Stockpile Shopping – The Easy Way

easy stockpile shopping

Now that you’ve learned the basics of stockpiling and committed to an annual plan, the hard part is over.  Each week, simply return to Moms by Heart and scroll through the Stock-Up Prices category to see all the recommended purchases.  These will include freebie and rock bottom deals at the drug stores, along with any Target, Walmart or Dollar Tree deals that are worth a look.  Create your shopping list from these options in just a few minutes, then gather your coupons and hit the stores.  How easy is that?

A few things to keep in mind for a successful shopping trip:

  • The best deals may fly off the shelves, so shop as early in the week as possible.
  • If the product you need is not in stock, ask for a rain check.
  • Be sure to stick to your budget, and keep track of your quantities with the free printable Stockpile Shopping List so you don’t overbuy.
  • Look for ways to “roll” your drug store rewards to maximize savings.
  • It is not necessary to do your stockpile shopping every single week.  If you miss a week or two, just hop back on the bandwagon as soon as you are able.
  • Avoid brand loyalty.  Commit yourself to trying new products in the interest of saving the most money.

The Giveaway:
Wanna show off your couponing skills?  Once again this year, I’m asking my readers to submit their hauls for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card each month.  Simply send me a photo and description of your stockpile purchase at momsbyheart at gmail dot com. If I use it on the blog, you’ll be entered to win. You may enter as often as once every week. One winner each month will be selected using random.org from among qualifying entries. You must be 18 years or older and reside in the US. Void where prohibited.

If you have any questions about stockpile shopping, or if I missed any important points, please share in the comments!

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Stockpile Shopping for Beginners – Part 2

Stockpile Shopping - How to Create a Plan for the Year

Welcome to Part 2 of the Stockpiling Series.  Last week, we learned all about how stockpile shopping works to drastically lower our weekly shopping budget. Today we will cover the ins-and-outs of formulating a shopping plan.

Focused Couponing
Focused couponing is a phrase I invented to describe my own unique method of couponing. I hear a lot of bloggers talk about feeding their family for $30 or $40 per week, and I have to say, I’m just not on board with that.  I value meal time with my husband and kiddos very much, and do not want to cut corners in this area.  So instead, I focus my frugal energy on saving money elsewhere. I know I can get personal care products, cleaning items and select food staples for pennies on the dollar, so that is where I spend my efforts.

Focusing on a few items has helped me avoid couponing burnout. It has kept me motivated by giving me specific and measurable goals, rather than the hit-or-miss method I was using before. If you have tried couponing in the past, only to be frustrated and overwhelmed, I strongly encourage you to give this method a try.

Play the Drug Store Game
If you’re not shopping at the drug stores, you’re missing out on some of the best freebies and cheapies you can get. In 2013, most of my stockpile shopping was done at CVS and Walgreens for this very reason.

You see, most stores have weekly sales that can be combined with manufacturer’s coupons for low prices, like this:

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But drug stores also offer rewards programs and store coupons to add to the mix. The more deals you have to stack, the more potential you have to save:

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With scenarios like this one, the idea is to use your rewards to buy items that produce more rewards, over and over again. When you “roll” your rewards each week, you can minimize your out-of-pocket expense and keep the savings going all year.

If you’re new to the drug store game, and not sure what all this “rewards” talk is about, you can read my Walgreens and CVS for Beginners post before proceeding.  I recommend starting with one store until you learn the ropes.

Save money with stockpile shopping - tutorial and free printable

Make a Plan
Once you understand the drug store game, it’s time to make a plan. Begin by making a list of items you would like to stock up on using the free printable HERE. This will be your goal list for the year, so you’ll want to keep it somewhere handy and refer back to it from time to time to update your quantities and evaluate your progress.

How Do I Know What To Include?
If you’re a couponing newbie, you may not be familiar with which products are easily snagged for free, or at rock-bottom prices. This sort of knowledge will come with experience, but for now, you can have a peek at my list below. It includes a variety of items that are pretty easy to get on-the-cheap if you keep up with the drug store deals. I have also included my target prices, but just remember that these will vary a little based on where you live.

PERSONAL CARE:
Shampoo (target price: $0.50 or less)
Conditioner (target price: $0.50 or less)
Body Wash (target price: $0.50 or less)
Toothpaste (target price: FREE)
Toothbrushes (target price: $0.30 or less)
Mouthwash (target price: FREE)
Floss (target price: $0.50 or less)
Hand Soap (target price: $0.50 or less)
Hand Sanitizer (target price: $1 or less)
Deodorant (target price: FREE)
Razors (target price: FREE)
Feminine Care Products (target price: $1.50 or less)

HOUSEHOLD:
Cleaning Spray (target price: $1 or less)
Toilet Paper (target price: $0.50 per double roll or less)
Laundry Detergent (target price: $0.06 per load or less)
Fabric Softener (target price: $0.06 per load or less)
Dish Liquid (target price: $0.50 or less)
Paper Towels (target price: $0.50 per roll)

FOOD ITEMS:
Soup (target price: $0.60 or less)
Tuna (target price: $0.50 or less)
Canned or Frozen Fruit or Vegetables (target price: $0.40 or less)
Dried Pasta (target price: $0.60 or less)
Pasta Sauce (target price: $0.50 or less)
Peanut Butter (target price: $1.50 or less)
Jelly (target price: $1 or less)
Ketchup (target price: $0.50 or less)
Mustard (target price: $0.50 or less)
Mayo (target price: $2 or less)
Salad Dressing (target price: $1 or less)
BBQ Sauce (target price: $0.50 or less)

Set a Quantity Goal
Comb through this list and select the products your family uses most often. Then estimate how many you would need for a period of 6-12 months and add them to your list. For example, if you use one bottle of shampoo each month, your goal would be to have 6-12 in your stockpile.

