Friday, February 8, 2013


 Today I welcome April from Countryside Life as my guest blogger,
she has some great money
 and organization saving tips to offer. 
  Thanks for helping out April!


Hello, My name is April, and I am a Christian homeschooling mom, a farmer's wife, and a minister's daughter and a gardener from Missouri.  My husband works full time outside the home and I for the most part am at home, although I do run a small business as a CPR instructor our of my home.  I also volunteer as an EMT, as a Girls Scout volunteer, 4H leader and help with Church camp each summer.   It seems as my girls get older (the youngest two are 14 now), I put more on my plate, so needless to say, I stay busy.

In order to be a stay at home mom, I hove learned to cut back where I can.  I am frugal (although my kids sometimes call me cheap!).  We have an orchard, garden and fruit trees, and I can, freeze and dehydrate our food, we also grow our own pork, beef, and fish.  I cook from scratch, bake our bread, sew, and I make my own soap...As I said, I keep BUSY!

However, busy can often cause disorganization, and disorganization can cost money.  One way I save is by having a large pantry.  Upstairs, in my kitchen I have a standard built in pantry.  But downstairs, is "the Emporium" as my husband calls it.

I had someone ask me why most homeschooling families have large stock up pantries. I don't think it is a matter of being a home-school family, but rather I think it is being more common for single income families to have a stock up pantry, and, most homeschooling families are running their household on a single income.  Therefore, we tend to be a little more frugal.  I also take into consideration the fact that for me, it is 5 miles to the nearest grocery store, and almost 30 to the nearest Aldi or Wal-Mart. I can't afford the time or the gas to run into town daily to purchase one item I lack for making dinner.

I don't stock up on everything.  I don't on TP, paper towels or paper items, because I have lost those items before to to a broken water pipe, and they are a fire hazard.  They are also bulky to store.  Items in plastic or cans are easier.  I also don't stock up on short shelf life items.

Most of my stock up nonfood items come from sales at CVS, Walgreen or Dollar General.  By combining the sale price and coupon you can often get the item for free.  I have a year of supply of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, soap, dish soap, deodorant, razors, shaving cream...but a good part of it I got free or close to it.  For example, every so often CVS has VO5 shampoo on sale for 77 cents.  I usually have 4 coupons for VO5 for 75 cents off that appear in the paper on a regular basis.  So, I get 4 bottles and pay 2 cents each, so 8 cents for 4 large bottles of shampoo.  If I just waited to get it when we needed it, I would be paying full price possibly, my current coupons would be expired and they may not come out with another sale and coupon combo when I needed it.

I also am not brand loyal to many items.  This allows me to take advantage on any shampoo that is on sale and combine it with coupons, instead of having to wait for a certain brand to come on sale.  Each week you can count on at least one brand being on sale.

My coupon book is always with me when I shop, so if I find unadvertised sale items, I can take advantage of the sale price with a coupon.  However, if it is an item I can still get for less by purchasing it elsewhere or a different brands, then it isn't a good deal.  I keep it organized by keeping my coupons in pockets divided by categories.  Expired coupons I send off for overseas military personnel to use.

My pantry shelves are all labeled.  This keeps my items organized.  No matter who puts items away, they can tell by the labels where it needs to go.  You can also tell at a single glance what items we are low on.  Organization is the key for stockpiling a pantry.  You must know what you need, what you don't need, and when items will go out of date.  You won't save any money if you pay for items and have them expire or rot on you.  Keeping it organized also prevents you from making a special trip to the store to buy pickles when you already have 4 jars on the shelf

My husband built my pantry, out boards, and some concrete blocks from the barn and some extras that my dad had.  In a few weeks, we are getting ready to add on to my pantry, by adding another section.

Couponing and pantry stocking don't have to be on a large scale.  You can even do it on a smaller scale by taking advantage of using an empty closet or space under a bed.

You can also use this to not only help your own budget, but that of others as well.  Each week I take into our local crisis center items to donate that I don't use or need that I got for free.  I get a receipt for taxes and someone in need gets shampoo, diapers, tuna or Rague that they need.



  1. I do all the same things as you. My kids call our basement stockpile "Walmart". LOL
    I home schooled our son and later on adopted his best friend. We feed an average of 8-10 teenage boys a day in our home and they will eat anything. I also live 30 miles from a store and can't afford the gas to run into town everyday. I cook from scratch and bake everyday. The boys can eat a whole batch of cookies in one setting. We also have a garden and an orchard. I get my eggs from my bestie and purchase our meat from a local organic grower. It was so nice to read your post and see someone else doing the same as me. Great read, I sure enjoyed it!

  2. Great post, April! I too live in the country and have found that if I stock up, using coupons and sales, it saves money and time.

  3. Thank you ladies. I have found that stockpiling has paid off several times around here! It saves on trips to town to the grocery store when company drops in, or when we are snowed in, or if I am just too tired, busy or sick to get to town.



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