One thing that comes up a lot in couponing is whether or not one should buy in bulk or buy only what they need. This conversation also applies to whether or not one should stockpile. While I am a strong proponant of ordering stock ahead of time to avoid clearing shelves and only using what you need, I also believe that one should stock up on supplies and buy in bulk when there is a great sale.
When my husband and I started dating, we began buying groceries together fairly early in our relationship. We would spend close to $100.00 every two weeks for groceries. After we adopted our two cats, that doubled to $120 every two weeks. We would have to go and buy cat food and litter almost every week, cleaning supplies would be bought at least once a month, and big items like toilet paper and paper towels we’d have to buy almost every other week.
Once I started couponing, that stress went away. I was able to start a small stockpile of paper products in our old apartment. By the time we moved into our new apartment, I was able to start a full-on stockpile. Our grocery bills have seen a drastic improvement. Instead of paying almost $300 a month in groceries, we now spend about $120 – $160, which is a huge improvement considering the cost of meat and produce has risen since we first started shopping together. We now buy cat litter, cat food, and dog food once every 3-6 months, and laundry supplies once a year.
When I find a sale, I do spend more up front, but the savings add up. For instance, in the next two weeks CVS will be having a great deal on laundry detergents, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper. I plan on spending a little over $60 total, but I will have enough toilet paper and laundry detergent to last at least six months, probably more. This equates out to $20-$30 in savings per month. Let’s say that I use this stock up in six months, that’s $120 – $180 I have saved in groceries (this is a low estimate). My overrall expenditures for laundry detergent and toilet paper may be $60 up front, but I am saving almost $120 over the long run. This is enough to put gas in my jeep for two weeks, take a small trip, or to put in our savings account.
Long story short: buying a lot of stock up front DOES save money in the long run. You may wince when you see that money leave your pocket, but think about the savings you will experience in the long run. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the savings!