Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Larder

I have been stockpiling groceries for a few years.

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. 


Annabel Smith said...

This year I am building up a store of food aside of my pantry which I built up last year quite well.
I am using our small cellar to establish a larger supply for emergencies, savings purposes and hard times. Helen and I are both doing it as a challenge.
All the benefits you post are exactly true, there are so many.
It is really good seeing so many people do it. Once it was normal. Like our Nans had great pantries. But supermarkets came and things changed. I saw the QLD gov try to get everyone to build up their supplies. A good idea all up. xxx

Mimi Mama said...

I am so envious of your larder Eira! So organised! My Mum always kept dry stores as she called them, as did my Nan. I'm pleased to see the idea having a resurgence. It just makes sense. What a great post to share at the Five Star Frugal linkup.

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Thanks for here great tips on food and they were helpful. Thanks so much for stopping by today!