6 Ridiculously Simple Ways to Stockpile for Meal Planning

It’s 4:30pm and as I open up the cupboard I stand there and stare. “What do I make for supper?” I look at the boxes and cans and hope that some amazing, grand idea will hit me because I have several hungry people to feed. Like, right now! I close the door, open another cupboard and hope this cupboard might hold the magic meal. Nope. Ugh, frozen pizza it will have to be then. Again!

 

Meal time can be really frustrating. I don’t really love to cook, but I do want to take care of my family. Over time I realized that trying to plan a meal, at the last second, just wasn’t working.

 

I took one Friday evening and sat down and began to meal plan. {Yes, I’ll get to the stockpile non perishable foods part in a minute.} It took me about 2 hours looking through recipes, well, lets just say Pinterest is a little distracting, but I finally found and printed off all the recipes I wanted to use for the next month.

 

This is my foundation. One month’s worth of meals.

 

Now, starting a grocery stockpile is really, really easy. I’m going to walk you through my method of stockpiling and how it allows me to feed my family for .62 a person/per meal!

 

Let me just say that if you stockpile this does not mean you need to build an extra addition onto your house and fill it to the ceiling with toilet paper and beans so that you can out live the end of the world. I’m not talking extreme prepping here.

 

This is about planning and stockpiling a couple of month’s worth of food so that meal planning is easy and simple. Sounds good, right?

 

The average family of 4 spends $400-$600 a month on groceries which is a $4,800 – $7,200 a year! Ouch. That is a big amount!

 

But, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Not now. Not, when you begin a stockpile.

 

You don’t need to spend more money to stockpile but your may change some of your habits and how you shop, which I can assure you will actually save you money! Are you ready?

  1. How to begin your stockpile.

 

The greatest breakthrough in meal planning came to me when I realized I didn’t need to create a new meal every day. {Light bulb moment!} Don’t ask me why this never occurred to me before, but it hadn’t.

I use my meal plan for a whole month, using my easy worksheet, which you can download too.

 

I look through my recipe books, my Pinterest recipe board and bookmarked sites and find all the recipes that I want to make for the month. Next, I print off every single recipe. This saves me time during the week. No more hunting and getting frustrated.{I know that recipe is in here somewhere!!}

 

Then I slip them into my handy binder pages. Bam! Super Mom!! Now every recipe and meal is planned out for the next month. I will then reuse this month of meals for the next 3 months.

 

As the seasons change, chili and cornbread just doesn’t work for the summer time. Or grilled burgers don’t work so well in the dead of winter. Anyway, I think you see what I mean.

 

I will then sit down and make a new plan for the next three months.

Free Printable for Stockpiling

So in reality I spend about 8 hours a year planning out all the meals we will eat for 365 days. This is so, so much simpler than standing in front of the cupboard waiting for an inspiration to hit me!

 

By knowing what your meals are for the month, you will gain a clear picture of exactly what items you want to stockpile. Then you’ll be able to watch for these things to go on sale.

Do you know rock bottom prices for stockpiling? Grab your Free download! Click To Tweet

The Grocery List.

This is easy to make now. I simple go through all the recipes for the next month and write down the ingredients that I don’t have on hand. This becomes my shopping list.

 

It’s so nice to walk into the store knowing exactly what I need, not just buying things that look good, or happen to jump into my cart.

 

The Stockpile.

To start your stockpile of non-perishable foods, simple look through your recipe list at items that are canned or have a long shelf life. Corn, kidney beans, rice, etc.

 

Circle those items on your grocery list and when you arrive at the store, grab the sales flier. Compare the two. Whatever is on sale that week is what you can begin stocking up on.

 

You only need to buy enough of that sale item to last you 3-6 months. So if you will use 4 cans of kidney beans for the month, just buy 12 cans on sale and then you have enough for 3 months of that meal.

Meal also cuts down on waste! Look at these statics!

Food waste cut by stockpiling for meal planning

2. What to stockpile.

 

When you begin a stockpile the first place to start is canned foods. They are easy to keep and don’t require any extra work.

 

Canned beans

Canned meat

Canned soup

Canned fruit

Jam

Meat is easy to freeze. By finding out where the discount meat section is you’ll be able to save quite a bit. Don’t forget to look around the deli section. Our Walmart has an area of already bagged meats that are marked down. We just grab those deals, rather than paying full price.

Frozen vegetables.

Fresh food on sale can be frozen too.

Bananas can be frozen and used for smoothies.

Onions freeze well and can be used in casseroles and soups. Just chopped them first.

Peppers. Just chop and freeze.

