My wife is a creature of habit – in a good way. She gets up at 5:30 am every day except Saturday so that she can enjoy a healthy breakfast of oatmeal (always from scratch — never instant!) and walnuts, along with a cup or two of her favorite coffee. For at least the past six or seven years, my wife has started each day with a pot of Seattle’s Best Hazelnut Cream Coffee. My elder son shares my wife’s coffee tastes, so we usually end up brewing at least two pots of it each day.
If you have a morning routine, you know how important it can be. You also will understand why I am so concerned that by the end of this week we may be out of Seattle’s Best Hazelnut Cream Coffee!
About six months ago, my wife’s coffee was on sale at our local Publix. I believe the sale price was buy one, get one free, so the savings on an approximately $8 package of coffee was substantial. I purchased about sixty packages of coffee that week. My wife was appalled at first, because I only started exploring the value of bulk purchasing at the beginning of 2008. My wife saw 60 packages of coffee (about 45 pounds!) and thought I was spending $240 more than I needed to spend.
I had a different view. I knew that after watching my wife and son drink the same coffee for more than half a decade, they were not likely to change brands or flavors any time soon. Given the savings, I knew that the sixty packages would eventually be used and that I would be saving $240 by the time the coffee was all gone.
I also knew that by stocking up on coffee at the best rate that I was likely to find for that particular brand, I was saving myself the effort of having to purchase a package or two every week for about half a year. Thus, by stocking up, I was saving more than money. I was also saving time.
My wife now shares my views on the benefits of stocking up. We are down to our last twelve ounces of SBC in the hazelnut cream flavor. That is enough to last us another five or six days. Of course, I could purchase another package of it – if I could find it. We have looked in several stores in our area and all of them have been sold out of my wife’s flavor for the past several weeks. I can only assume that it was a popular holiday flavor. I am sure that we will find a way to buy more of it before we run out but now I know that when I am stocking up on any item, I am going to make sure I buy enough to see me through the holidays.
I have been stocking up on every item that our house uses regularly. So far, I have only made one major mistake when I stocked up on an item that we later discovered to include trans-fats, which we exclude from our pantry. Other than that, our pantry and cupboards are beginning to look like a warehouse store, as we stock up on every item that we know we will use. Because we have so many of the items that we buy in bulk (especially “BOGO” deals), we naturally try to use those items even more regularly and thus we are more likely to build meals based on the items that offer us the best deals. We also spend less time shopping because we always have a ready supply of our non-perishable staples and, when local stores run out of our staples, we do not need to worry about not having them nearly as much as would be the case if we bought them from week to week regardless of price.
What is your philosophy on stocking up? Are you willing to lay in a six or twelve month supply of a product just because it is on sale? How do you manage to store products that you purchase in bulk? Are there any times when you think it is a bad idea to stock up?