My stockpile consists of those things which are staples in our home, and mean that we always have a spare or three of anything when in the past we were often running out. This gives me time to go to the shop and buy it -hopefully when it is cheaper than normal. In Australia our supermarkets seem to cycle through high prices and then lower prices to entice shoppers back into the store. If I can time it properly, I can, for example, buy 1 kilo bags of our favourite coffee for less than $20 each, rather than the $25 they are at the high end of the price cycle. The way I do this is to buy enough when it is cheap to last us to the next cheaper offer.
My stockpile includes UHT milk -I use this to make yoghurt and it also saves us from a rush trip to the shop if we run out of fresh milk.
I keep the ingredients for my home made washing powder in the stockpile -borax, washing soda and lux flakes.
I always have tinned fruit and some kind of tinned vegetables, along with tinned tomatoes and tomato concentrate, anchovies and cat food.
I always have shampoo, conditioner and liquid soap in bulk supplies, along with toothpaste, deodorant and toilet paper.
Recently I cleared several cupboards to create this Larder for the stockpile -it is in the laundry and is extra to the pantry in my kitchen.
In the last 12 months or so I have extended my stockpiling by using the facility provided to me by our RACWA membership, to shop at a bulk grocery store usually selling to catering companies and other shops. This huge warehouse is close to my home so it is easy for me to access it. Once a month I buy cartons of the things I usually use -I don't buy everything every month, but over a period of 12 months I have built quite a nice array of things we use most.
Now, I know that this bulk buying is working for us as a strategy for several reasons, because I have noticed our spending on groceries has dropped by over $50 a week.
The prices are not always as cheap as the cheapest prices in the supermarkets, for any individual item, but I am not one to travel about looking for 50c off this or that.
The way it works is:
1. Having the basics in the house, we never have to go to the shop for ingredients to make dinner in a hurry. We also don't buy take away food -almost never in the past 12 months!
2. Shopping monthly for the basics means weekly shopping trips are just for milk, meat and fresh fruit and vegetables -this keeps me out of the stores. If I am not shopping, I am not spending-you know how hard it is to go in for 'just one thing" and to actually stick to your resolve!
3. I think the prices of the cartons -which is always cheaper than buying individual items -averages out to make the overall cost cheaper too.
I also use a local supplier of bulk dried goods who deliver by Australia Post, to buy the flour and other needs for baking that I use a lot -I am very happy with the quality and service of this company. With the right ingredients my bread has become a firm favourite at home -we pity those who must eat 'plastic bread' from a plastic wrapper instead of a firm, fresh LSA sourdough or a Russian Black bread loaf or a white rosemary scented, crisp crusted home baked loaf.
I am really happy with my new larder and the skills I am learning about stockpiling and feeding my family better food for less.
To read more about Five Star Frugal Living follow the link to my friend's link up party.