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How to 'shop from home' more often

Last week I introduced you to the concept of stockpiling groceries and spilled the beans on what's hiding in my basement: a small-scale "grocery store" at home. Like many people, I'm always on the lookout for great deals. But unlike the typical shopper, I think nothing of buying 5, 10 or perhaps even 15 of an item when it is on sale.

To really save money at the grocery store, shoppers need to break the habit of buying what they need each week and instead look beyond the current week's needs. If shampoo is on sale for $2 and you have six $1.50 coupons, how many bottles should you buy? Six! While you might only need one bottle now, shampoo is an excellent item to stockpile. It has a long shelf life and is easy to store. Six bottles of shampoo will probably last your household the better portion of a year. At 50 cents each, a very low price, they're a great deal.

What if you decided to buy just two bottles? Not only would you miss out on the opportunity to save in the long run on this item, but you also would essentially be throwing money away in the form of the four coupons you chose not to use. Think ahead: after you use up your second bottle of shampoo, what will happen? You'll head to the store when you need more shampoo. The chance is slim that it will be at its lowest sale price on the day you need to buy it. Your next bottle of shampoo may cost you $3.50 when it could have cost just 50 cents. And, instead of simply going to your stockpile and "shopping at home" for the next bottle, you might also have to make a special trip to the store.

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