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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Starting a Stockpile

Heather asked a great question that I thought others might be interested in:
We will be moving across country in about 10 days. What tips do you have for starting a stockpile from scratch and still managing to eat a somewhat balanced diet in the process? Our budget doesn't allow us to drop a couple hundred dollars in start-up costs for groceries, so I'm hoping you might have some ideas. I do have a pretty decent coupon collection, so I'm hoping that will help us out some, but your thoughts would be appreciated!

I've wondered what I would do if we had to move, and how I would deal with my stockpile. I'd want to take my movable (non-perishable) stockpile with me so I wouldn't have to start from scratch, but I know that might not be an option, space-wise, or it might cost more to move it (paying by the pound) than it would to replace it later.

What I'd probably do is try to find a little room, like one small box or tote, to take 1 extra of the things I already have (cereal, pasta, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, deodorant, etc), along with all your coupons. Then you have a really "mini" stockpile, to give you a little time to scope out the stores in your new town, their coupon policies, and their sales. Your budget and shopping for the first few weeks will likely consist of shopping the sales and building a menu plan around what is on sale. If you have a little room in your budget, buy a little extra of any loss leaders or sale items and your stockpile will grow slowly. Shop with a calculator to make sure you don't get carried away and go over your budget.

See if you have an Aldi store nearby here. I would suggest going there to get some staple items while you get settled. Be prepared to pay with cash or debit card, and bring your own bags. While you are getting the feel of the area and other stores, Aldi would be a good place to start stocking your pantry.

As you get more settled in and have a stockpile for groceries started, try moving into the drugstore arena. Find out if you have a CVS, Walgreens, or Rite Aid near you and learn how to play the "drugstore game". Watch their ads or subscribe to some blogs that post coupon matches or highlight deals. I have some listed on my blogroll that could get you started.

This advice certainly applies to those who are moving, but it can also apply to people who are just starting into couponing and need to start a stockpile while staying within their budget. Stockpiling doesn't happen all at once. Just start out slowly and you'll see it grow in no time!


Jess said...

If I were moving and couldn't take my stockpile with me, first I would cry. :) After I got over it, I would try to sell it (or sell it in portions). Could be a great deal for someone who doesn't have time to coupon and could give me the start up money that I need!

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