Denise Harkness MI A Recipe for Stockpiling
I started using coupons and refunding back in the 1980s. I purchased Micheles book, How to Shop Like a Coupon Queen, when I saw an ad for it in a small coupon file I bought. I was immediately hooked. I used coupons on and off over the years but I really started getting serious after I married my husband in 2002. Were a blended family and the more mouths to feed equaled the need to save more money.
At first my family thought I was crazy but theyve all finally accepted my hobby and have even joined me. My step daughter works at Kroger and is always bringing me coupons she finds left behind by others. My children love to help me clip coupons. For my birthday this past year, my husband bought me Micheles Deluxe Coupon File.
I started keeping track of my refunds this year using a spreadsheet. Its so exciting to see the total amount rising. My husband likes to hear how much weve saved so far. Im also keeping a list of premiums Ive received. I love using these as Christmas gifts.
All was happy and well until the stockpiles started getting out of hand. When I realized I had 50 jars of Ken's Ranch Salad Dressing, 14 tubs of Nutella, 14 jars of Wishbone Salad Dressing, a ton of Owls Nest Cheese, and a freezer full of Pillsbury pie crusts, I knew something had to be done. We couldnt eat salad with Ranch dressing EVERY night and just how many apple pies could one person make? So I started my Stockpile Recipe Book.
I keep several recipes for every food item I frequently keep in my stockpile. I have a simple three-ring binder with tabs. I label the tabs with the food item and I place them in alphabetical order. For instance, one tab reads Nutella. Under this tab I have pages of delicious recipes using Nutella. I found some recipes in magazines and others on the Nutella web site. We dont have to eat Nutella plain on bread for weeks on end.
Another tab reads Wishbone. For me, thats always an Italian-type dressing. Here I have recipes for pasta salad, steak marinade, salsa, and potato salad. I could make an entire meal using up the dressing.
For the pie crusts, I have recipes for fruit pies, meat pies and tarts.
Other binder tabs I have: Bisquick, Cake Mix, Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, Mayo, and Frozen Items. The list goes on. You can make a tab for any item you find a good deal on and stockpile on a regular basis. If you stockpile, I strongly recommend you start one. Its surprising how many different things you can make out of one product. Think outside the conventional use. Recipes can often be found right on the product packaging. If you have a computer you can look up the companys website for recipes. Even doing a search on the web can yield many new recipes. (Maybe Michele will start a place on Refund Cents where we can exchange recipes?)
You can plan your menus and do your grocery shopping based on what you have in your stockpiles and freezer. It eliminates repetitive dishes and having the items expire before you can use it up, saving you even more!
Denise Harkness (aka Cinn)
White Lake, MI