How do I know how much to stockpile of an item...
This is the question I get asked the most.
The way to stocking a pantry the frugal way: Buy when it’s on sale! Use your coupons when the item is on sale to get rock bottom prices. Buy enough to keep you in stock until the sale cycles again. Doing so, you will never pay full price again.
Here is how I figure out how much of what food is reasonable for my family.
1. Write down your families favorite meals and list ingredients needed to prepare. I had 17 that I found I cooked regularly. Some are only served during the summer, some only during the winter.
2. 80% of your meals will be prepared from your stockpile. 80% of 365 days a year is 292. Then divide 292 by the amount of favorite meals you wrote down. 292 divided by 17 is 17.176. I need 18 of each of the ingredients for each of the 17 meals throughout a year. Ingredients used in more than one dish will require more, such as tomato sauce. I use it in chili, spaghetti, beef stew. So for a year I would need 54 cans.
This method is from the Utah State University Cooperative Extension office. You can download their workbook, complete with instructions and worksheets to make this easy to do. They also have inventory sheets so you will know at all times how much of what you have and how much you need. It's a really great publication that I have used for several years. Just click here.