Berries can be tossed in the freezer and work in muffins and smoothies.

Corn on the cob, just leave the husk on and put it in an airtight bag.

Herbs. Just chop them up, put them in an ice cube tray with water and when you are ready to use them in a soup or other dish, just pop out 1 cube.

Nuts.

Avocados. Just puree them. 3 Avocados to 1 TBLS of lime juice, bag them and you will have avocado for your burritos.

Shredded cheese can be frozen.

Butter freezes.

Cooked rice freezes great.

How to build a Stockpile with free PDF

Paper products are good to stock up on, although these are often cheaper by buying them online through Amazon or Walmart.

 

As you work off of your meal plan for the month you may have leftovers when supper is finished. Instead of putting them in the fridge and forgetting about them, put them in the freezer. Write what the meal is, on the outside and then stockpile that meal for a rainy day or better yet, a crazy busy, mom-doesn’t-want-to-cook day. You will save more food from being thrown and the cooking will already be done!

 

Download the complete list of items that you can stockpile is here.

 

 3. Store Cycles.

 

The stores know human nature well. We all like to buy an item when it’s on sale. So every week they roll out a list of items on sale.

 

The rule is generally, every six weeks that same item will come back on sale.

 

Now, the trick is to only buy your grocery items when they are on sale. That is the lowest price. If you have 3-6 months of supply, you won’t need to run out and buy it at top dollar.

 

By shopping this way and watching prices you will learn the bottom dollar price. In the Stockpile List I’ve given you the best prices that I’ve learned.* This will give you an idea of what really is a good deal and what is not.

 

* This does vary a little, depending on where you live. But generally, these hold true. We have lived in several different states and some places I just wasn’t able to get the same item for the best price because it just wasn’t on sale that low. But I just want to help give you a rough idea. This whole list is based on what I actually buy and use on a regular basic and the prices that I want to buy at, every time.

 4. Stores to Shop.

 

Where you shop is going to help but don’t feel like you can only stockpile by using one of the stores that I mention. You can do this simply by comparing the stores near you and see what you have available. Prices really do vary by store and if you do a little exploring you’ll be able to find what one works the best for you.

 

The nice thing is, by shopping for a month at a time you can afford to select a store that might be further away from you but has the best prices.

 

Now, you may need to shop at some different stores than you have been. This was hard for me at first, breaking that habit of going to my same old familiar store but in the end it really paid off.

 

Another way is to pull up the sales flier online for the week at all the stores in your area. Then compare them, while you are at home, see which one is the best deal and shop there that week. But only shop the deals.

 

This step of comparing stores is not something I do every single week. It really is something that I do once, when I move to a new location or if a new store is built. Because stores aren’t going to dramatically change prices, they will be consistent within that store. My job is to find out which has the best over all prices and sales. Then I just stick to shopping at that store.

Related Reading:

How to Financially Prepare to be a Stay-at-Home Mom

How I spend $170 a Month for Groceries

One Way You Aren’t Saving Money, And How to Change

In the beginning of your stockpiling adventure, this will take a little time but don’t worry, it’s not a long term step.

By far my favorite place to shop is Aldi. With over 1725 stores in the US, I hope you have one near you.

Kroger is a good one too. They have really good 10 for $10 deals. The sales they run are great, just be careful to stick to your sale prices.

Depending on your area maybe Walmart but not always, so be sure to compare.

Also, the Dollar Store. I know, not exactly what you think of first when thinking about groceries but it’s true. $1 for bread, who can beat that?!

The best place to buy bread for $1.00 that you never thought of! Click To Tweet

 5. Where to store items.

 

Ok, so, you have gone to the store, kids in tow. That adventure is over. Whew! Now, excitedly, you have brought home your shiny new cans to stockpile and realize, where do I store 15 cans of kidney beans?!?

 

When we were first married our apartment was 900 square feet with very few cupboards. I use the space underneath our bed for the cans. Creativity works ladies! Here are some ideas.

 

Hall closets

Storage rack in the garage

Laundry closet

Under beds

Under the stove

In your hutch

 

If you have an extra bedroom or dedicated pantry, be sure to count your blessings. But by starting small, you’ll find room, don’t worry.

 

Congratulations!! You are well on your way to building a stockpile for easy meal prep! Be sure to download the stockpile checklist for your next shopping trip and know you are getting the best price for your meals!

 

When you are done I would love to see a picture of your stock pile! Just send me an email.

 

6. Download the Stockpile Checklist.

 

 

Use this Pin for later!

Stockpile non-perishable foods for meal planning.

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