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Last week I introduced you to Danielle. This is a good friend of mine who recently got married and due to some changes in their financial situation and jobs her and her husband are now trying to make ends meet. There were a few questions regarding last week’s video that I wanted to address quickly.

  • $60 – $90 Month Grocery Budget – I know this was a shocker to all of you! And in all honesty I’m not sure if that’s realistic or not. But what I can say is that I didn’t ask Danielle what she spent before the camera was rolling so I didn’t have any idea what she would say ;) (I wanted to keep this real for you guys) And keep in mind this is her “Budget” or was her Budget not what they were actually spending. In all reality after talking to Danielle More (In future videos) we learn that she has actually been pulling a lot of money out of savings!!!! That’s one of our main goals to get them living within their means. Income=Expenses at a minimum. Then we’ll move on to saving. So while I know that was shocking to hear, please keep in mind they were spending more than what they had budgeted which is why they are working so hard now to 1) Use coupons and shop sales and 2) Get their Income up so that they can have a more realistic budget.
  • This is a Process – Nothing happens overnight. I think people often give up on trying to use coupons and save money when they go to the store and realize they only saved $10-$20…. Creating a Stockpile, Sticking to a Menu Plan are all pieces of the puzzle. One of the reasons I wanted to bring you along on this journey is so that you can help us out ;) And so you can see that it’s more about a lifestyle and mentality shift. It’s also a process, something that takes time and it is a gradual reduction in the grocery bill and household bill that allows us to meet other financial goals (And stop pulling all that money out of savings).
  • We Don’t Know the Outcome – I would love to say that I know how this is going to turn out, but I don’t. I’m just letting you in on some of our conversations so that you can see what I would do if I were showing up on your doorstep to help you. Some of today’s video is just me understanding a little more about what Danielle uses and buys, It’s not so much about what we will actually end up with when we get to the store…. This is still evolving and growing and as Danielle’s income and budget change then so will what we can fit into our budget, etc.
  • More than a Budget– There are lots of things that contribute to financial success. Couponing is a means to an end. Danielle and her husband are also attending the Financial Peace University Class this fall. This is helping them make sure they have their priorities in line. They are working to reduce debt, build an emergency fund, create a zero balance budget and increase their income all while learning the couponing and savings process. It’s the big picture of all of this combined that will get us to our goals in the end. Saving and reducing our grocery and household budgets is just one price of the puzzle.

Now Moving on to this weeks Video! This week I’m going over what I call a Stockpile Plan with Danielle. This is just me creating a list of items they buy on a weekly basis You can download & Create your own Stockpile Plan Here. Here’s how to use the plan:

Just Print off the Stockpile Plan

Make a list of the Most Frequent Items you Buy in each Category. It doesn’t reduce our budget to buy lots and lots of items we don’t really use, in fact we can waste money on buying items we won’t really use and we will end up with less money in our budget for the things we need. So think of this as a priority list. Finding The items you buy MOST often on sale and with coupons will save you the MOST money, and that’s the goal!

Start Watching for Sales & Coupons. I know people are always wondering which coupons they should print. Well use this as a guide. If you find a coupon for an item on your list, get that printer going ;) Or pull out your scissors and clip that coupon. Again this list is just a guideline, but hopefully it will help keep you from getting overwhelmed and thinking you need to clip every coupon or waste money printing coupons for things you won’t really use.

Buy When an Item is On Sale &/Or You have a great Coupon. It’s all about timing and I try to always list the TOP deals at each store. You want to create your shopping lists around whats On Sale and a great deal. Buy multiples of items to get you through to the next sale.

  • Stockpile Food Items for 8 Weeks
  • Stockpile Health & Beauty or Household Items for 3-6 Months

I really don’t think you have to have to have a ton of everything stuffed in your closets. In fact I know most of us (me included) don’t have room for 50 boxes of cereal. So the goal is not to clear the shelves but to buy what your family will use in that time frame. That will get us to the next sale and get that item off our weekly shopping lists for a few weeks so that we can free up room in our budget to buy the other items we need.

Once again I want to stress that this is a Plan… This is not a shopping list :) We’re not running to the store to buy 8 of each item on our list, we’re buying as we find them on sale or as we need them. This is just our way of staying organized and not buying things we won’t use.

Suggestions of Items to Add to Your List – Here’s a few suggestions of items that are on my Stockpile List and my Rock Bottom Buy Price. Remember I Stock Up at this price or Less.

:: Basic Food Items

  • Shredded Cheese ($1 or less)
  • Chicken Breast ($1.50 or less per pound)
  • Ground Beef ($1.50 or less per pound)
  • Cream of Chicken Soup ($0.40 or less per can)
  • Pasta ($0.50 per box)
  • Rotel ($0.50 per can or less)
  • Frozen Veggies ($0.50 per  bag)
  • Canned Veggies ($0.50 per can or less)
  • Frozen Pizza ($1.50-$2 each)
  • Flour ($2 per 5lb. bag or less – This goes on sale for less around thanksgiving)
  • Sugar ($2 per 5 lbs. or less)
  • Yogurt ($0.25 per cup or serving)
  • Bagels ($1.50 per bag)
  • Cereal ($1 per box)
  • Juice Boxes for my Son ($1.50 for 8 ct. 100% Juice)
  • Cream Cheese, $0.98
  • Rice, $0.50/lb.

:: Basic Household Items – These sometimes need to be broken out by the unit. For example Paper Towels I purchase based on a “Regular Roll Price” So normally a package will say = 18 Rolls or something and I base it on the “Regular Roll Ct.” same thing with Toilet Paper.

  • Toilet Paper ($0.20 or less per regular roll)
  • Paper Towels ($0.33 or less per regular roll)
  • Laundry Detergent ($1 per 32 load bottle)
  • Dish washing Detergent ($1 per 20 washes)
  • Dish Soap (Free – $0.25)
  • Bathroom Cleaners ($1 per bottle or Free)
  • Clorox or Lysol Wipes ($1.50 per tub)
  • Paper Plates ($1 per package) note: I don’t use much paper we use mostly real dishes but I will buy these for when we have company or parties and I don’t want to do dishes ;)
  • Dryer Sheets ($1 for 40 ct.)
  • Stain Remover ($1 or less)
  • Straws ($75 ct. for $1.50) – Add this to my list of things i never find on sale, but I just LOVE straws :) So I buy them anyway, good thing they aren’t expensive.

:: Personal Care Items– Honestly I don’t pay for much like this now. I typically get most of these items on sale at Walgreens. But I’ll list a price I would pay if I couldn’t get it for Free :)

  • Body Wash ($1 each)
  • Toothpaste ($1 each) – but you can almost always get this free!
  • Toothbrushes ($1 each) – but you can almost always get this free!
  • Deodorant ($0.50 each) – but you can almost always get this free!
  • Shampoo ($1.50 per Bottle)
  • Razors ($0.50 per razor or refill)
  • Shaving Cream ($0.75 or less)
  • Feminine Care Items ($1 per package)
  • Contact Solution ($3 per Bottle) – but you can almost always get this free!
  • Lotion ($1.50 per bottle)

So I know that was a long post and a long video, but hopefully it has you thinking about which items you need to stockpile.

Here’s your homework for the week: Print off this form and create your Stockpile List, Then start watching for sales and filling in the prices :) This is going to help you get a good idea of when you need to buy an item.