Monday, May 12, 2008

Stock Up on Non-Perishable Sale Items Like Cereal

Even though some people are in a panic over rapidly rising food prices, I'm not too worried because I am a very savvy grocery shopper. As long as stores continue to have sales and manufacturers continue to print coupons, I will be just fine.

Every Sunday, I look through all the grocery store circulars, clip coupons, and strategize how I can get the most for the least amount of money. If I find a really good sale on a non-perishable item I use regularly, I buy several because then if the item isn’t on sale later, I will have enough stockpiled in my pantry to hopefully last until there is another sale.

Now, I’m not advocating hoarding food by any means, but I am advocating that you stock up on sale items you use frequently (especially if you have extra money to spare and space to store everything). By stocking up on items now when they are priced low, you may be able to protect yourself from food inflation later on -- at least until your stockpile runs out!

For example, last week, I found a great deal on General Mills cereal – ten boxes for $25 -- so I bought ten 14 oz. boxes of Cheerios. Other brands like Lucky Charms and Chex were also included in the sale, but I only eat Cheerios (and for the record, no, I do not get tired of eating the same thing every morning).

Anyway, there was an in-store coupon for $10 off if you bought ten General Mills products so each box of Cheerios only ended up costing $1.50 each.

But, wait, there's MORE! I also had five manufacturer’s coupons – one $1.00/2 boxes and four $.75/2 boxes – so I only ended up paying $1.10 per box. Considering that cereal prices are expected to rise by more than 8% in the next year, I think my $11 was well spent! In fact, if I had more storage space in my house, I probably would have bought twenty boxes!


In last Sunday’s paper, there was a mail-in offer for a free box of Post Honey Bunches of Oats cereal. All you have to do is complete the original mail-in offer and send in five original coupons* from any cereal brands other than Honey Bunches of Oats in order to receive a coupon good for one box.

*Coupons must have an expiration date of later than April 1, 2008.


yellowdog granny said...

which reminds me i have not been sending you the cat coupons..i just forgot..have a stack of coupons from the last 3 weeks as i take what i use and then give the rest to my granddaughter who uses them..and they don't have a cat so will go check and pull the cat ones for your mom...imiss double and triple coupon days..

Beverly said...

the only problem with stocking up is using the stuff before it goes out of date, gets freezer burnt or rots. i often overbuy and then i wind up forgetting about the stuff till i have to throw it out and then i've wasted money. i have all these good intentions when i'm in the store and next thing i know eight months has gone buy and that box of _______ expired and i'm left with trash i paid $8 for.

i do like stocking up on stuff like toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, soap, razers, toilet paper - all the things that never expire or go bad.

my biggest problem is that the newspaper here is over $100 a year and since i rarely buy the stuff that they print coupons for - it's a waste of money (our grocery stores suck here in small town, arkansas). i buy generic or store brand on a LOT of the stuff i buy (ok except stuff like mac and cheese and mayo - that store brand mayo is frickin GROSS) so it's not really worth it in the end to spend the money for the paper, the time to clip the coupons and the time it takes to comparison shop. i used to do it when i lived in fayetteville and i was able to comparison shop but there's two stores here and they're both overpriced. lol the most i ever saved using coupons and comparison shopping was $78. i worked my rear off for that tho - spent 2-3 hours clipping the coupons and then comparing the prices and the coupons to get the best deal.

if they comparison shop in your area Heidi - do it. It's well worth it for the things you were going to buy anyway.

That Rude Girl said...

Yellowdog Granny: Yes, I need to start sending coupons to you again, too. They're all cut and ready to go...I just need to get to the post office! (I'm trying to cut down on unnecessary driving).

Beverly: Your situation sounds like the one my mom is in. No decent sales in the area, and she doesn't even get the Sunday paper until Monday! She also thinks coupon clipping is a waste of time. Even when I clipped the coupons for her, she would not use them! :(

Beverly said...

if her stores are like ours, i understand why. they don't double or triple them (i loved that about the stores in california when i lived there), i never buy that stuff at the grocery stores here anyway because nothing is ever fresh enough to stock up on - you can't imagine how much food gets wasted at my house because i'll buy a bag of salad and two days later it's slimy. once we bought a freezer pizza - the $8 rising crust firebrick oven type - pulled it out of the package and it was all misshapen w/ ice crystals all over it from having thawed and been refrozen. taking stuff back to the store is even more of a hassle too so i went ahead and cooked the thing and it was freezer burnt. i have a feeling the cardboard box it came in would have tasted better.

you aren't safe buying produce, meat or frozen foods because their coolers don't keep food cold enough, it's too close to the expiration date or it's been thawed and refrozen so many times it's not fit to eat.

I miss being able to buy decent food.