One of the best ways you can start saving money on food? Figure out what items you find yourself buying over and over at the store, and then get to work. Research which options will be the cheapest for you to get those items! I wanted to share one example with you of how I’ve done this for my family.
Our breakfasts are pretty simple around here. We usually have oatmeal, cereal, or pancakes. And more often than not, oatmeal wins. My kids love instant oatmeal and admittedly, it’s fast and easy to make. However, buying the boxes of oatmeal can be terribly expensive – especially at the rate my kids go through it!
This past winter, there was a crazy good deal on Quaker Oatmeal at Albertsons (January is National Oatmeal Month and this sale seems to roll around annually). At that time, I stocked up well on cheap and free oatmeal. But unfortunately, we went through it (or should I say the kids went through it!). And I really do NOT want to pay $3 or $4 for a box of 10-ct oatmeal. So here’s what we’ve been doing:
See this huge bag of old-fashioned oats? I paid just $1.68 for it today by braving Winco ($0.48/lb). Here’s then what I do with it:
In case you’re wondering, yes, that Quaker canister is a remnant from the aforementioned Albertsons Quaker sale! Why throw it out? It stores my bin oatmeal perfectly fine! As you can see, that bag easily filled it, AND I likely have enough to fill it a second time!
Incidentally, those 32 canisters were selling for $1 at Albertsons during their sale, which is most certainly the lowest price on that item for the year. Supposing my bag does fill two 32-oz canisters, it’s like I’ve paid $0.84 per canister.
In the absence of coupons and sales, this strategy makes a heck of a lot of sense for me and my family. Incidentally, I picked up the brown sugar this way too:
A final word of warning: as much as I LOVE Winco and their bins, know that not all bin items are created equal! Today I spent $3 on a small bag’s worth of M&Ms. I certainly could’ve done better had I waited for a sale and coupon! As with anything, pay attention to those unit prices.
What items do you find your family buying repeatedly? Have you given any thought to how you might best stockpile them (if you can) and where to buy them for the best deal?