5 Important Rules of Stockpiling

Did you know there are a couple of simple rules that will make stockpiling much easier? Call them rules or call them stockpiling food tips, but just know they are important.

I’ve been been stockpiling, to some extent, ever since I was a new single teacher on my own. It just made sense to buy the great deals that were on sale. I knew that even if I wouldn’t use them all that week, I would use them soon and save myself money in the long run.

My stockpile and practices have changed over the past 15 years. My stockpile certainly looks different now than it did when I was single, or back when I was newly married. Now that my husband and I have 4 children, I am more convinced than ever on the importance of having a stockpile to take care of my family. I view it as part of my job as a mom. Whatever may come, it calms my heart to know there is food in our pantry.

I truly believe everyone needs a stockpile. If you don’t have one already, now is the perfect time to start! If you do have a stockpile, now is the perfect time to organize and make a plan for your stockpile.

As you work on your stockpile, I hope these stockpiling food tips will help make it easier for you! Yes, these are my own rules that I finally put in writing, so you can add your own rules to the list too.

Here is what I want you to remember when you stockpile food.

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1. Store what you eat and eat what you store.

This might be the most important stockpiling rule of all. If you are not going to eat it, it doesn’t matter how good of a sale it is, don’t buy it! It will waste you money and take up precious storage space.

Your stockpile should be built of the foods you eat, because a good stockpile involves shopping your pantry on a regular basis. If your family doesn’t eat beans, don’t store them. If your family does eat pasta and peanut butter, store that instead. Store the things your family eats, so you can eat the things you store.

Here are a list of 10 things I think everyone can stockpile, but again, you make your own list of what is most important to store.

The one exception? If you have ventured into the long term food storage world of freeze dried food. It is perfectly okay to store these foods that have a 25 to 30 year shelf life for the future and not eat them now.

2. Buy 1 for now and 2 (or more) for later.

If you want to save money (and time) when building your stockpile, follow this rule when you see a great sale. When you find a deal on something your family regularly uses, buy 1 for now and 2 (or more, as you choose) for later.

This rule is intended to get you planning ahead. Don’t just buy what you are going to use this week. Plan ahead and buy what you need this week, plus a couple more for the weeks or months to come.

The more you start doing this, especially when you see a great sale, the more money you will save and the quicker you will build your stockpile.

Having a stockpile means you never want to get down to your last item. Because you are purchasing in multiples, it will make it easier to shop from the pantry because you know you always have extra food.

3. Follow the first in, first out rule when using your stockpile.

In the grocery store world, this is also called fronting your food. In every day terms, it simply means to start by eating the food that will expire first, followed by those with later expiration dates.

I try to stack my food by expiration date. When I bring home applesauce that I just purchased, it goes behind the applesauce that is already on my shelf so I am always eating the older food first.

Keep an eye on expiration dates in your stockpile! You don’t want to waste your money by letting foods expire.

To help you stay organized, you might consider buying a shelf rack for your cans or even a can rotation system for your pantry. The can rotation systems are definitely on my wish list as my stockpile continues to grow!

4. Keep a stockpile list – of what you have and what you want to add to your stockpile.

I’ll be honest. his is actually one of the hardest things for me still! Because my stockpile is part of my working pantry, the numbers are very fluid. I don’t stress over the making a checklist and crossing things off every single time I cook. Plus, due to current world events and ongoing inflation, I am feeling the urge to build my stockpile a bit more aggressively and quickly. So how do I make a stockpile plan?

I recently made a “stockpile minimum” list and wrote down 2-3 dozen things we use all the time and the bare minimum I want to keep on hand at all times.

This can vary for you, depending on if you want enough in your stockpile for 1 month, 3 months or more than that. The idea of creating your own stockpile minimum list is helpful for everyone. It’s quick to do and helps you see where your comfort level is at. Plus, it holds you accountable and lets you see what you need to be purchasing at the next sale.

5. Be more prepared today than you were yesterday.

When it comes down to it, this is your ultimate goal with your stockpile. Be more prepared today than you were yesterday. So simple, but so true, right?

You don’t have to do it all at once. It can feel overwhelming at times with all there is to do. It can also be a temptation to spend a lot of money now that isn’t in your budget just to get it done.

Make a plan. Look at your sale ads for the week and pick up a couple extra sale items at the grocery store. Go to Sam’s or Costco and add an extra pack of toilet paper to your cart. Do something today so you will be more prepared tomorrow.

Your stockpile may still be small or it may be growing, but every single thing you do now will make you more prepared for the future. Isn’t that what we all want?

Those are my simple stockpiling food tips. What rules would you add to my list?

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  1. One rule I would add to the rules for stockpiling is to check the expiration dates on sale items before purchasimy because one time I bought many bottles of salad dressing on sale to find out that some bottles were already close to their expiration date.

    1. Another great rule, Carol! I have done that too…so am getting more vigilant about checking those expiration dates. Thanks for the reminder!

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