Now we know why it's great to have a well stocked pantry and items that it should include, but where should you even start?
Let me break it down...
- Start by making a list of things that you keep in your pantry. Now highlight or star the things that you find yourself purchasing most frequently. If you purchase it more than once a month I would qualify that as frequent. In my house that would be pasta, flour, bread flour, chili powder, cereal, pizza sauce, canned tomatoes, Rotel, brown rice, peanut butter, etc...
- Whatever items were your top 10 items are the ones that you're going to start building your stockpile with.
- Decide where you're going to keep your stockpile. This is definitely something you want to think about ahead of time in case you come across a screaming deal on something. I use two shelving units in a corner of my basement storage room. It could be in your actual kitchen pantry if you have room in there. Wherever it works, clear out the space and have it ready.
- Start setting aside a part of your grocery budget to allocate to a stockpile purchase. If that's $2 a week great. If you can do more, even better. I realize every one's finances and grocery budgets are different, so do what you can and don't sweat it if you don't have a lot of wiggle room in your budget right now.
- Decide either in your mind or on paper if that helps, a price-point of what you feel comfortable paying to stock up on a specific item. For instance I WILL NOT pay more than $1 for a box of pasta. It goes on sale almost weekly for a $1, so really there is never a reason to pay more than that. By purchasing 8 boxes at a time for $1/box I can almost guarantee that there will be another pasta sale by the time I need to purchase more. Most sales run in 8-12 week cycles, so if you have room in your budget try to stock up on enough to last you that 8-12 weeks. I promise you that once you start to pay attention to the sales cycles you will start seeing the patterns and know when to stock up.
- It takes time to build up a pantry stockpile. It will not happen over night. So start small and go from there. It took me about 6-9 months to feel like I really had a good amount in my stockpile.
In my pantry stockpile you will see that right now I have a lot of baking supplies, pasta and canned goods as this is a great time of year to stock up on those items. Also, once you get a handle on building up your food stockpile, try your hand at toiletries. Depending on where you live in the country and what stores are local to you, you can get many toiletries for pennies on the dollar or even free.
Once you get to a point where you have a rockin' stockpile you will only need to purchase things when they are truly on sale, rather than paying full price for them when you run out.