How To Stockpile Food On A Budget – 10 Easy Tips

Last Updated on 16th September 2020 by Tuppenny

Learning how to stockpile food on a budget is a fabulous addition to your frugal skills.

A food pantry stockpile helps you manage those lean months when money seems to flow out faster than it comes in.

It enables you to buy the majority of your cupboard staples at bargain basement prices and save money on your grocery bill.

Many people have a cupboard full of food but not everyone considers their full cupboards as being their stockpile.

More like just overstocked cupboards!

If you are starting a food stockpile then you are joining many others who feel this is a sensible thing to be doing.

Frugal families often swear by their pantry.

And then you’ve got the emergency preppers who take food storage to a whole other level.

I’ve had a grocery stockpile for a long time although I didn’t always realize what it was – I’m afraid I just loved to buy and hoard food!

At one point I swear I could have fed our family for over 6 months with my stores.

Which wasn’t great for my budget as I’m within walking distance of various shops so had no need to tie up so much of my money in quite such a large stockpile.

I’ve learnt since then what my sweet point is with storing food and have reduced it down to the right level for us.

(This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more here)

Shelf of dry pasta in jars to signify how to stockpile food  on a budget

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Stockpiling For Beginners – The Basics

Getting started on learning how to build a food stockpile, especially when you are on a budget and don’t have a lot of money can be daunting.

Where to start? What are the best foods to store? How much should you spend?

Let’s dive in and find out more.

What Is A Stockpile?

A food stockpile is really quite simple, it’s basically your own personal supply of foods that you need in order to feed your family for a period of time, weeks or months.

And because we are looking at starting a stockpile we also want to look at how to stock up on these groceries for cheap i.e. the lowest possible price not the regular price.

market stall of fresh vegetables

Why Do You Need A Food Stockpile?

Having a food stockpile enables you to really cut down your grocery budget. Your aim is to have a stockpile food list bought at not just any old price, but the lowest possible price.

By buying at the lowest possible price and buying in bulk it means in time you will only ever buy at these low prices and save money accordingly.

For example, brown rice might usually cost you $2 a kilo. But if the lowest possible price is actually $1 a kilo and you only ever buy at that price then you are saving 50%.

Extrapolate that across many other items on your stockpile food list and you can see how the savings are going to mount up nicely.

What Foods should we stockpile?

You can stockpile anything that will last a reasonable length of time.

So long life tins, dried and packet goods are perfect for stockpiling as is non-food items such as toilet paper, shampoo, soap and washing powder.

The important thing to remember is only include items that you and your family actually use and only in quantities that you can get through within a reasonable time frame.

There’s nothing worse than getting a bargain and then not using it before the expiry date.

Or buying so much you get sick of eating said item!

I’ve listed at the bottom of this post my top 10 foods and 5 non food items for stockpiling to get you started.

It takes time to go from beginner to expert building your stockpile so cut yourself a little slack in the early days.

You are likely to overbuy because you find a great bargain or not buy because you think it will be cheaper another week.

Top Tip – Subscribe to the 7 day Grocery Budget Bootcamp and learn how to take back control of your spending on groceries in just a week!

How To Stockpile Food On A Budget – 10 Easy Tips

1. Decide On Your Stockpiling Budget

When you’ve got a tight grocery budget you can’t suddenly drop £50 on some basics for your food store.

There is no right or wrong amount to ring fence for beginning your stockpile.

If you can find only £5 then that’s great, if it’s £10 even better.

Remember you are building a stockpile of items bought at the lowest possible price so you won’t necessarily use that £5 every week.

Only if there is a bargain to be had that fits your stockpiling criteria. £5 could get you 4 bags of brown rice at the right price.

2. Check Out New Storage Space Ahead Of Time

Storing food does not need to be confined to your kitchen. If you haven’t got space in your kitchen or pantry then branch out and find somewhere that does.

Shelves in a garage work well but so does under your bed and above your wardrobe.

Unconventional storage spaces work just as well as conventional. Just remember where your stores are.

3. Plan How Much food you will stockpile

Before you begin building your stockpile you need to consider how big you need it to be. Your storage space may of course limit your plans.

Do you have a large family? Are you living in a very isolated area?

So how much food should you stockpile?

In the ideal world you want to stockpile enough of each item to get you from a sale at the lowest price to the next time it goes on sale.

This could be every 1, 3 or 6 months depending on the item and where you live.

There are foods that lasts for years but I don’t think we need to work on a stockpile that large!

You want to ensure you store only that which you will eat within a reasonable time frame.

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

glass jars with dry goods in (how to stockpile food on a budget)

4. Stockpiling Food List

Spend some time drawing up your stockpiling food list so you know what you need to buy over the coming weeks and months.

Focus on long life items such as dried and tinned goods.

5. Build Up Over Time

Every item on your stockpiling food list will not be on sale at the same time. And that’s OK!

Take you time to build up your food stores, that way you ensure you get the absolute best, lowest price and save more money on your future grocery bills.

brass coloured manual alarm clock

6. Invest Time To Find The Best Deals

To get your pantry stockpile at the best possible price you will want to invest your time in finding the best deals available to you.

Check online and any local flyers or newspapers that get delivered to you.

7. Be Open To Shopping Around

You won’t find all the lowest prices in the same store at the same time. Cast your net wider to get the best possible prices on the items you want to store.

8. Don’t Over Buy

Starting a food stockpile and building it up can be quite addictive, especially if you get good at finding great bargains. But a bargain is only a bargain if you do use it the way you planned.

