Friday, October 23, 2009

A Serious Post

About Couponing and my Stockpile.

Tonight, I bought myself another shelving unit for my basement. I'm now up to six shelving units STUFFED full of food.

Check them out!

I would say that 99-99.5% of the food was bought for literally pennies on the dollar. Let's go on a little tour of the grocery store stockpile

Shelving unit 1:

crystal light
peanut butter
all types of snacks for kids: pudding, chex mix, applesauce, granola bars, cookies, chocolate, crackers, and some other stuff.

Shelving unit 2:

barbecue sauce
canned stuff-tomatoes, veggies, manwich, tuna
baking stuff-flour, sugar, corn syrup, yeast, salt, jelly, bisquik, tons of dunkin hines

Shelving Unit 3
Not pictured (visible in corner of picture):

grape juice

Shelving Unit 4:

Home care:

paper towels
toilet paper
cleaning supplies

Shelving Unit 5: (picture in larger picture with home care stuff):

Dovi's Benefiber

And last but not least:

Shelving Unit 6: Wire Drawer Unit

Full of all types of health and beauty aides:

Now I didn't post this all to show off. I promise. Well I am rather proud of it.

But I'm showing this all for a reason.

We all know the economy sucks.

People are losing jobs. Businesses are closing. Money is tight. Budgets are being cut, people are cutting back.

But my basement is chock full of food. So full that is the unthinkable occurred, I could probably feed my family for a few months.

I have amassed this stockpile by only couponing heavily for about the past 10 months. And let me tell you, I now spend about 50% less on food per month than I did before. I used to spend about $1000-$1200/month on food. Now if I spend $500/month I've spent a lot. And that's including the $40-$50 per week I spend at the fruit store.

Now I'm not going to tell you it's easy. I spend a lot of time on couponing and chasing deals. A lot. As in an hour or so per day reading blogs, clipping, printing, going to stores. I go to multiple stores multiple times per week. There are coupons ALL OVER my house. It drives Benjie batty, all the little scraps of paper everywhere.

But to me it's worth it. I save literally at least $500 per month, usually more. This month I've spent a bit more but there have been some great deals that I've wanted to take advantage of. But in July I spent $300 TOTAL on food. Yes. $300. And that's with keeping kosher and buying kosher meat and cheese.

You have to be willing to be a little nuts. Yes, I go to Jewel and buy 25 bottles of mustard. People look at me a little funny when I check out with 30 boxes of cereal (Ma'am, do you run a day care?). But when my kids need more ketchup and I can send them down to the basement to get a bottle of ketchup that I paid $.05 (yes, that's five cents) for instead of buying one bottle that week at Jewel for $2.50, it's worth it to me.

I will say again that there is a huge investment of time that needs to be put in. You might not have that kind of time. But maybe you have an hour or so per week? Do CVS or Walgreens. With very little effort, in a very short time, you will amass a very excellent stash of health and beauty aids-toothpaste, shampoo, razors, etc. I will never pay for toothpaste again. I used to buy generic shampoo. Now I use lovely Dove shampoo.

And it was free.


agent99 said...

Sara - are you thinking the apocolypse is coming? Pandemic? That's ALOT of food n stuff. I think we need an intervention....... It's only a bargainif you NEED it, hon. (I still love you!)


Shosh said...

your stuff is so ORGANIZED! I need more shelves. Stat.

Anonymous said...

Sara, I think you sold yourself short in the numbers. You not only saved so much, but you also acquired a nice stockpile, which looks to be worth a couple of grand or so. If you add that in (and assume that the stockpile never grows) then you've saved more like $8,000 per year after taxes (there are none!). That's a respectable part-time job for a lot of people.

DESJ and Company said...

Um P, all that food is stuff that I use on REGULAR basis. There is not one food item that will not be consumed. To me, if it's FREE and I will need it in the future, I darn well will stock up on it to avoid paying full price. Sorry, P, totally disagree with you. Love ya, hon! BTW are you in the neighborhood today?

DESJ and Company said...

