Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Taking Inventory of my Couponing Stockpile

I had absolutely no idea how much food we had on hand. I mean, I figured we could make it 4 weeks without buying any more. But I had no clue. We could probably last 6 months on the food we have. How did we get it all?

When we got married, we decided that I could stay at home and work selling things on Etsy (it's like eBay but only for homemade things). I wanted to bring in some money but I also wanted to make sure not as much was going out. Enter *Couponing*. I'd heard of people saving a ton of money with coupons but could never figure it out. I mean, why would I buy the "name brand" item (and save $0.25 with a coupon) instead of buying the Walmart brand and save $2? I also REFUSED to have an entire room devoted to toilet paper or something like you see on Extreme Couponing. Like this woman:

No thanks. But I decided to give it a try and found She had a very quick 5 minute video that explained her site and how to use coupons. Buy 1 Sunday paper then look at her website where it compared store deals and then matched them with the coupons. Simple and I could totally do it. It took me a while to get the hang of it but soon I could go to Kroger armed with my little coupon notebook and save 50%, 60% or even 70% on stuff that we ate and used. I learned what's a good price for Cream of Mushroom soup (they retail for about $1.25 at Kroger but I never buy them unless they are under $0.50), that you can still get Bounty paper towels for under $1 each, and that buying on sale and sticking in the freezer saves you tons! So I slowly built up my stockpile. I can't pass on things that are free. Boxed mashed potatoes went on sale for $1 plus it was buy 5 get $5 towards your next purchase. That's free! Add an additional $1 coupon off 2 boxes that I had, and I was making money! And that explains why there are 15 boxes of mashed/Au Gratin potatoes in my cabinet.

But the problem with such great deals couponing is that I just kept buying stuff! They were all crazy deals so it's not a bad things, per se, but we aren't a family of 7 (yet...). It will take the 2 of us quite a while to go through 15 boxes of potatoes. Enter January. My challenge to make 4 weeks worth of healthy and delicious food using only the ingredients on hand. Today (Day 7) I took inventory and organized my freezer (we have a top half freezer and a left side freezer - why does this house have two fridges?!), pantry and cabinets. I was shocked by all the food. We could feed a third world country for a year. On a side note, I did use my couponing knowledge and our stockpile to make a basket of Thanksgiving food for the drive we were doing at church. They even got a few extra boxes of mashed potatoes.

Today's Inventory:

Big Freezer:

2 servings Chili
JalapeƱo  Poppers
Mozzarella sticks
Chicken/Broccoli Casserol
6 Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat
Shrimp Cocktail
Sausage Rotel Quiche
2 packages Bologna
16 Hot Dogs
Brown Rice and Veggies (Steamfresh)
Mixed Veggies(Steamfresh)
Golden Sweet Corn
Brussels Sprouts (Steamfresh)
Mexican Corn
Mixed Veggies
6 bags Okra
2 pounds Squash
Tiramisu Cake
3 hotdog buns
Lima Beans in Butter Sauce
2 servings Potato Wedges
Green beans
1 pound Chicken Breast
2 Pork Chops
4 Beef Tips
4 Hamburger Patties
8 pounds Ground Deer
2 Tai Pei Asian dinners
2 Cool Whip
2 loaves Bread

Smaller Freezer:
5 servings of Beef/Veggie Soup
Deer Poppers
Brunswick Stew
1 pound cooked Sausage
3 servings Chicken Casserole
French Toast Casserole
2 Chicken thighs
2 Mac ‘n Cheese
Cinnamon Apples
Green Beans
10 Sticks of Butter
Shredded Potato

7 boxes of cereal
11 boxes of Mashed Potatoes
9 boxes of Potato Casseroles
3 Helpers (Hamburger, Tuna, Chik)
2 boxes Mac and Cheese
French Fried Onions
Brownie Mix
Cookie Mix
2 boxes Cake Mix

Homemade Bisquick
Noodles (Ziti, Elbow, Angel Hair)
2 boxes Corn Muffins
2 Evaporated Milk
2 Taco Seasonings
2 Meatloaf Seasonings
5 boxes Stove Top Stuffing
Black Beans and Rice
Carol's Pickles
Applesauce, Apple Jelly, Apple Butter
2 Sparkling Ciders

8 Chicken Broth
3 Beef Broth
3 cans Chili
3 cans Pineapple
9 cans Soup (variety)
Mandarin Oranges
Diced Tomatoes
Green Beans
2 cans Sweet Peas
Garlic Cooking Sauce
Red Beans and Rice
2 cans Black Beans
4 cans Cream of Chicken
6 cans Cream of Mushroom
Tomato Paste

Wow. That's a lot of food. Some were donations to the poor newlyweds (10 pounds of deer from Ethan, pickles from my Aunt Carol, some Omaha Steak products from Tim's parents), some I made (all the applesauces, jellies, etc), but most are just slow accumulations over the last 6 months. I love having all this food on hand but if we don't eat it, it's not saving us much money. So it's time to use up some of this stuff before it goes bad!

So here's the question: Do you know how much food YOU have on hand?

1 comment:

  1. we have similar foods thanks to couponing! lol