Make Recipes Using Your Stock Pile
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Make Recipes Using Your Stock Pile

Posted on Monday, March 12th, 2012 at 9:23 am
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After you have achieved a good understanding about how to plan meals from your stock pile, it is time to move ahead.  Learn how to combine the items in your stock pile with the current coupon deals in order to be as economical as possible.  This process can be thought of as the advanced course of couponing.

It probably doesn’t take you a very long time to glance over your stock pile and figure out what to make for dinner tonight.  You know what you have, and you know what your family enjoys eating.  With a little bit of practice, that can become a very easy task.

Learning how to combine your knowledge of the inventory in your stock pile with the current coupon deals, however, is going to take a little longer to master.  I would recommend setting aside a few hours of time that you can dedicate specifically to teaching yourself how to do this.  Over time, it will get a little easier.  When you start, though, the process might feel overwhelming.

The first step is something you already excel at.  You need to be well aware of what foods you have at home, sitting in your stock pile.  If you haven’t done it already, make a planner of all the meals that you will be serving this week.  Use as much from your stock pile as possible.  Make a list of the foods that you will need to purchase in order to make those meals.

The next step is to get out your binder of coupons, and see what you can use on your next shopping trip.  Discard the coupons that have expired.

If you are a visual learner, you might want to lay out all of your coupons in front of you so that they all can be viewed at a glance.  Another option is to make a list of the coupons that you know you want to use.  Include the item, the amount the coupon saves, and what sizes of product it can be used for.  Make a note if this coupon can only be used at one, specific, grocery store.

Take the time to read over the weekly sales papers, so that you are aware of what foods are on sale.  If you aren’t getting these ads sent to you in your newspaper, you can go to the website of the grocery stores that you like to shop at.  Which store has the best deal on that particular type of food right now?

The next step is going to feel a lot like the math homework that you did when you were in school.  You will need to put together a series of math problems, so that you can compare what you will save if you buy something at one grocery store verses purchasing it from another grocery store.  Take into account things like: the current sale price of the item, the amount your coupon will save you, and the amount the grocery store’s savings card will save you.  Compare results.


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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.