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Several weeks ago I wheeled my shopping cart to the check-out at Wal-Mart, full of nothing but ground beef. Lots and lots of ground beef. SIXTY pounds of ground beef to be precise, in twenty 3-pound packages.

Insane? Maybe. Except 3-pound packages were a mere $2.50. I haven't seen ground beef that cheap in years. I bought enough to last my family (11 people) 3 months, and paid only $53 with tax. Sweet.


This month I also bought a month's worth of cereal for $1 a box, a month's worth of brown sugar and powdered sugar for 44 cents/pound, and 6 meals worth of turkey at 40 cents/pound. ('Tis the season for great prices on turkey, after all!)

Having these staples in my pantry and freezer gives me more wiggle room in my grocery budget in the coming months. I might choose to use the extra for Christmas shopping. Maybe my hubby and I will go out to eat. Or maybe I'll set aside a bit of extra money for the dining room remodel we're scheming.

That's the beauty of seriously stocking up. Each time I take advantage of a good sale, I increase the flex-- and the freedom!-- in my family's budget. Since my household is large, I stock up to a degree that seems intimidating to some. And I know not everyone has the amount of freezer space I do. But the truth is that any family can improve their cash flow simply by clearing a bit of space in the pantry or freezer and stocking up when prices hit rock bottom.

How can you make sure you're buying at rock bottom prices for your area? I'll talk about that in my next post.


Mary Ostyn is the author of FAMILY FEASTS FOR $75 A WEEK. She writes at Owlhaven.