Set a Budget & Stick To It!
In my opinion, the real savings comes when you challenge yourself to stick to a specific dollar amount every week. This will help you stay on track financially, and it will force you to be creative in your spending. I recommend starting with a budget of $5-$10 per week if you’re new to couponing.  You can opt to spend your budget every week, or save it up for one big couponing trip each month.  You’ll be surprised how far you can stretch it!

Tomorrow I will tell you how to find the the best stock-up prices each week without spending hours clipping coupons and pouring through sale ads! (Update: find it HERE).

More Stockpiling:

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A Beginner’s Guide to Stockpile Shopping

stockpile guide

Stockpiling is the biggest secret to successful couponing. If you know how to do it, you can save hundreds, or even thousands every year on personal care, cleaning and shelf-stable food items.  This week, we’ll be covering the basics of stockpiling: what it is, how it works and why you should be doing it.

In our consumer culture, we’ve grown accustomed to a buy-it-as-you-need-it mentality. When we run out of shampoo, we buy more shampoo. The trouble with this mindset is that our savings is always hit-or-miss. Occasionally, we’ll find a good price, but when we’re in need, we are willing to pay much more than we would otherwise.

With stockpiling, we are not driven by need. Since we have a supply of shampoo at home, we are able to wait until the prices are at their lowest before making a purchase.  Here’s an example.

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Suppose shampoo costs around $3.  Once every month when you start to run low, you venture out and pick up a bottle.  Your total monthly cost is $3.  Not bad.  But if you watch the sale ads, you find occasional buy one get one free sales at the drug stores.  Plus you can usually find a few $1 coupons to sweeten your savings.  When you combine these deals, you are able to do the following:

Brand Name Shampoo $3, B1G1 free
-$1/1 coupon x 2
Final Price: $0.50 each

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At this price, you can pick up six bottles for the price of one, and add them to your stockpile. You now have a six month supply on hand, and are in a position to wait for a rock-bottom sale price before buying any more shampoo.

Essentially, stockpiling gives you a system for getting free or inexpensive products indefinitely.  You can imagine how much money you could save when applying this principle to 20 or 30 frequently used items in your household!

Now that you understand the WHY behind stockpiling, next time we will find out how to formulate a plan!
UPDATE: Read Part 2 and Part 3 of this series!

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The $10 Stockpile Challenge Year-End Results

How to Establish a Stockpile and Save on Household Expenses with Just $10 Per Week! #stockpiling

One year ago, I challenged myself to build up a stockpile of personal care, cleaning products and select food items with a budget of $10 per week. My strategy would be to hit the drug stores and take advantage of rock-bottom prices, roll rewards and use coupons to get the biggest bang for my buck. Well the year has come and gone, and I have learned so much!

Lesson #1: Follow a List
Couponing can be overwhelming. Especially when we set our expectations high, hoping for savings of 80% or more on every single shopping trip. After a while, we can get burned out and just plain give up. But by focusing our efforts on a small list of select products we use most often, we are able to see some real savings in our budget, without all the stress.

Create a list of frequently used personal care, cleaning and shelf-stable food items you would like to stock up on. Then focus your couponing efforts on these things ONLY! You can hit the drug stores, Walmart and Target to snag them at their rock-bottom prices throughout the year.

Lesson #2: Weekly Coupon Shopping is Not Necessary
Last year was about shopping with a $10 weekly budget. But there were plenty of weeks where the deals were thin, or I was just too busy. Conversely, there were other weeks where the deals were plentiful and I would have benefited from a larger budget. So the next time, I will give myself a budget of $43 per month, and shop only on the best weeks.

stockpiling

Lesson #3: Specific Goals are Important
My stockpile shopping list not only told me what to buy, it also gave me a quantity goal. This goal was an estimate of how much my family would need for a 6-12 month period. Having a quantity in mind helped me stay on track, and guided my purchase decisions so I knew what to focus on, and when I had enough.

Lesson #4: Avoid Stockpiling Junk Food, Cereal and Beverages
Some of you might disagree with this, and that is fine! Your stockpile list should suit YOUR family! But for us, I found that my kids would have an extra bowl of cereal, and an extra handful of chips if they knew we had plenty left in the pantry. It just didn’t save us any money to have these things in my stockpile.

