I was at Target earlier today and wanted to pick up that great deal on Edy’s ice cream. It is on sale for $2.99, normally around $4.50 – and when you buy five, you get a $5 Target gift card.
Even without a single coupon, that’s just $1.99 each after gift card – which is easily $2.50 – $3 less than the normal shelf price.
There were two women in front of me at the Edy’s freezer door – I assumed taking advantage of the gift card deal. The first lady picked out three gallons of ice cream, put them in her basket and moved on.
I was so surprised. Maybe she had missed the big signs hanging on the freezer doors promoting the sale? I shyly said to her, “You know, if you get two more gallons, you will get a $5 gift card at checkout. That’s like getting back $1 per gallon.”
She thought about it for a moment and said, “Really? Hmmm… Yeah, but I don’t think we need five gallons,” and walked on.
I think my jaw may have hit the floor!
With the sale, she was paying $9 for three gallons. If she had bought two more gallons, she would have paid $10 (after the $5 gift card). One more dollar for TWO more gallons of Edy’s ice cream?! Why pass that up?
It wasn’t like she said, “I don’t have room to store five gallons.” She specifically said, “I don’t think we need five gallons.”
But that’s the thing about strategic stockpiling. You may not NEED five gallons of ice cream today, but if you’re anyway buying three, odds are you will eat five gallons before the summer’s over. No?
Strategic stockpiling is a complete change in mindset from the way most of us – including that woman at Target today – have learned how to shop.
We aren’t just buying for right now. We are buying for the future.
We are buying in “bulk” when the items that our family eats (and obviously, her family eats ice cream – she was buying three gallons!) hit their rock bottom price.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume her family eats one gallon of ice cream every two weeks. (Light ice cream eaters .) Not on sale, that works out to be about $2.25/week, based on the regular shelf price (which varies between $4.50 and $5.25).
Now, if you strategically stockpile when that Edy’s is on sale for $1.99 per gallon (or as low as $1.49 with coupons), instead of paying $2.30 per week, you are paying just $1 or even $.75 per week. On ice cream alone, you are saving $1.30 – $1.55 per week.
Do that across just ten or fifteen items in your normal grocery cart and you’re saving $70 or more a month – simply from strategically stockpiling a handful of the items that your family most frequently eats.
As I said, I was pretty shocked that she passed on the ice cream. Next time her family has a hankering for Edy’s Slow Churned Mint Chocolate Chip, she’ll be paying a 200% premium. Shame!
For more on strategic stockpiling, checkout some of these oldie-but-goodie posts:
Are you a strategic stockpiler? Have you found that it helps you cut your grocery budget?