Saving Money on Groceries…Stock Up, but Empty Out, Too

by David Bakke

pantryOne of the ways to save money on groceries that I am a firm believer of is that when you find an item that is on sale, that you use all the time, then you should stock up on it.

Of course, this is only when you are at the point that you can afford to do so and whatnot, but taking extra advantage of these things has quite a few benefits.  There is the obvious financial savings, and there is also the benefit of having a “stocked” pantry with your favorite items.

A person that I know that takes full advantage of this technique is my mother.  Man, a trip to her house and one look inside the pantry or even the freezer, and you’d think she has an army to feed.  She has canned foods to no end, frozen chicken and so forth falling out of the freezer and lots of other items as well.

She really almost takes it to an extreme.  It is close to the point to where I think she is buying stuff just because it’s on sale, not because of any necessary need for it.  But hey, she is the source of a great deal of my money-saving mindsets and outlooks, so who am I to judge?

So, I had been practicing this “stocking up” thing for quite some time until it seemed that my house (actually, my pantry, freezer and cupboards) was simply getting too full.  After a few looks around in these areas, I thought to myself “Geez, I wonder for how long my grocery bills would be cheaper if I quit this stocking up thing temporality and start emptying out?”

So that’s what I did.  For about three weeks now, I have not done any “stocking up” and have simply focused on emptying out.  The items that I use all the time, I haven’t purchased in a few weeks.  The items that I bought for a great price because of some recipe I told myself I would make….well, I’m now making that recipe.

The results?  You really wouldn’t believe it.  I’ve had several weeks now with a cheaper weekly grocery bill.  The savings really are fairly significant, and I’m now seeing the back walls in of my cupboards for the first time in a long time.

Pretty soon, I’ll go back to stocking up again.  I think that the whole concept of “stocking up” is a great idea.

But I also think that “emptying out” from time to time is a good one too.  Otherwise, it doesn’t seem as though you realize the full benefit of the “stocking up” part.

If you have comments or feedback, feel free to join the conversation below.


1 Qt April 3, 2010 at 10:58 am

First of all remember to go FIFO (First In, First Out) while using what you stock up (during the stocking up periods) not to have to throw away something as past the “best before” date!
Then you have to consider how much space you have in your home for stocking, i’m thinking about how much surprised are americans by european home sizes and how little i can stock without my shelves and pantry protesting.

2 David Bakke April 3, 2010 at 11:00 am


Its really great to get a perspective from over in your neck o’ the woods.

We do tend to live a life of excess here, don’t we?

Actually, I get more joy out of haivng emptier shelves than anything. Makes me feel like I can breathe better in my house.


3 Qt April 3, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Glad you like it, i often find myself “on a mission” to let the world know about my country or at least that there is something beyond USA in the web, trying to not being nationalistic, obviously.
And if those are really your shelves i notice there is at least something from my country… Nutella 😉

4 Mary April 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm

So your Mom buys too much, huh. You are probably right but right now she is on a “cleaning out” mission. Having a funny noise coming from the loaded freezer really put a scare into her. Lets’s see how much she can save by “using up” the next couple weeks until the “cash for clunker” program hits.

5 David/Yourfinances101 April 3, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Hey–good luck Mom! Its nice to know that somebody actually reads my posts!!!
.-= David/Yourfinances101´s last blog ..Saving Money on Groceries…Stock Up, but Empty Out, Too =-.

6 David/Yourfinances101 April 3, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Exactly where are you at? Mostly for my readers’ sake.

.-= David/Yourfinances101´s last blog ..Saving Money on Groceries…Stock Up, but Empty Out, Too =-.

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