Buying a 3 Month Supply in Bulk

Ideally, you will purchase your 3 month supply little by little, while taking advantage of sales. However, maybe you haven’t gotten around to it, you haven’t been able to afford it, or you don’t trust your ability to stay on top of sales. You might not live close to regular grocery stores, or you could have any other reason to not add to your 3 month supply little by little.

If any of those reasons to not add to your 3 month supply bit by bit sound like you, you may choose to use your tax refund (or a big chunk of change) and buy a lot of it all at once. When we were helping Grandma Lori with her Food Storage Makeover, she did a big bulk buy for most of her 3 month items, and it worked great. Read more about that adventure here.

Our Babystep 3 teaches you all about figuring out how to make a list of everything you may need for your 3 month supply of food. You can choose to use the spreadsheets included or the printable forms. You may be the type to know exactly what kinds of things you buy each time you shop, and if that’s you – just multiply it by 3 months, and that can be your list. Don’t get so concerned about planning it all out perfectly that you never do anything!

Making the Most of your BIG Shop

Even if you aren’t consistently couponing and/or sale shopping, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of price breaks on your “BIG SHOP”. The easiest way to do this is by using one of our FAVORITE services called Deals to Meals.

Here’s How it Works
1. Sign up for a free trial
2. Search all your local stores for each item on your three month supply shopping list
3. Select items that are flagged as good deals this week
4. Print out your list for all the stores
5. Purchase your food storage at low prices at all the stores, or go to Wal-Mart and price match EVERYTHING

Seriously, it just takes a few minutes and can save you A LOT of money. If you use this service even one time in a month it will more than save you the $4.95 it cost you that month.

Stores put things on sale generally around the same time each year. The best way to stock pile is to purchase things when they are on sale. For a great post on “Understanding Sale Cycles” visit Fabulously Frugal here. We found and shared this post by Fabulously Frugal on our Pinterest! Gotta love the things you find on Pinterest. If you aren’t following us on there make sure you do! Find us here

Check out the rest of tax refund week

Jodi’s Three Month Supply Problem

  • Basement junk making it difficult to reach long term food storage buckets
  • Bags of groceries dumped on the floor BESIDE the shelves
  • Canning supplies scattered in multiple places
  • Shelves for 3 month supply are hard to access, hard to see, and hard to reach

My big excuse is that I had a baby 7 weeks ago. So for probably a good 5-6 months I avoided going down to the storage area like a plague. My sweet hubby would refill my containers upstairs with my long term foods. And my sweet 5 year old son would run down and grab cans of veggies or soup when I needed them for a recipe.

The problem could no longer be ignored when I sent my son down to grab a can of tomato soup for a recipe. He told me there wasn’t any. I didn’t believe him, because I should have at LEAST 10 cans down there. The soup is normally on the left shelf (see above) so I had to navigate around that junk to look for the soup. To my dismay there WASN’T any TOMATO SOUP. UGH! This is not supposed to happen to me.

  • A complete reorganization of my storage space
  • Elimination of space hogging (and leak-prone) water jugs
  • Discarding of multiple foods items that were long past expiration
  • Re-inventory of my three month supply spreadsheet

Once I had reorganized and catalogued my foods I realized how much I had depleted my storage over the past months. My “three month supply” was more like a partial 2 week supply plus a billion stewed tomatoes and mandarin oranges.

  • Print out my list of “Need to Buy” items
  • Use Deals to Meals (LOVE THEM!) over the next few weeks to catch the items when they are on sale
  • Put foods straight onto shelves as I purchase them
  • Fill up my new water storage boxes
  • Buy or build more Can Racks as needed to improve rotation
  • Buy better shelves some day (these are second hand and kind of odd-sized)
  • Keep stocking up on my long term food storage now that I’m using it so much!

We quite often get asked to see an example of a filled out sheet, but I’ve always been a little embarrassed to share what we eat. I’ve finally overcome my fear and I’m willing to share. Hope it is helpful for you!

Jodi’s Three Month Supply Spreadsheet

Grandma Lori 3 month supply SHOP!

If you’re following Grandma Lori’s Extreme Food Storage Makeover, you know that last time we left off with a “to be continued” after Julie made Lori her full shopping list based on her recipes she wanted to use in her three month food supply. The post was titled “We have a Plan”

Well last week Julie was running out of ideas for Mother’s Day presents so she called up Grandma Lori and said, lets get this shopping trip done! (Because once the shopping was done, she could do the real present – which is organizing the whole food storage room) Grandma Lori wanted to go ahead and buy all the food up front, then replace through normal use, and sale shopping…. So it made for a big shopping trip to say the least.

