When the pandemic began way back in 2020, a lot of us realized how little we hard around the house, and how much we relied on frequent trips to the store.
I realized as soon as things started disappearing from shelves that I’d been living on the edge regarding many things, including things I’d consider quality-of-life necessities, like toothpaste and, of course, toilet paper.
A friend of mine with a car and a Costco card and a family decided he would do a big trip or two to the store, and buy enough of the stuff they needed, so that they wouldn’t have to go to the store for three months straight.
Three months was kind of arbitrary, but given the arbitrary shortages we were facing (and the extra time on my hands), I decided to take up the three month challenge myself.
Now, I don’t have a car or a family, so in some senses this was both a little harder and a lot easier for me than it was for my friend.
We were also both in the position where the relatively big expenditure sucked, but we had enough money to pay for it.
Knowing that everything I bought would also be used someday made me feel a bit better about it.
Anyway, over the next couple of months, I built up a three-month supply of everything I needed and liked.
I didn’t do it all at once like my friend did: I just basically doubled the amount of stuff I bought every time I went to the grocery store, keeping lists of what I was storing up and how much.
Now to the point of this post: one thing I realized over time was that I could now pick and choose when I wanted to buy anything, because it was never a necessity.
So, I naturally found myself only buying things when they went on sale, and were available at a discount.
That’s the simple trick I learned by accident.
When I go to the store now, it’s rarely with a list, unless I’m preparing something special, or especially perishable (though you can freeze a lot more things than you might think! I sure had a lot to learn about that myself). I just walk around and buy stuff that’s on sale that day.
Of course, not everyone can build up a store of stuff like that so quickly. If it’s out of your current budget, just buy one extra thing every time you go to the store. Not a duplicate of every item — just one extra thing you need or really like to have, that you wouldn’t normally buy on that trip.
After a year or two, you’ll have built up a three-month store of stuff, and you’ll never have to pay the regular price for anything again.