Estimated reading time: 14 minutes
Having a stockpile budget has shown us a new way to save money on groceries without overspending.
Between 2010 and 2012, stockpiling our cold room, pantry, and freezer using coupons and flyer specials was a way of life, but not so much these days.
Today, I will explain how we use a stockpile budget and incorporate it into our weekly shopping trips.
Building Your Stockpile
We’ve taken a different approach to stockpiling simply because we couldn’t get through the bulk food we bought using coupons.
We are still trying to use up baked beans due this year.
Having an emergency food stash ready to eat up in case something happens to your finances is great, but having shelf-stable products is critical to building the best stockpile.
When I say shelf-stable, I mean products that don’t have a shelf-life or have a very long shelf-life, like dried beans, a quality stockpile item of ours.
Why have a stockpile budget if we don’t plan to stockpile lots of food?
A valid question, let me explain.
What Is A Stockpile Budget?
First, let’s talk about what a stockpile budget is or means to us because there is a distinct difference between having a stockpile and a stockpile budget.
I will talk about both below.
Since we no longer stock hoards of food, we still see a good deal on a product, and stocking up is ideal.
Yes, it will save you money if you regularly eat that product.
The overall reason to have a stockpile of food is to buy them in large quantities when you find the best prices in case you lose one income, illness, or other emergencies.
I don’t know HOW MANY times we bought food just because we had coupons and the product was cheap. In our heads, we would think that it’s food, right?
We might eat it. WRONG!
Food Waste And Stockpiling
Most times, the food we stockpiled went into the garbage, which I’m not proud of, or was donated to our local Food Bank.
Some people may see a big payoff with stockpiling tonnes of food, but in the end, if it ends up in the garbage, you’re not paying anyone but the sanitation worker.
We know we will use the products, but there will always be sales, and whether you spend the money now or later, it’s all money that will come out of your budget.
As some may believe, there is no actual budget surplus just because you aren’t spending money on certain items one month.
You’ve previously spent it in bulk, so yes, you’ve spent money that would have been used regardless.
We see huge payoffs with toiletries, health, beauty, and cleaning supplies.
It has been years since we bought any, although, on the odd occasion, we might stock up on a good deal, this is not part of the grocery budget.
In the past, we used to add Health and Beauty into our grocery budget, but we have given it its budget category with a projected expense of $17.00 a month to help us see a breakdown of numbers.
Stock only what you will eat!
If you are wondering if we had designated food rooms in our house, we didn’t have a place that looked like those on extreme couponing.
However, sometimes, we had to question just how much food we needed.
People often eat more than they should, and having tonnes of food around, especially with no self-control, isn’t always the best idea.
That’s me, by the way. Although we never stocked up on chips, there was a point where granola bars got out of hand, and those are just as dangerous as chocolate bars.
The reality is that a family can only eat so much food with expired products or best-before dates, which are somewhat essential to us depending on the product.
For example, we had box upon box of them on the shelves and hardly put a dent in them.
Even though they may have cost us $1.00 a box, our grocery budget was wasted because we never got to eat them.
Donating cereal was not something we did as we thought we’d become big cereal eaters, but that never panned out.
That was our loss and learning experience. It wasn’t just the cereal, either.
We could stand in our cold room, and although we had all the emergency essentials we needed, food wasn’t essential and would last forever like toothpaste might.
After all, we were only two people eating in this house, so it dawned on us that maybe leaning more towards meal planning and stocking limited amounts of certain foods was the SMARTER way to go.
Stock only what you will eat!
The significant part is a few of The Grocery Game fans who post their shops each week have come to appreciate having a stockpile budget and have incorporated it into their overall family budget.
We worked hard on our grocery budget when we started the grocery game, not only to save money in our grocery budget and track our expenses but because we wanted to stop buying so much food.
There is a fine line between being a money saver and dishing out cash at the grocery store for nothing.
- Stock only what you will eat!
These days, if you were to get a tour of our food stash, you would be surprised to see just two small shelves.
