Posted in Organizing Money, tagged bulk, generic, grocery store, money, name brand, pantry, sale, save, shopping, stocking on October 15, 2008|
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Yesterday I talked at length about the art of stocking your pantry. Today I want to offer three quick and easy tips to help you save money while you stock. As long as you’re buying ahead, you should look for ways to save a few bucks, right?
Consider generic brands
Maybe you notice a taste difference with stand-alone products like soda or salad dressing, but can you really tell the difference when it comes to ingredients like chicken broth or baking powder? Generic brands offer some real savings since they run at sometimes a fraction of the cost of name brands. I said it before when speaking about hair-care products, and I’ll say it again here: if you can’t tell the difference, why not make the switch? Believe me, you won’t be sorry.
Buy in bulk
In addition to switching to generic brands, you might think about the money saving possibilities involved with buying in bulk. If space allows, purchasing a larger size of any given food product usually results in savings. Some stores display the price per ounce for various products and you can use this data to decide which size is most cost-effective. For example, when I buy olive oil, I try to buy the largest size even though the upfront cost is rather high. After studying the price per volume of all the available sizes, it’s really a no-brainer. Olive oil lasts a long time, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and I use it constantly…so why not buy big! And of course an added benefit of buying in bulk is that larger items last longer, meaning you won’t have to re-stock them as often!
Buy on sale
Since you’ll be buying ahead anyway, you might as well watch for sales at your local grocery stores and buy when prices are low. I have particular items I watch for in my weekly sale flyers, like meat, fruit and vegetable produce, ice cream, frozen juice concentrate, or cereal. I buy them only when they go on sale, making sure to purchase enough quantity so they last until the next time a sale occurs. If you study the habits of your grocery stores, you’ll begin to see patterns in how often various foods go on sale.
Do you have any tricks of the trade to share when it comes to saving money in stocking your pantry?
So far in this series we’ve looked at how stocking your pantry saves time and how creative buying habits can save money. Tomorrow we’ll explore one final facet of the pantry…how to organize it!
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Ah, yes, you go to wash your hands like your mother taught you and quickly discover the soap dispenser is empty. Time to buy new soap? Well, sort of. In this post I want to offer a very quick and easy money-saving tip when it comes to liquid soap.
Now that is a lot of soap
I prefer liquid soap to bar soap for washing my hands. I’m not opposed to bar soap; I guess I just like the liquid variety. So if you are also a liquid soap user, then you share in the problem of not knowing how much soap is actually in there at any given time. And just when you need it the most, of course it’s all gone. So when this happens you should go out and buy a new bottle, right? Wrong. A great way to save a lot of money is to REFILL rather than REPLACE. Yes, soap dispenser refills are massive, yes they seem more expensive at first glance, and yes, that is A LOT of soap to buy at once. But when you really do the math, you save big. Just compare the amount: 8 oz. is a pretty typical size for a regular dispenser, whereas a typical refill container is 64 oz.! And you know when you buy the bigger size, you are rewarded with lower cost per volume.
Convenience is nice
In addition to saving a few bucks, you now can enjoy a little more convenience. When the soap runs out in one of your small bottles, simply find your refill container and fill your bottle back up! I like to walk around the whole house every month or so to make sure that all my soap dispensers are full. That way you never end up running out at an inopportune time.
Oh, what a pretty bottle!
Have you always wanted to buy one of those pretty decorative soap dispensers for your bathroom? The refill system is totally designed for this…no need to ever purchase a small soap bottle, just keep refilling your permanent one over and over again. But beware—sometimes the expensive, decorative dispensers suffer when it comes to functionality. There’s nothing more annoying that pushing that dispenser and having a whole lot of nothing come out. I stick with the regular dispensers for this very reason because I’ve had one too many bad experiences with the decorative ones. But that’s not to say, of course, that functional varieties aren’t out there somewhere!
Do you refill liquid soap? Can you offer any other creative ideas?
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