Lesson #5: Give Yourself Grace
When it comes time to plan your meals and buy your groceries, you can rest a little easier with a fully stocked pantry.  In time, you’ll see your overall spending decrease because of the work you’re doing on building your stockpile and you’ll have a little wiggle room to buy what you need to feed your family nutritious, healthful and enjoyable meals.

ANNUAL RESULTS

So, How Did I Do?
With my $10 weekly budget, I was able to buy enough products to get my family of 7 through all of 2013, AND set aside the following quantities for 2014.  I estimate my savings at $23/week over what I would pay if I had to buy these items at regular price.  That’s a savings of $100 per month!

Personal Care

Shampoo – 20
Conditioner – 19
Body Wash – 19
Toothpaste – 19
Toothbrushes – 20
Floss – 6
Mouthwash – 5
Deodorant – 12
Hand Soap – 41
Hand Sanitizer – 10

Household
Dryer Sheets – 351
Dish Detergent – 11
Toilet Paper – 221 double rolls

Food Items
Soup – 14
Ketchup – 2
Mustard – 7
Mayo – 1
Diced Tomatoes – 17
Canned Pumpkin – 8
Dried Pasta – 8
Peanut Butter – 13
Jam – 11

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Would You Like to Join Us?
If you’ve been wanting to improve your spending, but have grown tired of couponing, then join me over the next several days as I share a tutorial for successful stockpile shopping, including some free printables! If you decide to participate, we’ll have some giveaways and contests as added incentive!

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Stockpile Shopping: The Secret to BIG Savings

stockpile shopping series

It’s time to burst your bubble, folks. I hate to be the one to tell ya, but you’re not gonna save 80% on every single grocery trip by using coupons. It’s a LIE, man.

But take heart!  Because with a few strategies, you can still wipe out 50% of your household budget with a little thing called stockpile shopping.  It’s more logical than hoarding cereal or dental floss, and you can do it in 30 minutes or less each week!  It’s all about quick, strategic shopping trips intended to stock you up on the lowest priced items, and I’m gonna show you how.  Ready?

And if you need more help, you can have a peek into my pantry to see what I was able to accomplish with just $10/week and a few coupons.  Oh, we have a Pinterest board too.

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EXPIRED: Stockpile Shopping at Walgreens

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Wondering what you should stock up on this week? Here are the best bargains at Walgreens.

Pepsi 12 pack 12 oz. cans 4/$10
Final Price: $2.50 each

Purell Hand Sanitizer 8 oz. $2.99
-$1/1 Walgreens Coupon Booklet
-$1/1 Purell printable HERE and HERE, or
-$3 off $10 Purell purchase printable
Final Price: $0.99

Scope Outlast or Dual Blast Mouthwash 25.4 oz. 3/$9
Earn $4 RR
-$1/1 printable, use one
-B1G1 free Scope 12/29 PG insert, use one
Final Price: $0.33 each

Dawn Dish Liquid $0.99
-$0.50/1 Dawn Hand Renewal 12/29 PG insert
Final Price: $0.49

There are other products you can get for free this week, but they are health care/medicine items. I don’t recommend spending from your budget on these, unless they are something you would buy anyway. See the Walgreens weekly match-up for more.

EXPIRED: Quilted Northern Stockpile Price: $0.43 Per Double Roll

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Do you have a New Years goal of saving more money? Why not participate in the Stockpiling Challenge! We had a wildly successful 2013, and will be repeating this program for the new year. More details to come, but for now you can get a jump on your toilet paper stockpile with this awesome deal from Amazon. Get 48 double rolls of Quilted Northern for $20.74 with Subscribe & Save and the $2 clippable coupon. That’s just $0.43 per double roll!

My $10 Stockpile Shopping Trip

Stockpile Shopping with $10 per Week

I couldn’t resist taking advantage of the 15% off Walgreens Friends & Family coupon yesterday to snag some bargains. I have also been receiving some GREAT catalina coupons from HEB that I was just itching to spend. So here’s what I did:

{Walgreens}
(4) Tresemme Hair Care @ $4 = $16
(2) Palmolive Dish Liquid @ $0.89 = $3.56
(2) Reach Floss @ $0.99 = $1.98
=$21.54
-$5/2 Tresemme 11/17 RP insert, used two
-$1/2 Reach Floss printable
-15% Walgreens Friends & Family coupon
-$4 for redeeming 4000 BR points from previous weeks
Final Price: $4.96, earned 2000 BR points for Tresemme

{HEB}
(5) Hill Country Toothbrushes @ $0.75 (reg. price) = $3.75
-10% employee discount (my college son is a cashier)
-$3 catalina good on $3+ oral care products
Final Price: All for $0.38

(5) Speed Stick Deodorant @ $0.98 (reg. price) = $4.90
-$4 catalina good on $4+ personal care products
Final Price: $0.90

(2) Suave Moroccan Shampoo/Conditioner @ $2.88 = $5.76
-$4 catalina good on $4+ hair care products
Final Price: $1.76

Total Spent: $8
Left Over For Next Week: $4.77, plus 2000 BR points and $25 in ECBs from last week

More Stockpiling: