So how to stock up without forking out TONS of dough? Well, I've started slowly accumulating the large spice containers. Every time we go to the local Sam's Club, I pick up a spice. It's usually only $3-$5 each time, but it's a start and slowly without even realizing it, we're getting a decent stock pile. I want to buy one of each spice we use, then do a second round and buy more. Today we went to pick up milk and I picked up the corn starch. It's only $2.81 currently, so I picked up two containers of it. It doesn't expire until Jan. 2013, so I figure I have plenty of time to use it up.
In just the last month and a half, we've accumulated cinnamon, chili powder, parsley flakes, oregano, taco seasoning, chicken bouillon cubes & today's addition of corn starch. I noticed a HUGE 64 oz. container of imitation vanilla was $4.81, so that will be our next purchase. It's a small step, but it's yielding big results without even really trying.
And something we've started doing that you might want to consider. There have been times when food is getting close to it's expiration date. I know many who use it after it's "expired" and we do sometimes. But if it's something I know we won't use in a timely manner (peanut butter & oil for example), we've been donating it (before it's expired) to local food banks. Every Christmas there are lots of food drives, and the boy scouts come around once a year and take stuff and so do the postal employees. It's a way to cycle thru things, use our food storage supply without waste and give to the food banks all at the same time.