocery store? That along with the following tips below will help you stock a pantry without breaking the bank!
How to Stock Your Pantry on A Budget
While it is wonderful to open up your cupboard doors and look at a full stock of food, it can be a challenge to actually get to that point. This task does take time, energy, and effort. Knowing the tips and tricks to make the most of your local grocery store trips can help you get your pantry staples on a budget.
If there is one thing that history has taught us over and over again, it is the simple fact that it is important to have food on hand for tough times.
Having a full pantry is an incredibly simple way to guarantee food security as well as help your financial situation. After all, if you can save money in one area of your life, you can use it to pay off another area, whether it be clearing debt or investing for your future.
Check emergency food storage options if you are interested in foods with a long shelf life.
Know your likes and dislikes.
Stocking up on 20 cans of soup because you found them on sale for practically pennies a can is no bargain if you hate the texture or flavor of what’s in the soup.
Fill your pantry with food items that you would actually eat so you need to be brutally honest with yourself about what you really like and don’t like. This is also true if you have kids. Make sure you stock up on plenty of items your kids will eat, too.
If it helps, make a list to help you decide what you want to work on while stocking up. Even if it is only twenty items long, that will be twenty more items that you have on hand that you didn’t have on hand before.
I like to stock up on the following items when I do my personal shopping: canned chicken (for chicken salad!), pinto beans, black beans, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes for chili, plus pasta sauce and noodles for spaghetti. I also like to stock up on canned green beans, corn, and sweet peas for side dishes for our main meal.
Work your store selling cycle.
Everything in your local grocery store has a selling cycle. That means there is a high price and a rock bottom price over a period of time. The trick is to purchase those items you want at that low price, and if you can add a coupon to it, even better!
It can be tricky to figure out your specific store’s cycle. If you save the weekly sales ads for about two months though, you will clearly see their pattern.
Certain staples like pasta and cereal go on sale every six to eight weeks. If you watch for that lowest price before you add that item to your list, you will be rocking the deals. Keep a record of the lowest prices so you know when it’s time to stock up.
It is amazing how buying ten boxes of pasta for a buck each saves you almost ten dollars if you eat a pasta meal every week and it is normally two dollars a box.
When canned veggies go on sale around $0.50, I like to buy several cans. These cans usually last me until they go on sale again! When taco seasoning goes on sale for $0.44 a pack, I grab several of them! I also like to stock up on 24 packs of water when they go on sale for $1.50 each.
This should be your go-to trick from pasta, grains, ready-to-eat cereal, crackers, cookies, and more.
Check the clearance aisle.
Check the clearance section in your grocery store. You can often find items that have been pulled off the shelves for a simple thing like the company changed their packaging. Maybe they did a store reset and have chosen to discontinue that item.
Occasionally things might be getting closer to their expiration date. Purchase these items if you think you can eat them before their best by dates. I don’t really like to mess with expired food, even though I know some people don’t mind going past the dates. That’s all personal choice of course.
Some things like rice, sugar, salt, and honey are practically invincible if they are stored correctly.
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It is a little different to do this than it was just five years ago as almost everything has gone digital. Start with getting your store loyalty card. Some advertised specials are strictly for store card carriers.
Check their website to see if they have digital coupons that are tied to your store card. You can reap the rewards of these additional discounts without even getting out your scissors.
That being said, there are still paper coupons out there. Some are printed in your store’s ad circular and some are in your weekly free neighborhood papers that most people just throw out.
If you can stack a printed coupon with a digital coupon? What a way to save!
Print online coupons here.
Jump at National Canned Food Month.
February is national canned food month and offers a ton of incredible sales specials in addition to extra coupons out there. If you are looking to bulk up your pantry on the cheap, February is the perfect time for those canned meat, beans, vegetables, vegetable juices, fruit, fruit juices, even canned milk!
If you missed canned food month? No worries, things like tuna and canned pasta meals are in that normal store selling cycle that we already mentioned.
If it isn’t February, look at buying dried beans and lentils instead of canned. The price is a lot better, and they will last longer. Once you cook them, they can be frozen for longer storage.
Buy in bulk.
The price of pre-portioned convenience really adds up when you look at the cost per ounce on an item. Let’s pick Doritos. You can buy a full bag, on sale for $2.50, or buy three to four bags at $0.75 a piece when you get the single serving packs. If you take that large bag and break it down into smaller bags, you will easily have six to eight bags of snacks instead of just three to four.
I am not saying you have to get the jumbo cans of baked beans, but all of those pudding cups, fruit cups, and 4 count cookie packs really charge you for that work of breaking them down.
Learn to can.
If you get free produce or garden, canning your own vegetables will only take your time. You can save money on the cost of supplies that you need when getting started by looking at your local thrift stores or Facebook groups.
Have no fear if you are new to the concept: you can learn literally anything on YouTube these days.
It really isn’t that hard to fill a pantry on a budget, and more importantly maintain it, once you have the tips and tricks down so you can do it.
Cook from Your Pantry.
Use the ingredients that you have stocked to make delicious meals for you or your family. The following books below can help you come up with meals from your pantry!
Happy meal planning!