One of the key ways to save money and stay within your budget is to control the dollars spent on your groceries. How do you do that? You need to cook from your pantry and that means having a stocked pantry. I use “the pantry principle” which I learned about in Amy Dacyczyn’s book “The Tightwad Gazette” to stock my pantry without spending a ton of money!
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This concept may feel a little overwhelming if you’re used to just “shopping for the week.” But stay with me and I’ll explain how this method works.
What is The Pantry Principle
To quote from The Tightwad Gazette:
“The basic premise (of “The Pantry Principle”) is that you stockpile your pantry (and/or kitchen, freezer, basement, closet and/or the space under your bed) with food purchased at the lowest possible price. The sole purpose of grocery shopping becomes replenishing your pantry, not buying ingredients to prepare specific meals.”
So basically you start buying things in quantity only when they are on sale. If you don’t have a good memory for prices you can use a price book. That’s what I do. Here’s how to make a price book of your own.
You can start small and start with the one to use and one for backup method. You can also decide that you want to set aside a certain amount of money weekly to build up your pantry (planning your spending). Or use something like a tax refund or other windfall to get you started. Here are some Side Hustle Ideas For Extra Money. You could also sell some stuff to get a nice chunk of money to use towards building your pantry.
However you do it, the ultimate goal is to have a stocked pantry and be able to cook from your pantry.
There are lots of lists out there for what a well stocked pantry should have. But I think it all really depends on what your family eats. No use buying bags and bags of flour at dirt cheap prices, when you don’t bake. If your family eats lots of canned fruit, then you should stock up on canned fruit when it’s at its lowest price. I buy lots of packages of different cuts of chicken when they go on sale and freeze them because we eat a lot of chicken. That way I never run out and I never have to pay full price!
So the goal is to stock up by rarely paying full price for the groceries you normally buy. This doesn’t include perishables unless you purchase fresh produce to preserve by canning, freezing or dehydrating.
Benefits of The Pantry Principle
- By taking advantage of buying food at the best price and stocking up, you are getting the best deal for your money.
- By having a full pantry you are reducing your trips to the store and this will save you time and money in the long run.
- You’ll be able to come up with a variety of tasty meals because you’ll have lots of ingredients on hand, reducing your meals out.
- You never know what’s going to happen to the economy or your job. Having a stocked pantry will help you survive challenging times!
Give this method a try. You can save plenty of time and money by using the pantry principle!
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