Mum’s viral $50 stockpiling plan
As Aussies strip supermarket shelves in the wake of coronavirus, a Perth mum has revealed her secret stockpiling shopping method - and it's going viral.
Zara Avila's now widely-shared Facebook post explains in-depth how to build up household supplies over time - not overnight.
Speaking to news.com.au, the mum-of-two said she learned the system from her parents and it is one she and her family have successfully used for the past three years.
"It's not something we do because of coronavirus, it's something we do as a single income household," Ms Avila said.
While she is delighted her method it has struck a chord with so many, she said she wants people to understand she doesn't condone panic buying.
"It [the system] needs to be enacted in a slower format given the current climate. People don't need to go out right now and purchase crazy amounts."
Taking to a stockpiling Facebook group, Ms Avila said she was moved to share her method to help those wanting to build a stockpile with their $750 government grant.
She said while she wasn't eligible for the grant, she was a "brilliant stockpiler and money manager" and revealed her weekly method meant she didn't spend more than $150 per week in total.
"Meat, fresh stuff, groceries for a family of four," she explained in her post adding: "If I was struggling and couldn't afford much, I could literally get away with a $50 shop per week."
MAKE A COMPREHENSIVE LIST
Before revealing details, she advised people receiving extra money not to spend all "$750 in one hit". She said the money could be spent over three months.
She explained her system was built on creating an extensive and comprehensive list. It should also include non-food items like nappies and laundry powder.
Then check weekly supermarket specials. If an item on the list is available 20-50 per cent off, you buy additional products (with a view to these lasting between four to six weeks).
"So like Napisan was 50 per cent off this week, I bought six months worth. You then just buy your normal groceries," Ms Avila said.
"Every week you should buy one to three items on your list in bulk as they go on special. "One week you might get tonnes of shampoo, the next week you get tonnes of dishwashing tablets.
"If nothing is on special you buy an extra one to two things that are never on special (like homebrand stuff) as your back up and save the rest of your budget for next week when something new is on sale."
EMPLOY THE TWO SYSTEM
The second step of her method revolves around the idea of a "two system". This means there are always two of every item in her cupboards. One is currently in use, while another acts as a backup.
"Everything from sauces to tinned veg to pasta to oil. This way if you have a dodgy week and literally can't afford something, it's OK - you have your backup and can get a new backup next week."
Ms Avila said while initially the outlay could feel like you were spending more because you were buying more in addition to the items you needed, you saved over time by not paying full price.
"Because you are buying so much of one thing and you still need to buy everything else you need. But suddenly you aren't buying laundry powder when it's $30 a box anymore because you have tonnes from when it was $15.
"So you literally save yourself more money every single week you follow my plan."
The mum said the advantage to using her system also meant if the family experienced a drop in finances one week, it was possible to "shop from the stockpile because you have your two system" and simply top up with basics like bread, milk, fruit, vegetables and meat.
"I have stockpiles of so much stuff - razors, pads, toothpaste, shampoo, coffee, soft drink, nappies, wipes, toilet paper, because of this method," Ms Avila said.
LEARN THE CYCLES OF SPECIALS
The mum also revealed how shopping this way enabled her to figure out when supermarkets ran specials on various items.
"Like razors are half-price two to four times a year. So you always buy enough to get through three to six months. Whereas toilet paper is on special fortnightly, so don't panic in that department (except this isn't working right now, but if you used my method it wouldn't be an issue for you anyway!).
"You also need to remember to keep stockpiling. So just because I bought six months (worth) of Napisan this week doesn't mean I won't buy any more for six months.
"I'll just put that one on the backburner until there's a week where nothing I need is on sale but that is."
Ms Avila said if she didn't use her savings method, she would expect to spend at least $240 a week for her family of four.
With her system, it's $150, including her stockpiling budget.
"Anyway, sorry for jabbering on, I just thought someone might find this useful," she said.
Her inspirational post has already gathered 1300 reactions as well as 480 comments from other stockpilers who congratulated her for her clear explanation.
One wrote: "This is the best explanation I've seen. It's exactly how I stockpile too. I have done it like this for years now and when hubby and I first got together he was so sceptical that it worked, but now he is totally converted."
Another added: "I do same as you, never run out of anything but continue every shop day to restock. l have enough dishwashing detergent to last me two years."
A third keen to try the stockpiling system wrote: "Thank you for this information. So going to try this. I have two adults and four children to feed and do about $400-450 a week on shopping."