Use Your Income Tax Return To Save Money Buying Bulk Groceries
This year, make your tax refund count in the kitchen by taking a chunk of it to stretch out your grocery budget. Save big on everyday items and kitchen necessities that can easily get you through the year. Not only do you save immediately at the store, but your purchases also earn you rewards with Food Lion's Shop and Earn program, so you can save even more on future trips when you use coupons. Whether you receive $100 or $1,000, using a portion of your tax money on stocking up your pantry is one of the most meaningful, nourishing ways to give back to yourself and to your family for the entire year.
Stockpiling is a money-saving venture. If you stockpile with items you've bought on sale, you won't need to go out and buy the same item at a higher price when you run out. Take part of your tax refund and use it throughout the month to grab and stock items on sale. Different items will have reduced prices throughout the four-week cycle, so you'll have plenty to add to your pantry. Live well by stocking up on items that may be on sale in each of the following categories.
Try your hand at buying bulk goods to stretch your budget. Author Amy Dacyczyn made buying bulk super-popular when she wrote tips and tricks in her Tightwad Gazette[M1] newsletters in the 1990s. However, today, many people think buying in bulk means going to your local warehouse store and buying an 80-ounce jar of mustard[M2] . True buying in bulk is still a way to save money on dry goods, such as beans, oats, and flour, if you cook many of your meals and soups from scratch.
Some shoppers have a perception that the only things you can really stock up on are canned goods. It's true that canned goods are ideal, but you're not limited to veggies. Grab three or four cans of your favorite ground coffee when they hit the sale flyer. Canned soups, canned stocks, canned sauces, and canned sweet potatoes keep well for your recipes, too.
Boxed and Dry Goods
Be prudent about stocking up on boxed or bagged goods. If you have a large enough freezer, you can freeze many of these items to keep them fresh. Here are some ideal boxed goods to stock up on when they're on sale and freeze until you're ready to use them:
- Cake/cookie mixes
Some frozen goods can be pricey, especially if they're brand name. Grab a handful on sale, or go for the private store brands. Some of these items include:
- Frozen waffles and pancakes
- Premium ice creams
- Frozen fruits (ideal for your favorite smoothies)
Meats and Protein
Run, don't walk, when you see meats and proteins on sale. Stock up and freeze them in airtight containers or wrapping for long periods of time. If you love bacon, you can buy it and freeze it right in its package. It also defrosts and cooks up well. The three items below are on sale frequently.
- Chicken: Stock up on chicken thighs – they're versatile, tasty, and the star of many unique recipes, such as Citrus-Marinated Chicken Thighs.
- Ground beef: You can never have too much ground beef in your freezer for everything from casseroles to chili.
- Shredded cheese: The more packages you stock up on the better to make every version of mac and cheese you can find. Start with Bahamian Mac & Cheese for a Caribbean twist on an American favorite. Shredded cheese in packages defrosts beautifully.
It's irresistible when you find a great deal on paper goods. A good rule of thumb is to buy three packages on sale — or more if you want. When they're on sale, be sure to grab:
- Toilet paper (your favorite brand)
- Paper towels
Some Final Tips
When you do it well, you'll be hooked on stocking up — even after you spend your refund. If you overdo it, it won't benefit you as much. Here's why:
- Some ingredients in non-perishable items can go bad if you don't use them quickly enough.
- You or your family may not like the product you stocked up on.
- The space you choose for your stockpile storage may not be ideal for all products. For example, some canned goods and sodas stocked in the garage may overheat, so try to keep them in a cooler, drier place like the basement.
Be practical and prudent, and have fun while putting your tax refund to the best use possible by stocking up. For more tips on the benefits of stocking up and making the most of your grocery budget, head to Foodlion.com. Be sure to browse through the Weekly Specials Flyer for more savings you'll feel great about discovering.