I feel like stockpiling has gotten a bad name, thanks in large part to the hoarders shown on Extreme Couponing. Yet, I believe there are many people coming back around to the value of a stockpile – especially as it pertains to saving money! I believe having a stockpile, along with using coupons, is one of the best ways to save money on your grocery bill. You will save substantially if you can shop your stockpile instead of the stores when you run out of items.
My definition of a stockpile is simple. A stockpile is simply shopping ahead for items you regularly use when these items are at their rock bottom prices. A stockpile should be full of items you will use – before they expire. A stockpile should be built with money inside your budget. A stockpile is built over time and customized to fit the needs of your family.
Everyone’s stockpile looks different but the premise is the same. When you find a good deal on a product you regularly use, buy enough to last you until the next sale (around 8 to 12 weeks). With things that don’t expire like paper products, laundry detergent and diapers, I stock up as much as my budget and storage space allow. For example, I have a set of shelves full of toilet paper and kleenex. There’s nothing worse than running out of these basics so I stay stocked up, thanks to my bargain shopping!
A stockpile saves money because you are buying items at their lowest prices instead of paying full price. For example, I’ll use a recent purchase of mine. Last week, Meijer had their canned vegetables on sale 3 for $1. This is more than half off their regular price. Since canned vegetables have an expiration of 2016, I bought a dozen cans at this price. By doing this purchase, I saved myself $6 since I won’t have to pay full price for any of these vegetables. Now, the cans sit in my stockpile waiting to be used for dinner. Side note – October and November are great times to stock up on canned goods and baking supplies for your stockpile!
I’ve written about stockpiling before because I do have a stockpile. I have a small kitchen so not much fits on my shelves. My pantry and my stockpile are in my basement. You can see a picture with my article about 10 basic items I always stockpile. Here are the items I believe any family can / should stockpile.
- Paper products – toilet paper and paper towels
- Laundry detergent
- Personal products – shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Creamed soups – cream of chicken and cream of mushroom
- Canned tomato products – diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce
- Peanut butter
- Soap – dish and hand
- Cheese (in the freezer)
I also try to stockpile meat in my freezer, when I find a good deal. I also keep all my cheese that I grate in the freezer. (Blocks of cheese don’t freeze as well as grated.) Because I am a baker, I also stockpile flour, sugar and chocolate chips. Finally, since I have a baby, I’ve been stockpiling diapers since before he was born. In fact, I’ve accumulated over 2500 diapers for under $50!
Like I said, your stockpile will look different than mine. Maybe you go through cereal like I go through tortilla chips. Challenge yourself to start slowly building a stockpile. Commit a set amount to stockpiling each week, if you want the extra motivation. You’ll be amazed how far even $5 can go when you are buying items at their lowest prices! If you have a stockpile already, continue adding to it! What items do you keep in your stockpile?
To read the previous tips in this series, you can do so here.