Due to my recent shopping adventures to Harris Teeter, my pantry was in need of stockpile organization. One of the secrets to saving money, is to stockpile. This means to buy extra items your family uses regularly when the items are at their rock bottom price. We all know that Harris Teeter triples or Kmart super doubles allows for a plethora of stockpiling opportunities! I would like to share some tips to make stockpiling easier and more efficient.
First of all, only stockpile items your family uses regularly. Just because an item is “cheap” or on sale, does not mean you need to buy several of them. This is a lesson I have had to learn the hard way. I can tell you first hand that I have had to throw out a lot of expired food over the years. Over buying, is not saving money.
There is also a cycle to sales. For example, I know that Proctor & Gamble puts out a coupon insert once a month. Usually the stores will have some sort of sale that coincides with the coupons. If I miss a sale item this week, I don’t stress because I know the sale will come around again in a few more weeks.
Now, my family eats a ton of granola bars. My husband loves them and eats them daily. They are also handy to take in the car or throw in the diaper bag. Granola bars are one item we stockpile when the price is right. My suggestion is to take the granola bars out of the boxes and put them in a plastic container. This will save space and make it easy to grab and run! This same idea can be done for any snack prepackaged items.
Another item we stockpile is condiments. Those who know my husband, know that he loves condiments and sauces! We go through a ton of ketchup and salad dressing, or “dippers” as my household calls it! My suggestion for keeping these items organized is to place them in a small basket. It is easy to pull the basket out to see what you have. You can also write expiration dates on the cap top with a sharpie.
A trick I learned from my brother-in-law, is to write with a sharpie the expiration date on the outside of boxes. Many times a box will get pushed to the back of the pantry. If you have the dates readily visible, you will make sure to use the product before it expires. I also make sure to check expiration dates before I buy the product at the store. You would be surprised how many times I have picked up an item that is expired or about to expire.
For bath and body products, I have limited myself to a six month supply. What Amee and I have started doing is, giving away a lot of these products. With the drug store deals, we get a ton of bath and body products for free. We now donate most of these items or give them away to you all! There is only so much free toothpaste and razors that you can use! We encourage you all to donate your items if your stockpile limitations are reached.
See more of our stockpile organization and clever storage solutions.
Coupons are like money; at least that is how I feel. I look for coupons everywhere I go. Internet printable coupons are increasingly popular. Madame Deals posts links to printable coupons as often as possible.
Sometimes, you will get an error message when you go to print the coupon. Have you ever seen the message “install coupon printer” when you have already installed it? It is frustrating when you need or want a certain coupon but then can’t print it. I happened to come across a way to fix this problem. I was reading the comments on a Southern Savers post and Derek replied with a solution to the coupon printing problem.
Ever run into a link that someone has posted that is the actual “bricks” URL (not the website it was extracted from) and you can’t print it? Wanna know why? It’s because they extracted it on a computer that was using an internet browser which is NOT the one you’re currently using.
Can you fix that?
Apparently you can. There are two little letters inside a bricks URL that tell the bricks if you are on Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari on a Mac (like me). Most bloggers seem to be on PCs, so for me running into a coupon I want to print from someone’s blog link was always frustrating. Now, from tracking down comments on several blogs, I’ve figured out how to change the URL in my browser to be the one I want and VOILA I can print the coupon.
Internet Explorer on a PC Bricks:
Firefox on a PC Bricks:
Safari on a Mac Bricks:
Find a link you can’t print, look at the url. Change those two letters (that I’ve identified in the above URL) to wi or vi for Internet Explorer, wg or vg for Firefox, and xs for Safari, and it should print. (For the either or choices, try one and if it doesn’t work try the other)
Another coupon tip: Every wonder what week the coupon insert was in the paper (if you have not cut your coupons yet)? Look at the spine of the coupon insert and the date will be printed on it. It is very tiny print but it is there!
I am always looking for other ways to use products that I have around my house. This means that my dollar goes farther because I am not having to purchase a variety of items to do one specific job and my storage areas are not cluttered with half-used products. So, today, I am posting some uses for corn starch. Some of them my grandmother used, and some I have tried myself. Hope you are able to find something helpful!
Cure athlete’s foot.
Sprinkle Corn Starch on your feet and in your shoes to absorb moisture and reduce friction.
Clean a carpet.
Sprinkle Corn Starch on the carpet, wait thirty minutes, then vacuum clean.
Make spray starch for clothing.
Mix one tablespoon Corn Starch and one pint cold water. Stir to dissolve the corn starch completely. Fill a spray bottle and use as you would any starch. Be sure to shake vigorously before each use.
Substitute for baby powder and talcum powder.
Apply Corn Starch sparingly when diapering a baby. Corn starch is actually more absorbent than talcum powder, but apply lightly since it does cake more readily.
Help rubber gloves slip on easily.
Sprinkle Corn Starch inside the gloves.
Shampoo your hair.
Corn Starch can be used as a dry shampoo. Work into your hair, then brush out. ** I have also used plain baby powder.
Sprinkle a stubborn knot with a little Corn Starch.
Mix one-quarter cup Corn Starch with two cups cold water, boil until thick, pour into small containers, and color with Food Coloring.
Absorb excess polish from furniture.
After polishing furniture, sprinkle on a little Corn Starch and rub wood with a soft cloth.
Make a paste with Corn Starch and water. Apply with a damp cloth, let dry, then rub off with cheesecloth.
Remove grease or oil stains from smooth fabric.
Apply Corn Starch to the spot, wait twelve hours, brush off, then launder as usual.
Give your dog a dry shampoo.
Rub Corn Starch into your dog’s fur, then comb and brush out.
Clean stuffed animals.
Rub Corn Starch into the toy, let stand for five minutes, then brush off.
Prevent pastry dough from sticking to the cutting board and rolling pin.
Sprinkle the cutting board and rolling pin with tasteless Corn Starch before rolling out the dough.
Clean a deck of playing cards.
Place the deck of cards into a paper bag, add four tablespoons Corn Starch,and shake briskly. Remove the cards from the bag and wipe clean.
Soothe skin irritations.
Apply a paste made of equal parts Corn Starch, zinc oxide, and castor oil.
Corn starch has twice the thickening power of flour. When a gravy, sauce, soup, or stew recipe calls for flour, use half as much corn starch to thicken. One tablespoon of corn starch equals two tablespoons flour.
Also check out our other tips:
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Then take it with you to the store
If an item is not in the store you can ask for a raincheck
organization is the key to savings
Check out our system and attend one of our workshops
1. SWAP in case you have no idea what these or how to organize one. I have a great post on how to organize a swap. You can Read Swapping To Save
3. Go to the outlets or the traditional store and use their coupons.
4. Make a list of what you need to buy for each season- carry the list to remind yourself to search
Here is my winter must have list for my little guy-
3 pair of PJs
9 pair of underwear
3 pairs of jeans
1 pair of khakis
2 pairs of chords
1 pair of dress pants
1 Sweat outfit
5 button down
1 light jacket
1 heavy coat
1 rain coat
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair of rain boots (we love our rain boots, and you can wear them in the snow since we have so little snow here)
Would be great to buy but not essential
For My little Gal-
3 pairs of PJ
3 pairs of jeans
4 pairs of leggings
2 sweat outfits
2 sweaters or sweatshirt material tops with zippers
1 light jacket
1 rain jacket
1 heavy coat
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair of dress shoes
1 pair of boots
*** I buy all the above essentials first, and then I will buy other items if I get a good deal. I also have the list ready for the grandparents.
5. I use smart applications to get the best coupon codes.