26 May 2008

Saving money with a stockpile

According to our local news, grocery prices will continue to rise along with the fuel price in the coming months. Almost everything we consume is reliant on oil – either when it is made or when it is delivered, or both. With this in mind, Hanno and I decided to do two month's shopping instead of the normal one month when we went to Aldi last week. Our trip to Aldi takes us about 30 kms from our home so we squeezed every drop of value from the fuel we used by also buying bulk supplies of baker’s flour, nuts, seeds, yeast, dried fruit, lentils and beans, as well as biscuits for the dogs and grain for the chooks.

Apart from
buying milk, cream and cheese from the local dairy – where it is cheaper, and maybe potatoes, we won’t have to restock for at least two months. We will live off our stockpile, our garden and fresh eggs from the backyard. The stockpile is full now and we will be saving money, time and fuel because of it.

I have
written about setting up a stockpile here and here. If you're new to this concept, please read the previous entries before you carry on with this post.

Our shopping trip took about five hours and the last thing I wanted to do when we got home was to pack everything away. I was tired and all I wanted was a cuppa and a sit down but I soldiered on and before we knew it the stockpile cupboard was full, the fridge packed and the freezer filled to the top.

I have several places to store food and supplies – items that are currently being used go in the pantry, which is in the kitchen; extra (unopened) food items are stored in the stockpile cupboard at the side of the kitchen; cleaning goods and soap-making supplies are stored in the laundry; toilet paper and tissues in the spare bathroom.

We have a chest freezer to store all our flour
and dried goods like nuts, seeds, beans etc. We usually don’t eat meat but we have a stockpile of minced beef for the homemade dog food in the small freezer, when we buy fresh fish that is also stored in the small freezer on top of our fridge. There are a couple of large bags of bread flour and oats that were being stored in the freezer, we replaced them with the new supplies and the older bags are now being stored in the spare bathroom and will be used next.

The main thing to remember when you’re restocking is to rotate your stock. This is a simple matter of moving what is already there to the front and placing the newly bought goods behind. I make sure all my items are grouped with similar items so when I go looking for baked beans they’re all together, just like the canned tomatoes and the honey. However, having written that, I have not done it. I've rotated the stock but everything now needs to be grouped and I haven't had time to do it yet.

It’s a good idea to check your cupboards before restocking. If they need a clean out, do it before your new supplies arrive. Check for dust, pantry moths and bugs. If you're going to store food at home, your storage areas must be kept as clean as possible.

If you’re driving to the shops a few times a week to buy a few items, you’re not only wasting your time, you’re using more fuel than you need to. Now is a good time to rethink how you buy your food. If you would love to have a little shop close by, where you could find all those things you forgot to buy and where items are always on sale, create that store for yourself in your own home. Because, my friends, that is what a stockpile is - it's your own open-all-hours convenience store offering the best prices.

Now that we see
prices rising so frequently, don't just accept it as a sign of the times, do something positive. Start a stockpile, or stock up your stockpile as much as you can, because as sure as eggs, the more you can buy right now at a good price and store at home, the more money you'll save.
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