SuperMom Tip of the Day – Using Coupons to Build Your Food Stockpile
Posted by supermom on March 3, 2009
Recently I’ve been following the blog, Total Ready. Several weeks ago, she started a weekly post in which she lists one type of food to buy each week with the intention that over the course of a year you will create a stockpile of a three month supply of food.
I grew up in rural Alberta and so I’m more than familiar with having a supply of food stored away in case of emergency. It was something I continued to do throughout our years of moving from posting to posting in the Canadian Army.
Then, of course, when we bought our acreage, we planted a huge garden including about 175 hills of potatoes each year. I canned and froze a wide variety of vegetables. Root vegetables were stored in our cold room in the cellar. In the late summer, I bought fruit by the case and canned it. A few roads over from our acreage there were saskatoons growing wild. We picked those to freeze and can.
We kept chickens that gave me close to a dozen eggs per day. In the spring, we bought chicks to raise for meat. In the fall Dave hunted so we had venison. We bought our lamb, pork and beef from the farmers in the family.
While living that life, I could safely know that if something out of the ordinary happened, we had a supply of food that would last for several months.
Then even when we were given the opportunity to move to Maui, where fresh food is plentiful year round, I continued to keep a stockpile of canned and frozen foods, as well as flour, sugar and spices, just in case.
As we moved on to Florida and now Georgia, I again continued to keep on hand a good supply of the foods that we use on a regular basis. When something we use goes on sale, I stock up.
But since moving to the States, I’ve never really sat down and figured out how long the food I have on hand would meet our dietary needs. Thanks to those weekly postings over on Totally Ready, I’m starting to get a pretty good idea.
For instance this week, the assignment is to buy vegetables; 10 cans per person in your family, as well as a supply of frozen veggies. To my delight, after checking my cupboards and our freezers, I discovered that I have this more than covered.
A couple of weeks ago, though, it was a different story. That assignment was to purchase 4 cans of soups per family member.
I don’t usually keep a large supply of soup on hand, because most often I make ours from scratch. It’s more nutritious, more delicious and I can adjust the recipe depending on what ingredients I have on hand. But I do understand that during an emergency I may not have the time or ability to make soup from scratch, so buy soup I did.
To make it more affordable, I checked the weekly sale ads and discovered that Krogers had Progresso soups on sale for $1.65 per can. ($1.49 for Progresso Light.) Also that week, there were internet coupons available for $1.10/1 off any kind of Progresso soup. I could have gone with the Progresso Light and got each can for 39 cents, but decided that during an emergency the extra calories in regular Progresso might be a better, more filling choice. I have access to two computers so I was able to print off four coupons; enough for one person.
During that week’s trip to Krogers, I picked up four cans for $2.60. That’s about the cost of one can when not on sale.
A quick check of my cupboards, had revealed that I had four cans of “cream of” soup… tomato (1), mushroom (2), chicken (1). Last week, I was able to print off coupons for $1 off two cans of Campbell’s cooking soups. I’ll be watching for those to come on sale to fill out my supply of soup.
By shopping sales combined with coupons, I’m going to be able to stock up in the food items that I’m lacking for much less than if I had to buy each of the assigned foods at full price. And as Martha says, “That’s a good thing.”
This post was submitted as part of Kitchen Tip Tuesdays.
As well as, over on BeingFrugal.net:
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