Times are tough, and families all over the country are looking for ways to save money on groceries.
Stocking up on pantry staples is one of the simplest ways to save money in the long run. You might not realize it, but buying in bulk and using coupons can help you save money at the grocery store.
Try the following money-saving tips on how to stock a kitchen pantry without breaking the bank.
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How to Stock A Kitchen Pantry
It’s a wonderful feeling to open your cupboard doors and see a fully stocked pantry. However, getting there can be difficult.
Knowing how to maximize your local grocery store hauls can help you get your pantry staples on a tight budget.
If there is one thing that history has repeatedly taught us, it is the importance of having food on hand in case of emergency.
When a pandemic strikes, panic shoppers clear out the store shelves and disrupt the food chain supply, making it difficult for all of us.
I’m not saying you need to be a Doomsday Prepper, but having a well-stocked pantry is an incredibly simple way to ensure food security while also improving your financial situation.
After all, if you can save money in one area, you can use it to pay off another, whether it’s debt or investing for the future.
Understand your preferences and dislikes
If you dislike the texture of beans, stocking up on 20 cans of white chicken chili because they were on sale for practically pennies a can is not a good deal.
You want to stock your pantry with foods that you enjoy eating!
So be brutally honest with yourself about your preferences and dislikes. The last thing you want on your shelves is a food item that you don’t enjoy eating on a regular basis.
Make a list of your food preferences and dislikes to begin! With everything you like to eat on one list, you’ll know where to start grocery shopping.
Even if it is only twenty items long, that is twenty more than you had previously. Work the sales cycle in your store.
Your local supermarket has a selling cycle. That is, there is a high price and a rock bottom price over time.
The key is to figure out the selling cycle for the items you want at that low price, and if you can combine it with a coupon, even better!
It can be difficult to determine the cycle of your specific store. However, if you save the weekly sales ads for about two months, you will notice a clear pattern.
Every six to eight weeks, certain staples such as pasta and cereal go on sale. You will be rocking the deals if you watch for the lowest price before adding that item to your list. Keep track of the lowest prices so you know when to stock up.
It’s incredible how buying ten boxes of pasta for a buck each saves you nearly ten dollars if you eat pasta every week and it’s normally two dollars a box.
Consider every other pantry item, from canned vegetables to mac and cheese. You can see how simply working your store’s selling cycle can pay off big time for your budget.
From pasta to grains, ready-to-eat cereal, crackers, cookies, and more, this should be your go-to trick.
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Examine the clearance section
Scratch ‘n Dent is no longer what it once was. Items are frequently pulled from the shelves for minor reasons such as the company changing their packaging. Perhaps they did a store reset and decided to discontinue that item.
Things may occasionally be approaching their expiration date. If it’s dried beans or rice, keep in mind that pasta and rice were discovered in the Egyptian pyramids and are still safe to eat today. If properly stored, it can last past the suggested date.
Rice, sugar, salt, and honey, for example, are practically indestructible if properly stored.
Still Tasty – www.stilltasty.com – is a great resource for determining how safe something is if it has passed its expiration date.
Coupons should be clipped
This is a little different than it was five years ago because almost everything has gone digital. Begin by obtaining a store loyalty card. Some advertised specials are only available to store card holders.
Check their website to see if they offer digital coupons linked to your store card. You can benefit from these additional discounts without even taking out your scissors.
Having said that, paper coupons are still available. Some are printed in your store’s ad circular, while others are in your weekly free neighborhood papers, which most people discard.
If you can combine a printed and a digital coupon? What a great way to save money!
Take advantage of National Canned Food Month
February is National Canned Food Month, and there are tons of incredible sales specials as well as extra coupons available. If you want to stock up on canned meat, beans, vegetables, vegetable juices, fruit, fruit juices, and even canned milk on the cheap, February is the month to do it!
What if you missed National Canned Food Month? No need to worry; items such as tuna and canned pasta meals are part of the normal store selling cycle that we previously mentioned.
If it isn’t February, consider buying dried beans and lentils rather than canned. The price is much lower, and they will last much longer. They can be frozen after cooking for longer storage.
Purchase in bulk
When you consider the cost per ounce on an item, the cost of pre-portioned convenience really adds up. Let’s go with Doritos. When you get the single serving packs, you can buy a full bag for $2.50 or three to four bags for $0.75 each. If you divide that large bag into smaller bags, you’ll have six to eight bags of snacks instead of just three or four.
I’m not saying you should buy the jumbo baked beans, but all of those pudding cups, fruit cups, and 4 count cookie packs really charge you for the work of breaking them down.
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Learn how to can
Canning your own vegetables will only take time if you have access to free produce or a garden. When you first start out, you can save money on supplies by looking at local thrift stores or Facebook groups.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, don’t worry: you can learn almost anything on YouTube these days. It really isn’t that difficult to stock a pantry on a budget, let alone keep it stocked, once you’ve mastered the tips and tricks.
Final Thoughts About How To Stock A Kitchen Pantry
Times are tough and inflation is at an all time high this year. It’s expensive to feed yourself let alone your whole family. Let every family out there you’re probably looking for ways to slash your grocery bill and stock up on necessities.
Follow these tips above on how to stock a kitchen pantry to make sure your family always has food in the cupboards and food in their bellies!