Have a pantry full of your staples is one of the best weapons you have for saving money! Here’s how to stock your pantry in 4 steps.
Have a pantry full of your staples is one of the best weapons you have for saving money! If you have a stock of all your family’s staples on hand, you know exactly what you have and you know you can make something if you can’t make it to the store. Having a money saving pantry also helps with meal planning and paying full price at the store! Here is how you can build a money saving pantry yourself, even if you’re on a restricted diet!
What Do You Mean “The Emergency Fund You Can Eat”
Years ago, when our kids were quite small, Dean and I didn’t have much money. I kept reading about finances and how we should have an emergency fund. And all I could think of was, we were barely making ends meet, how could we save an emergency fund? Then somewhere (I cannot remember where or find it now) I read about using your pantry and your weekly grocery shopping to build up an emergency fund ‘you could eat’.
Essentially, I mean, whether you have an actual emergency fund or not, if your pantry is well-stocked, you know you will at least be fed, should someone lose a job or something.
Truthfully, I wish I had one of those basement, prepper-type pantries. You know, with all the rows and rows of necessities all stacked neatly? But for now, my laundry room shelves and kitchen cabinets will do. Oh and of course, our basement freezer too.
How to Stock Your Pantry in 4 Steps
1. Figure out what your family eats often
Make a list of what meals your family makes often. You can even take this a step further and divide it by season! If your family makes a lot of freezer meals, it might be worth it to stock aluminum foil and baking pans. If you make your own breads, sauces, and other goods, look at what spices and other dry ingredients you use. This will help you determine what items you should be buying in bulk as well. For example, if your family eats a lot of beans then you could save money by purchasing them in bulk since they are cheaper than smaller packages.
2. Stock up when items hit rock bottom prices
It doesn’t matter if you have a little space or a lot. Monitor sales for about 3-6 weeks and find out what the rock bottom price is for items you buy regularly. The rule of thumb is that you should stock about 3-6 months worth depending on the item. By stocking up on items when they are at their rock bottom price, you will never pay full price again!
3. Be aware of seasonal items
Pumpkin is cheapest during October, peanut butter is cheapest during back to school season, and baking goods are cheapest around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Pay close attention to items you buy that may be seasonal. You can find flour anytime of the year, but it will be cheapest during the cooler months! Adjust your rock bottom prices to account for items that may be cheapest during seasonal times. You should stock a little more of these items as they will only go on sale during a few months of the year.
4. Stock up on non food items
Don’t forget about items such as paper plates, paper towels, napkins, and toothpicks! These items are staples in our home and we often don’t think of them when stockpiling the pantry. By buying these items when you have a coupon to match, or during a great sale you can save so much money on items you use throughout your kitchen.
Even if you don’t buy a lot of canned or processed items, you can still build a money saving pantry. Focus on the items your family purchases often, and stock your pantry. Before you know it, your grocery bill start dropping!