Surprisingly however, the shop wasn’t NEARLY as painful as we thought it would be. We took the excel file that had calculated exactly everything she needed and used it as our shopping guide. Before we went to the store, we took inventory of what she already and then we were actually in and out of the store fairly quickly.


So for Mother’s Day, Julie and her husband went to Grandma Lori’s and transformed that room into a BEAUTIFUL site with great shelves(donated from Can Organizers), some reorganizing, and CUTE LABELS – that you all are going to ask her to do a tutorial on how to make them….! Stay tuned because those pictures and video are coming later this week!


Updated 3 Month Food Supply Spreadsheet

Please note, we now have a NEW three month spreadsheet and tutorial videos that can be found on the Step 3 page.

Using My Grocery List Sale Sheet

So I have ALWAYS wondered – IS COSTCO REALLY CHEAPER THAN WALMART? Well tonight- I put my sale comparison sheet from our 3 month food storage spreadsheet to use. I have been a member at Costco for years, but I only buy my chicken there. Mostly because I’m too lazy to cut off fat, and this chicken is always perfect with no fat. Anyways, every time I go, I look at prices and think, it’s probably cheaper at Walmart, grab my chicken and leave.

SO- I printed out my little sheet that tells me how much I usually spend for things at Walmart. Since I had the sizes and price per oz, it was so easy for me to decide which items to buy at COSTCO vs. WALMART. Anyways, I was really excited it was so useful.

Make sure you take a closer look at the spreadsheet and the tutorial and get yours started today.

3 Month Food Supply – Jodi’s Update (Great Deals!)

Even though we are continuing to learn and talk about our long-term food storage, we are not neglecting BabyStep 3 (building our 3 month food supply). I wanted to share an update as to what I am doing to work towards this step just with my normal grocery shopping each month. Let me start by saying, the Obsessive Shopper is AMAZING! I have picked up a few of the deals she’s pointed out here and there in the past, but this is the first week I decided to use her system on my own and really see what it was all about. It took about 30 minutes of preparation, and then I headed to Smiths (Krogers). Here is a summary of how simple this process really is:

Step 1 – Wrote out my meal plan for the month and wrote down all the ingredients I needed to buy plus anything that was on the “To Buy” list on my fridge

Step 2 – Went to the website and following the Obsessive Shopper’s instructions I highlighted only the 4 and 5 star deals and printed out the list. (I figure anything less than a 4 star is probably safe to assume is cheaper at Walmart.)

Step 3 – Circled any items I planned to buy including:
a. Items on my current shopping list
b. Items that end up being FREE
c. Items that are on my 3-month food supply plan or long-term food storage list

Step 4 – Clipped my coupons for the items that listed coupons on my print-out. This included printing out the “printable coupons” (there were a few really good ones!) and also clipping coupons from my newspaper. I was so happy I had read the post about organizing your coupons on The Obsessive Shopper’s website. It was so easy to find exactly what I was looking for.

Step 5 – Headed to Smiths and was pleasantly surprised at just how little money I spent. I spent $37.04 and saved $21.60 in manufacturer’s coupons and $33.28 in fresh value’s savings. If that doesn’t blow your mind wait until you hear about all the food I got!!!

• 5 lbs of ground hamburger (85% lean)
• 2 boxes of Eggo waffles
• 8 bags of Malt-o-Meal cereal
• 4 boxes of granola bars (Fiber 1, ChexMix, Nature’s Valley)
• 4 boxes of Pop Tarts
• 2 boxes of Cheezit crackers
• 2 boxes of Keebler graham crackers
• 5 packages Hamburger Helper
• 5 packages of Tuna Helper
• 1 box of Pilsbury brownie mix
• 1 can of Pilsbury cake frosting

For $37.04 can you even believe it! Thank you thank you thank you to the Obsessive Shopper and her amazing GrocerySmarts website. If you haven’t used it yet, you are really missing out. I’d recommend subscribing to her blog because she summarizes the best of the deals each week in case you don’t have time to go through the whole process on your own. I obviously will still need to go to Walmart to fill in the gaps in my monthly shopping, but I can handle one quick trip to Smiths per month to get such great deals and to build up my Food Storage. This was a great way to really kick-start my 3-month inventory.