Saturday, January 7, 2012

Inventory + Shopping List = Reduction In $$$ Spent

Earlier this week I talked to you about starting off the year by doing an inventory of the products you have on hand.  Did you do it?  If you did, then you have started your standard shopping list for yourself which is what you need to start living by in order to save money on your groceries.

Here's mine just to show you I really do this.  Yes I use a Spreadsheet

Air SanitizerSprays6
Ajax Canister3
Baking Chocolate 8 (1 oz) SquaresBoxed4
Baking PowderBoxed1
Baking Soda - SmallBox5
Bar SoapBars40
Bay Leafjar1
Bisquick 20 ozBox 2
Butterscotch Morsels 12 ozbag4
Campbells Chicken Gravycan2
Campbells Cream of Chicken canned1
Campbells Sausage GravyCanned3
Campbells Tomato SoupCanned4
Campbells Turkey Gravycan1
Chef Boyardee RavoliCanned2
Chicken BrothCanned3
Chicken BrothCanned2
Chocolate ToppingJar1
Cinnamon Toast CrunchBox4
Coffee Filter 200 CtPackages5
Collard Greenscan4
Cooking Oil Gallon2
Corn 15.25 ozcan6
Corn StarchBoxed1
Cotton Swabs 500 countPackages4
Cottonelle 12 Roll PkPackages4
Cough Drops - Assorted Flavorspackages7
Cream Corn 14.75 ozcan6
Cream of Tartarjar1
Creole Jambalaya Mixbag1
Crystal Light Raspberry IceCanister3
Den Tek Dental Floss - LARGEPackages7
Diced Tomatoescanned2
Dill Weed - Spicejar1
Dish Detergent - 11 ozJar20
Dry Noodles - AssortedBag6
Enchilada Saucecan1
Fabric Softener Sheets 40 ctBox18
Feminine Hygiene Pads  Large PkgPackages4
Flour 5 lbBag2
Foaming Bathroom CleanerCan4
Frozen Veggies - AssortedBags15
Furniture Polish Jar1
Glass CleanerContainer1
Green Beans 14.25 ozcan12
Hamburger 1lb packageRoll4
Hamburger Helper - AssortedBox4
hand/Body Lotion - LargeBottle4
Hidden Valley Ranch DipPackages1
Hot Cocoa MiBoxed1
Hot Dogs 10 pkPackages5
Jello - Assorted FlavorsBoxed10
Johnsonville Sausage - 2pkPackages1
Karo syrup darkjar1
Kidney beanscan3
Libbys Pumpkin Mixcan6
Light BulbsPackages2
Lipton Cup A Soup - 4 Pk  Ckn NdleBox5
Lipton Cup A Soup - 4pk VeggieBox5
Lipton Recipe Secrets Vegetable 2-Pk Box1
Lipton Soup Secrets - Chicken Noodle2-Pk Box11
Lipton Tea Bag 100 ctBoxed3
Manwich can1
McCormick Taco SeasoningPackages7
Meat TenderizerJar1
Nestle Milk Chocolate Morsels 12 oz Bag4
Oyster CrackersBag1
Oyster Saucejar2
Pasta RoniBox1
Peanut ButterJar3
Pop Tarts Brown Sugar/Cinnamon 12 ctBox1
Pop Tarts Chocolate - 12 CtBox1
Pop Tarts Strawberry 12 countBoxed1
Pork Chops 4packPackages2
Poultry Seasoningjar1
Quaker Oatmeal packetsBoxed1
Ramen Noodles 12 Pack - BeefPackages1
Ramen Noodlws 12 Pack - ChickenPackages1
Razor Blades - Refill PackagesPackages6
Rice - PlainBox1
Rice A Roni - AssortedBox6
Scrub Sponges -  6 PkPackages4
Seasoned Rice Vinegarjar1
Sesame Seed Oiljar1
Snack pak Chocolate Pudding 4 pkPackages3
Soft Scrub 24 ozContainer5
Soy Saucejar2
Spaghetti Noodles 1 lb pkgsPackages17
Spic N SpanContainer3
Stewed Tomatoescanned2
Strawberry Jelly - Homemadejar5
Strawberry ToppingJar1
Sugar 5 lb packages2
Swanson Frozen Dinnerpackages1
Sweet Baby Rays Marinadejar1
Sweet N Low 1500 CountBox1
Sweet RelishJar1
Tomato Saucecanned13
Tonys PizzaPackages2
ToothbrushSingle Pk3
Trash BagsBox1
Vlassic Bread N Butter SpearsJar1
Whole Grain oatsCanister1
Worcestershire saucejar1
Zesta crackers - Large BoxBox4

As you can see, there is a lot of stuff on here.

The purpose of having an inventory is two-fold. 

#1 - You always know what you have and how much.  When you make that impulse decision as the store to fix spaghetti tonight for dinner, you know (using my inventory) that you already have the noodles and everything you need to make the sauce.  It will definitely help you cut down on impulse buying if you see that you don't need something.  For instance I have 7 tubes of toothpaste so I don't need any for a while.  However, I only have 3 toothbrushes so I will be keeping my eye out for them.

#2 - The second reason for doing and having a current inventory is that you have started a shopping List.  These are the items we use in my household.  There are more items that we use that aren't on there such as Laundry Detergent.  It's not there which tells me that a) I forgot to add it to the list because I didn't have any unopened containers in my storage.  b)  I need to add it and it is definitely an item that I need to keep my eye out for at a great price.

Additional benefits to having an inventory is that you can start being selective on how much you are willing to pay for certain items.  For instance.  I have 18 (40 ct.) boxes of fabric softener sheets.  I won't need to purchase any for a long, long time.  Now I can be selective on how much I am willing to pay, if anything, for this product.  Because I have a stockpile of the item doesn't mean that I just close my eyes to it.  What it means is that I set a price for myself that I am willing to pay.  Maybe it's $.50 or $.40 or $.25.  The point is I won't need it for a while so I will only purchase it if I can get a really really good deal on it.

Now let's talk about the shopping list for a second.  Now that you have your inventory of current items on hand, you have the beginning of your inventory.  Now there are two things to do:

1)  Print it out and put it in your coupon binder;

2)  Every time you purchase something that your normally use (no impulse purchases), if it's not on the list, add it.  By the end of 2 months, you should have a pretty set in stone shopping list.  That's what you will always take with you when you go to the grocery store, drug store, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. 

Once you have your inventory and shopping list set, you are definitely on your way to cutting cost and savings money on the everyday items that you use. 

Once you print out your list sit down and take a good look at it.  It's very important that you add those items that you use that you are currently out of.  For example, I don't use a lot of mustard during the cold months, but come summer time I will definitely be using the product.  Guess what?  I'm out and it's not on my list.  So, I will add it in the appropriate spot and leave it blank because I don't have any in the stockpile.  Now I do have a container in the frig but that doesn't count because it is open.  I'm only talking unopened items here. 

And there are 3 things that I don't put on the list because I call them running products.  They are milk, eggs, bread.  Odds are that you use them almost daily and need to purchase them weekly.  So do I.  On those items I keep my eye out for who has the best deal.  Now don't get me wrong.  All three of those items can be frozen.  However, with just the two of us at home anymore, it's not worth it financially to me to stockpile those items because someone will always have them on sale.  However, if you have kids at home, freezing these items when they are on sale is definitely something you should consider.

If you haven't done your inventory yet, get busy.  It's a must have to start cutting down the cost of your groceries.



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