Stock Up Before Your Busy Season To Save Time and Money
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Stock Up Before Your Busy Season To Save Time and Money

Posted on Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 at 4:57 pm
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No one wants to end up frantically dashing to the grocery store for a couple of items that you ran out of when you are pressed for time.  This little annoyance can be avoided, if you plan ahead.

Figure out when your own, personal, busy season is.  Make sure you complete the extra shopping that these occasions require ahead of time.  Doing so will save you time, money, and the hassle of an especially stressful trip to the grocery store.

The first thing you need to do is identify when your busy seasons are.  For most people, this will include the week before Thanksgiving dinner, and perhaps Super Bowl Sunday.  It can also mean the month that you have a bunch of family members celebrating a birthday in, the week when school starts again, or the weeks when your teenagers are involved in Homecoming related activities.

Once you have figured out when you are going to be extremely busy, it is time to plan ahead.  Make a list of the food, and other items, that you are going to need to get you through your busy season.

For example, if you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, then you need to stock up on frozen turkey, boxes of mashed potatoes, boxes of stuffing mix, and the ingredients that go into a pumpkin pie.  If you are the person who makes the birthday cakes for relatives, then you need to stock up on cake mix, frosting, and birthday candles before each person’s birthday.

Times when your family is busy, with a lot on their schedules, require quick meals.  Stock up on some frozen pizzas.  These don’t take long to cook, and do not require much prep time.  It beats having to rush through the drive in of a fast food place while on your way to a recital, practice, or other event.

Planning ahead saves you the hassle of having to make that frantic rush to the nearest grocery store, in the hopes of finding the items that you need at the very last minute.  No one needs this kind of stress.  You can plan to pick up those items on your next grocery shopping trip, instead of having to make an entirely separate, and extra, trip for them.

It will also save you money.  If you plan ahead, specifically for your busy season, you can use your couponing skills to purchase the foods you need at a discounted price.  Combine your coupons with the savings you get from a grocery store’s savings card.  Browse through the weekly sales papers, so you will know when a certain store has that item on sale.  Being prepared doesn’t mean that you can’t be frugal.

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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.