- You have a full fridge but share it with multiple people and the same goes for cabinets
- You have a full fridge to yourself but not a lot of cabinets
- You have just a mini fridge and some sort of cabinet space that is your own
- You have a full fridge that you share with a lot of people and same goes for cabinets. However, you also have a mini-fridge.
BUT WAIT! Am I telling you to stuff 50 boxes of cereal under you bed? No. That is utterly ridiculous. You need to get you enough of the item to last you 2 months. So this is when you have to take a step back and say "how much of an item do I use in 2 months." If you and your roommate all share food then you might use a lot more cereal in 2 months then I do eating alone. Another thing to consider is that I do not have a stove and I know that this is common in some dorms, because you might be required to have a large meal plan. So, this means your supply needs to be limited to microwave meals. That means do not use your coupon on seasonings even if you get them for a dime. You do not have room for it and you will never use it! With such a small space you have to think wisely.
Krazy Coupon Lady suggests "One method that seems to work well is this: Create a list of the 12 meals you cook most frequently, then write all the ingredients for all of those meals in one big list. Keep that list handy and as you build your stockpile, cross of the items on your list as you go."
I think as students we can break this down a little better. If you have a meal plan you might not need to stock up so much of baking items, but instead you need snacks and microwavable food. So instead write down the 20 things you eat the most of. There will be things that automatically pop in your mind (I always eat pop-tarts, I love Ramen Noodles, I need Mt. Dew), but remember the staples (milk)! Now next to those things, write how much you think you use of it in 2 months and in 6 months. These will be your buy price ( 2 month) and stock up price (6 month). Because of your limited space you really want to save your cabinets and stock up box for the things you really enjoy.
I have used a lot of websites stock-pile price point lists to help you out and those awesome blogs will be listed for you at the end of this blog. I also made a new tab where you can always have access to the list. Look for your must have items on the list. These will be the ones you will most want to stock up on because it will save you the most money. How will it save me money if I'm buying more? Think of it like this. Let's say you spend $4.00 on cereal every 2 weeks. However, with coupons and sales prices you can sometimes find cereal for $1.00. If you stockpile when you find that dollar price and get 6 boxes of cereal it will cost you $6.00 for one trip. However, although it is $6.00 instead of $4.00, it is really $6.00 versus the $24.00 you would have spent in the time it will take you to finish your stock. It is really impossible to save a lot of money couponing without stockpiling, and this can be challenging as a student. But we can do it!
As I mentioned earlier, I have compiled a list for you of things I think every college student needs. With it you will find the BUY price, this means it is a good deal, and a stock-up price. The stock up price means get enough for 6 months. However, be realistic. It might feel amazing to get a bar of soap for free. So because it's free you get 45 bars. If you are the only person who used said soap and even if you used a bar of soap a week (average is one or two bars a month depending on size and brand) you would have enough soap for almost a year. Be realistic, if you get soap for free (awesome) get about 10-15 bars, and DO NOT buy soap for a while. If you feel the need to buy the free soap because you can but you can't use it. Donate it to charity. Don't let it take up valuable space. Really it comes down to knowing yourself and knowing how much YOU use vs. the space available.
One thing a lot of sites suggest is stockpile prices on fruit and meat. The only way to really "stockpile" this is to freeze it. Remember that you do not really have freezer space (unless you are a rare student that brought a deep freeze to the dorm) that these Moms have. I suggest if you really like a certain fruit of meat buy double what you usually would and freeze half of it. If it is a mega great price and you feel you have the room to stock it, go ahead of course! Just remember it might take up room for months, and if you share your space this might really bother them. Make sure to talk to your roommates about the allotted space for your groceries and stick to it.
Also, always check your expiration dates. If you just knew you would use all of those pasta meals you got for 0.30. So you bought 40 of them and now you have 20 left with only 2 weeks to eat them. In a case like this it is great to donate your goods! They will most certainly use them in that time period and you will feel good about not wasting food or money.
If there are any questions at all please ask! My stockpile list is here, but I wanted to get this article out yet so I'll be adding more and more very soon (hopefully by the end of the week)! It will stay at the top in tabs for easy access!
Krazy Coupon Lady
Money Saving Mom
For the Mommas
Cuckoo for Coupon Deals
Probably the most inclusive list is the one at Coupon Connections.