They are filled with pantry basics such as pasta, tuna, dry beans, apple juice, tomato paste, canned tomato, condiments and sauces, etc.
The funny thing is that we belong to many Facebook group sites, and it’s not uncommon for people to give away food from their stockpile that they can’t or won’t eat.
How does the stockpile budget figure into all of this?
Mrs.CBB and I analyzed our grocery budget numbers only to see that there were months when we would spend more because we bulk-shopped.
A trendy item on our food shopping list is cheese.
Look out if the cheese is on sale because Mrs. CBB and I will run you down!
Okay, not that bad, but we love our cheese, just not the plastic stuff or cheese in a jar or can.
We like the real deal, especially if we can get it with 50% off pink stickers at Zehr’s or RCSS.
- Stock only what you will eat! (I know you are seeing a trend here.)
Spending $20 on cheese is easy, but it would affect our monthly budget.
One of our fans always had this stockpile budget she talked about in her grocery game shops that started the wheels turning in my head.
Why don’t we have one?
How Do You Use The Stockpile Budget?
Here’s the kicker: if you don’t spend one month, you lose it.
It’s not a shopping game to us, either.
There is no point in finding anything to buy just because we want to use the monthly stockpile budget.
That’s defeating the purpose.
We don’t carry over our stockpile budget, but we only have $25 available for bulk shopping.
It’s not $25 to use to balance out our grocery shopping because we spent too much.
No, no, no, don’t abuse it that way.
If you do that, you might as well add another $25 to your grocery budget and be done with it.
It’s your choice if you carry over what you don’t spend monthly, but we opt not to.
I will share all the budgeting tips we follow with you, but it’s ultimately your decision based on your unique situation and how you handle your money.
Tracking The Stockpile Budget
As you will see below, we track our stockpile budget in our weekly grocery game challenge posts,
Keeping a running total helps us to see how much we are spending, and it helps with the end-of-year figures.
If we notice we spend the stockpile budget every month, we may consider adding a few more dollars like we did this year.
During 2014, our stockpile budget was $20, but since we made such good use, we have changed it to $25.
Another consideration for the jump is grocery prices are slated to rise in 2015, so having that extra $5 will help cushion that blow.
Only Purchase What You Will Eat
This week, for example, we found Gold Seal tuna on sale for $0.99, so I bought a case of 24 that will last at least a few months.
We love our tuna and know it won’t be sitting around.
On the other hand, we had coupons last year for $1.00 off tuna filled with jalapeno, sun-dried tomatoes, etc. I would still eat this tuna; it’s not my favorite.
I could have purchased cans nearly free last year but turned away because I knew they wouldn’t get eaten on time.
Besides, regular cans of tuna would always bump them out of the way when it came time to make tuna sandwiches or tuna and noodles.
This is where we had to ask ourselves if it was worth the money to spend on that tuna just because it was nearly free.
These days, if we can’t look at a product and drool, we don’t buy it.
We also limit how many of one item we keep as a stockpile item so we don’t have too much food sitting around.
We aim not to turn our basement into a grocery stockpile but to be sensible with our spending.
Opting for healthy food choices that help keep our budget and pantry well-balanced.
No More Guilt Shopping
The stockpile budget has been a surprisingly easy way for us to buy what we need in bulk when it goes on sale.
It removes the guilt of using up our grocery budget, leaving us no wiggle room.
This was the intention of the stockpile budget, and it might just work for you!
Only you can decide if the stockpile budget is proper for you but don’t forget it’s not like your regular grocery budget.
Your stockpile budget is money you tuck away for those rainy-day specials you need.
Discussion: Do you have a stockpile budget?
Please leave me your comments and suggestions below.
January Grocery Game Challenge Posts
If you missed any grocery game posts for the month, I will post the line-up for the month each week here in this section.
Join the Grocery Game Challenge fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each blog post… here are the GGC rules!
The GROCERY GAME WEEKS 2015 <<<< Click and print the weeks to have them handy!
Congratulations to DEE (Ballot #4) for winning the December 2014 Grocery Game Challenge! Please email me for your prize, Dee!