Unfortunately I have fallen foul of the bargain mentality and ended up with far too much of one item which then means either we’re going to be eating it daily for months or wasting it.

Don’t be me!

shopping cart in store aisle

9. Know Your Prices

Key to being successful in learning how to stockpile food on a budget is knowing the best prices of individual food items.

Know the absolute best price for each item and track when they go down to that price.

Rather than buying at everyday prices every week it’s likely that you will do a stock up every 2-4 weeks on a couple of items when they hit their lowest price point.

At which point you’ll want to buy enough to see you and your family through to the next time they go on sale.

10. No Deal, No Buy

When you know your prices you know when there are deals and when there aren’t.

You are unlikely to be increasing your stockpile every week as sales tend to go in cycles.

Don’t actively look for ‘other’ bargains because you have money to spend. Keep it in your purse and let it build up.

grocery cart with food in it

Bonus tip – Rotate Your Stock

This is probably one of the most important tips I can share with you. If you don’t rotate your stock you run the risk of having to throw away food.

Finding a bag of rice a year past it’s expiry date can be a very frustrating thing indeed.

Ask me how I know!

Key Tips When Beginning Your Stockpile

  • Start slow
  • When your budget is tight, one extra bag of brown rice might be all you can afford
  • If you are able to use coupons, check out the latest
  • Use coupons only if they make items cheaper than store’s own brand
  • Know the best prices and only buy at these levels
  • Don’t blow your budget for a bargain – there’ll always be another

Stockpiling For Beginners – Top 10 Best Foods

  1. Brown rice (healthier than white but both are long lasting)
  2. Brown pasta (as above)
  3. Flour
  4. Sugar (I don’t stockpile sugar as we don’t use very much)
  5. Lentils (red, yellow, green or brown)
  6. Dried beans
  7. Tinned baked beans
  8. Tinned tuna
  9. Tinned tomatoes
  10. Rolled oats

Coincidentally the above 10 items are also on my list of the best cheap foods to buy when you’re broke.

Cheap to start with and even cheaper when you stockpile – double win!

Stockpiling For Beginners – Top 5 Best Household Items

  1. Toilet paper
  2. Toiletries
  3. Batteries
  4. Cleaning products
  5. Vitamins
vegetables being prepared on a wooden table

Emergency Stockpiling

If you live in an area which has weather extremes or are very remote you might want to consider including within your stores an emergency stockpile.

This stockpile is less about reducing your grocery budget and more about feeding your family when you can’t get out to the stores.

Your emergency stockpile could be the last one of everything in your regular stores or it could be completely separate.

Focus on food that lasts for years but do remember if you keep it separate, then you still need to rotate the stock in it in order to not fall foul of expiry dates, however far in advance they may be.

What Are The Best Foods To Store For An Emergency?

Plan your emergency store according to the type of emergency you might face.

You might want to consider having food items that enable you to make meals without electricity.

So tinned beans, tinned meat etc.

Emergency supplies to keep you going until you can get to the grocery store might include pasta, rice, dried beans, tinned/canned tomatoes, tuna and sweetcorn.

Shelf of preserved foods in jars to signify how to stockpile food on a budget

Focus On The Long Term

How to stockpile food on a budget is easy when you know how.

The main point is to get started but only when you’ve given some thought to what you will stockpile, where, why and how.

Don’t blow your budget in your eagerness to begin.

Follow these tips and get started on your own pantry stockpile today.

Top Tip – Subscribe to the 7 day Grocery Budget Bootcamp and learn how to take back control of your spending on groceries in just a week!

glass jars with dry goods in (how to stockpile food on a budget)

4 thoughts on “How To Stockpile Food On A Budget – 10 Easy Tips”

  1. Great advice.
    Since I’ve discovered your blog I am a big fan. I’m a pensioner and live in the wilds so stockpiling is essential especially as in my nearest town there are only two supermarkets – Aldi and tesco. I can’t remember when I last shopped in Tesco!
    I have one issue – batteries. I bought a battery recharger and a set of rechargeable AA and AAA batteries. One set for the recharger and one for those items that need batteries. (I dont have children at home so my use is limited). It really is worth the initial outlay, I promise you.
    My plumbing can’t cope with luxury loo paper so I have to buy the cheap stuff!
    Health issues mean I can’t indulge in my favourite food – cheese. . I miss that even more than chocolate!

    Reply
    • Hi Grace! I love that you live in the wilds – am hoping to join you there shortly 🙂 Batteries are definitely something you cannot be too prepared with. Like you we don’t use them that much but they are essential. When we move I think re-chargables are definitely going to be on the essential list – especially as you have highlighted them. I had read that luxury and quilted loo paper do actually take much longer to degrade so if we move somewhere with a septic tank we may also be going down the cheapy paper route. now you are the 2nd person who has said they miss cheese more than chocolate – it is an alien concept to me as a chocolate lover but each to their own! Thanks so much for reading and stopping by!

      Reply
  2. hi im pauline a stroke survivor dat lives alone i live on d edge f a village which s too much expensive for my budget as i had to give up work and dont drive anymore which both things really miss as i read ur tips i realised i actually do a lot of dem already and more f my own ideas so i think im well o my to a happy frugal life but NOT cheap ty for ur blog and i really want to try d budget cash wallet

    Reply
    • Hi Pauline. Villages can be expensive can’t they? Especially if you can’t drive to take advantage of cheaper shops and activities further afield. Glad to hear you are already enjoying a happy frugal life – me too! But there’s always something more we can learn for sure. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

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