Thanks, anon! I'm pretty proud of myself :)

chaviva said...

wow. thats all i can say!

Anonymous said...
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FunkyFrum said...

oh wow. i am impressed

Shosh said...

im looking at these pictures again because they are too beautiful. D just said, "that looks like a grocery store!" and now im itching to go to jewel.

connie said...

You absolutely should be proud of this. It represents a lot of work and an organized life. I can only be jealous. :)

Shira said...

You also need a lot of room for stuff. Which, I don't have. Oy. That's insane though. Awesomely insane though. You spend less money on monthly groceries for a family of 6 than I do on a family of 3. I should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

oh wow. i'm in total awe.
how'd u get the almost free toilet paper and tissues? CVS medication transfer sale?

DESJ and Company said...

I got the tissues about amonth ago at Dominicks when they were totally free-on sale for $.99, and for ever 3 you bought, you got a $3 catalina. So I bought 49 boxes. And the toilet paper was also from Dominicks last April-I forget what the deal was. ALso some tp came from KMart doubles.
Don't forget, I'm insane.

DESJ and Company said...

Oh and Shira-
I fully admit that I am insane. But I suppose in a good way :)

Not A Jewish Mother said...

Well, we know where to come if we run out of anything. Very impressive and worth the hard work.

Anonymous said...

So if I borrow a bottle of ketchup from you, do I just have to pay you back $.05?!

DESJ and Company said...

Well you'd have to identify yourself to me, anon, before I let you in my house :) But I'd be a real giver and not charge the $.05. I'm nice that way.

Rach said...

I even got some Dr. pepper out of the deal one day right Sara?
but seriously, it's amazing, and I need to get better at it, I just have to make the time to learn and jump in and buy some shelving units in the basement.
Thanks for the inspiring post :)

elisha said...

love the pics!! my one and a half shelving units isn't as pretty but I am slowly building up my stash! btw, today I went to jewel and only spent $3.57 using all my coupons (RR are great)!! i have to get better at stocking up when things are on sale-i need to get more coupons for each item i buy. but i'm getting there slowly. . .

Anonymous said...

So I'm sure u already know this, but just in case you don't, u can slash your fruit and veggie bill by shopping at Jerry's.

DESJ and Company said...

I go to Teds now and have price compared with friends-overall, Teds and Jerrys are comperable in price-each store might have one item cheaper, but it all evens out. How much do you spend at jerry's every week?

WriterGrrl said...

you are my hero. also, i think you should come visit and help me coupon. after all, you are my sister and it's nice to visit family.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! It is impressive. But, I shop at CVS all the time and do not walk out with free stuff. I don't get it- what am I doing wrong? Please help!

Anonymous said...

So it depends. Also, keep in mind that my family deals with insane food allergies (so I'm mostly living off of fruits and veggies). But about 15-18 a week. Sometimes more (yontifs) sometimes less (during the summer while there are sales).
Plus Baubie taught me everything can be frozen and so I freeze things. ALOT.
Bonus points = right next to library and I am addicted to crime fiction. So it's worth the gas money for us.

DESJ and Company said...

Tamar-we eat a ton of fruits and veggies here as well-and you're a family of 2, spending $18, and we're a family of 6, spending $45 (for arguments sake) So I would say that we're about even.

And re CVS-I only, only, only buy freebies/almost freebies. Lots of blogs out there (bargainbriana comes to mind, as does momsneedtoknow), outline exactly what to buy to get stuff for free. I never try and figure it out on my own. They outline it perfectly.

DianeScraps said...

Great job! I love your shelves!

kensbaby93 said...

Love it! I wish mine looked like that!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey I just want to say "You go girl" How did you get all the Wesson? Personally I think it is amazing what we all do with coupons, food/health products is something we all need so creating a stockpile in this econommy is not only great but smart. Yes people think we are crazy but those are the same people who cry broke after shopping or try to shop at our house we they "need stuff" lol keep up the good work!!!

Samantha said...

Great stash! I am a stockpiler too and my pantry is nowhere as organized as yours.