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How I Save ~ Stocking My Reserve

Several years ago back when the world was coming to an end as we knew it, I learned the importance of having a well stocked pantry. Remember Y2K? Well remember those crazy people that were stocking up on can foods and water? Well, I was on one of those crazy people.....SERIOUSLY!

Not only was my pantry well stocked but so was my attic, my utility room, my garden and my wood shed. I took notes and printed of so many papers on how to live like Grizzly Adams I knew I would survive with my hubs on bare minimum.

Obviously the world did not end on January 1, 2000 but within that month I became pregnant and forgot all about my stockpile. However 5 months later I was put on strict bed rest, due to complications in my pregnancy and was not able to work till well after the pregnancy was over. Still forgetting about my stock.

A month after we brought our bundle of joy home the strain of one income was starting to hurt. My hubs was pushing wrenches in a small town which wasn't a whole lot, our heat was going out and Christmas was just around the corner. I had one more surgery to go before I could go back to work but even then I had already closed my salon =0(

Then my cousin was coming to see me and informed me she wasn't bringing me flowers, she was bringing groceries instead. I broke down in tears because I really wanted flowers but I knew I could no longer hide my struggles from my family. Besides she knew me better than anyone ;-)

While she was there she was teaching me how to buy my meat in bulk and then separate it into portions before putting it into the freezer.As I saw my freezer begin to fill up I remembered my stockpile that was still in my attic. I told you I forgot about it =0/ After my hubs brought down every single box we were able to live off our Y2K stash for 6months. That's right 6 months.

From that day forward I strive to make sure that my pantry is WELL STOCKED. I fail a lot but we never go hungry!

However with so many crazy stockpilers I refuse to use that word any more, instead I would rather call it a Reserve;

Your reserve is basically your store and who doesn't want well stocked store. My reserve is the reason that I buy so many news papers. I buy my items in mass quantity at rock bottom prices while the sale trend is running, so that when the sale ends I am not stuck with buying the items at premium prices. By stocking my reserve I barely run out of things to carry, eliminating frequent runs to the grocery store for "odds and ends".

But The Grocery Game, Inc. does all that math for me ;-)

Sale trends are run by category, therefore it often takes up to 12 weeks to get a well rounded stock pile =0( Most sales go on for 3 weeks at a time and some sale trends are categorized seasonally. Building up an adequate reserve takes time and will only happen over period of time being that not every item will be on both reserve and need lists for your family at the same time. Which then leads to the very reason to stockpile coupons.

Collecting an abundant amount of coupons allows me to stock my reserve more efficiently, allowing me to donate more than I ever have before to food organizations such as our Church food pantry, school activities and most of all families that I know personally whom are struggling. In accordance to an officiant Reserve you should have 1 item per family member. Buying at rock bottom prices allows me to buy for each of my family members and 1 to donate, hence the reason for 6 newspapers. Being that I have a family of 5 I buy 6 newspapers a week giving me 1 coupon per family member and 1 to donate.

**This is also the most frugal way to achieve an adequately stocked reserve rather than running to your local warehouse stores buying in gigantic bulk.

Some things to consider
  • The size of your stock pile and the amount of space you are able to provide for your reserve. Places include empty cabinets, pantries closets and or even basement/attic spaces. This may not be such an issue in the beginning but as your stock pile grows your space will also shrink. BUT DON'T OVER DO IT!!
  • The types of items your family will use, paper products, cleaning products and non expiring products are obvious yet foods with expiration dates can be more difficult. Consider your family's eating habits, will the 20 boxes of Cheerios purchased be eaten before they expire or will rule of thumb be more officiant (1 per family member)? Although this can be an issue in which you are able to be more generous and donate soon to expire items before the official expiration date, or in my case I usually give as eatable gifts ;-)
Stocking your reserve can become addicting to some therefor you must set limits in being true to yourself and respectful to your family! Remember if you become overstocked simply donate or even produce a "care giving" basket for a loved one. Don't over do it!!!!

I mentioned earlier a "need" list and a "reserve" list; to get started on your own reserve you can not start blind or your family will starve until you get stocked. Therefore you  must have a "need" list that contains all your necessities for your family (enough to get you by) and a "reserve" list that contains items at a rock bottom price(for instance less than $5). Set yourself a strict budget and then separate it into 2 categories; category 1-Need List and category 2-Reserve List. Once your reserve starts taking shape you will notice your need list getting shorter and shorter =0) Eventually you will be able to set your weekly menus out of your reserve rather than running to the store last minute.

And that is How I save =0)