Practical tip 1: Buy up “loss leaders.” Grocery stores entice you into the store by offering a few items at ridiculously cheap prices. These items are generally on the front page and can be seasonal. So when soup is on sale four cans for a dollar, fill your pantry until the next sale.
Practical tip 2: Combine coupons with sales. Ask friends and neighbors to save their coupon inserts for you, buy extra Sunday newspapers, or make friends with the local convenience store, all great sources for lots of coupons. When instant oatmeal went on sale at 1.00 each, I had 20 .50 coupons that doubled to make the oatmeal free–all 20 boxes.
Practical tip 3: Figure out your storage possibilities ahead of time. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can find unused space for storage. In a box under a bed is a good spot, for example. I’ve know people to build a shelf over the door to store items, but because the vibration of the door slamming could cause an avalanche, I wouldn’t recommend heavy objects, unless you wanted your canned peas to double as a anti-theft device.
Practical tip 4: Invest in a freezer. This is the single best thing a stockpiler can buy. Meat, bread, butter, even milk can all be frozen away for months. Make double or triple batches of cookie dough, or an extra casserole to freeze and you won’t be running to the store for expensive convenience items.
Practical tip 5: Shop in bulk at a warehouse club. Fresh meat, produce, cases of canned goods, flour, toothbrushes and diapers are usually good deals. Watch prices on frozen convenience foods and non-food merchandise. Resist the 50lb tub of mayonnaise. Trust me you’ll never use it all before it becomes a science experiment.
Practical tip 6: Be selective. Don’t stockpile a case of instant coffee if no
one in your family will drink it.
Practical tip 7: Find new uses for cheap products. A friend of mine stockpiled discount boxes of macaroni and cheese. She used the macaroni part for pasta salads and the cheese part to make nacho chip snacks or to sprinkle on veggies.
Practical tip 8: Donate any excess. Never has my family ever gotten bored with something I stockpiled, but we do like to share our bounty with others. Older neighbors will be especially grateful when you show up with extra staples and treats during a snowstorm.