|A view of my currently half empty stockpile... |
why I don't mind stocking up on more things.
(Pic taken before shelving today's shop.)
Lets say you go to a store and see that a certain (consumable) item is on sale. Do you buy it? Do you stock up? If so, how much do you buy?
Today, I went grocery shopping, and I saw that the gluten free pasta that I buy on a semi regular basis is on sale. Usually it costs $2.80 per bag, and for the first time ever, I saw it on sale- for $2.14. My kids love pasta, I like it because it is a variation from our all too frequently eaten rice as a starch... and though I do know how to make my own pasta, that is just not happening at this point in time- pasta is my lazy supper. But I feel guilty about serving it because it is so expensive. But I do serve it anyhow. I just try not to do it so frequently because of the price.
Recently, when I went to the "scratch and dent" store, they were selling gluten free corn flakes (without lots of crazy ingredients) for only $1.42 per box, instead of $5.71 a box (or more) that it usually is.
I stocked up on both.
For the pasta, I bought about 10 bags. For the corn flakes, I bought 20 boxes.
Today, at the store, I saw red lentils and chickpeas and split peas at an incredible sale- 60% of their usual price. Again, I bought as many as I was allowed to, because of the sale (maximum 4.5 lbs).
If you asked my husband, he'd say that I bought too much. That just because something is on sale doesn't mean you should be buying a lot of it. That maybe because of a sale, you should buy one or two more of something, but not a ton.
It takes up a lot of space in a small house.
And, because even if it is cheaper than it would have been otherwise, it still costs more money than just buying what you need and not stocking up, and raises your monthly grocery total.
In the past, I've bought things on sale and then regretted it, from a financial perspective.
For example, I bought chocolate chips in bulk. Chocolate chips are very expensive, and buying them in bulk was much cheaper than buying them otherwise. But since I had chocolate chips in the house, "on demand", I ended up using them pretty often. And even though I bought them cheaper than they would have cost otherwise, altogether, in a short period of time, I used many more dollars worth of chocolate chips than I usually would. Simply because it was available.
And then there are times that things are on sale, that I wouldn't even consider buying, because even though on sale they are cheaper than they usually are, they're expensive items that I wouldn't regularly buy, so I shouldn't add them to my cart "just because", simply because they cost less than they regularly do.
In my opinion, things should only be bought in larger quantities on sale... if they are things that you anyhow would be buying, and you are now buying them to use over a long period of time, and don't over indulge on these items just because they are in the house.
The cereal, for example, that I bought.... I bought it in larger quantities because I was aware that my family WAS buying cereal regularly, and paying more for it than I wanted to. Now that I bought those 20 boxes, my kids aren't eating it more frequently than they were before- they eat it the same, but at a much lower price.
As for the pasta, that is something I do need to be careful with.
Even though I do buy it, I don't use it at such a fast rate because of the price. Even cheaper than usual, it is still a more expensive starch than rice or buckwheat or polenta. My challenge will be, although I have it in larger quantities, to use it at the same rate as I would had I not bought it on sale.
I agree with my husband that because of limited space, there's a limit to how much I should buy sale things in large quantities. We have a set storage space for food and groceries. I will not buy more than what can fit there, because then our home would be more cluttered, and then I'd end up feeling like this space is too small to live in, and then want to move to a larger home to accommodate all my cheap stuff, and then pay extra to store things I buy cheaper. Same concept as why I consider decluttering frugal. So no, I didn't buy 50 boxes of cereal- 20 boxes was all I could fit in my home without overtaking the food storage area.
The other thing I agree with my husband is that you need to not spend money you don't have to stock up on sale items. If you end up paying interest because you are so short on cash that you need to borrow, because you spent your money on "cheap things" then that is a silly decision. It is wise to try to avoid getting into such a tight spot financially, because buying cheap things in larger quantities does save money in the long run....
What do you think? Is it financially wise or foolish to stock up on sales? Which perspective do you agree with more? Mine or my husband's? Why?
If you liked this post, you might also like:
Bulk Buying- When It Pays and When It Does Not
Decluttering? Frugal or Not?
Bulk Buying With No Extra Money