Grocery Saving Tips
Sign up today! >>> Homescan Canada! Now Accepting Applications from CBB fans!
Join the Nielsen Homescan consumer panel today!!
If chosen, you will receive rewards by scanning the bar code on your grocery purchases and completing fun surveys with the scanner provided to you by Homescan Canada.
One registration per household. Once you sign up using the link above, you will be put on a reserve waiting list, and randomly selected homes will be chosen.
Sign up now…. it’s worth it!!
Free Money Saving Downloads are fantastic lists created to get us on track to reach our budgeting goals, and now we are sharing them with you.
I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the savings process in your grocery budget today.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list, and much more, all for FREE.
CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet for FREE.
NEW!! You can now download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel.
Grab it while you can… It’s FREE!
We use it to budget and, in large part, a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years; check it out!
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide
Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below, with new information added monthly.
If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post, some of the most popular posts are listed below, or you can now find the positions listed on their page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
2015 Grocery Shop Results
If you are a foodie like me, you will enjoy going through my Free Recipe Index, where recipes from CBB Home Chef Nicola Don and myself are shared every Sunday on the blog.
Check it out!
Yearly grocery budget for two 2015: $2820
(The above total does not include the $240 per year stockpile budget or $25 monthly.
- Fuji Apples $1.36
- 2 x English cucumber $0.88 each + 800 PC Plus points
- 5ct Avocado $2.47+ 400 PC Plus points
- 1lb Radishes $1.47
- 2 x broccoli $1.27 each
- Bananas $1.92-$0.25 Zweet rebate
- Sweet Potatoes $1.47
Total Out-Of-Pocket: $12.99
- Knorr Beef cubes 4 x $0.99 each
- 24 x Goldseal Tuna $0.99 each $23.76 (Stockpile budget)
- 2 x whole wheat Premium Plus crackers $2.99 each
- 2 x Vitasana gnocchi $2.29 each
- Porchetta Marc Angelo $11.99-40%
- 3 x grape tomatoes $0.99 each
- Romaine Lettuce $1.97
- Tuscan tortillas 2/$3.00
Total Out-Of-Pocket: $33.17
- 6 x 4L Neilson Milk Blowout $2.97
Total Out-Of-Pocket: $17.82- $1.24 to (Stockpile budget) $16.58
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs: $235.00
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 1200
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
I reset this for 2015 to see earning potential.
- Snap Groupon to date: $ 0
- Zweet to date: $0.25
- Cart Smart to date: $0
- Checkout51 to date: $0
Grocery Shop This Week
- Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): $25.00
- Stockpile budget used to date: $25.00
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $0
- Total in-store discounts this week: $4.80
- Real in-store deals to date: $4.80
- Total spent this week: $62.74
- Total spent so far this month: $62.74
- Total over/Under spent this shop: $4.00 over budget
- Total over/Under spent for the month: $4.00 over budget
- Total left to spend for the month: $172.76
- Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $
We took the opportunity to use our stockpile budget this week as we needed to stock up on a couple of items that were great prices.
Adding the $5.00 extra for 2015 to our stockpile budget will benefit us.
Tuna costs a fortune when it’s not on sale, as does milk, and we picked up both for a great deal this week.
Did you find any coupons?
If so, share the details in the comment section of this post where you found it and what the coupon is for with expiry.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first, and if you have any questions, email me or comment on this post.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop and live worldwide.
- Canadian Coupons: Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week and your weekly Checkout 51 offers from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of
Save Big Live Betterthat you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.
- Which stores accept coupons?: If unsure, it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?
Get Ready To Save Money On Groceries
Gradually, you will learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or how to say no, I’m on a budget; I need to buy this or that.
You may also substitute items to stick to your grocery budget to make it work.
Nobody is perfect heck, we struggle with this part of our budget as many people do.
This is why the grocery game challenge was created to show you that we are like everyone else and to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.
Get ready to dive into your grocery budget and learn where you are spending, how much you are spending, and what you are saving.
You’ve decided to take control of your grocery budget. Now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2015!
Join in and become money savers and take control of your grocery budget.