Thursday, December 18, 2014

Should You Stockpile?

Today's question--Should you stockpile?

I would give this question a big YES answer!

I don't care what your family size, living situation or yearly income, stockpiling is a wise choice.

Stockpiling will save you money, probably save you time and help you get organized if done thoughtfully.

By waiting until items go on sale or their rock bottom price to buy them.....and then not buying them again until they go back to that rock bottom WILL  save money.  And you can do this with not only grocery items, but HBA products, paper goods, clothing, gifts, and just about anything you need/want to buy.

But all this saving does mean you have to do a little work, plan ahead and be a little organized.

Everyone no matter where they live has room for some sort of stockpile.
Even those you live in a rented room or a small apartment can get creative with ways to store their stash.  An easy stashable place is to put your bed on risers so you can store plastic tubs underneath.  And fill those tubs with goods you get at rock bottom price(RBP).
Have you got unused oddly confrgured space under a stairway?  That's a great place to stash products.  A high shelf in a closet you can't reach easily?  Store some stockpile there since you only need to access it on occasion.

If you have limited space for a stockpile think smart and stockpile the items that will save you the most money by buying at rock bottom price.  If you only have room to stash 12 bottles of something and it's a choice between 12 bottles of spaghetti sauce(where your savings are $3)and 12 bottles of shampoo(where your savings are $20) you know which is the better use of your cash & space, right?

Once you stash away items you got great deals on be sure to rotate your stock, just like the grocery stores do.  Put your newest items at the back of the shelf, etc. so that the older ones get used first.  Take a marker and put the date you bought the item and/or the date it needs to be used by.

And it does help to write down a master list of what you have so you can see, without having to actually go look at your stock, how much you have of which items on paper or on an electronically stored list.

If you are new to stockpiling, start small, BUT START!
If you don't have large wads of cash to just go buy lots of items, start small, by taking $5 or $10 of your weekly grocery budget(or whatever you can spare)and using it to buy extras of something you regularly use that are at a rock bottom price that week.

This is how I started, by buying loss leaders in quantities to last our family until that item went on rock bottom price again, when I'd stock up again.

I did a thorough post about Stockpiling back in 2010.  If you want to learn to stockpile I'd suggest you go read that article HERE .

I found this site that guides you to build a stockpile of necessities in a year with only spending $5 a week HERE .  Of course you can change items bought to suit your situation.

Now that this is my shopping norm, if you look into my grocery cart each week, it's not like most people's carts with a wide assortment of goods.
This week you'd see lots of peanut butter, cold cereal and frozen veggies because those are the best deals now.  A couple of weeks ago it was lots of coffee and bacon or canned tomatoes and not much else.

If you don't feel you can stay on top of a grocery stockpile(with using items before they are out of date)then stockpile HBA products or laundry detergent, toilet paper, or other items that don't go "bad".

Even if they don't release coupons for what you buy, you can still save money by waiting until an item is the lowest price to buy it. (Of course, if you can pair a coupon with a sale that's even better.)  If the place you shop at doesn't ever put what you buy on sale, then do some research and find another place to buy those goods.  Don't limit yourself to grocery/drug/warehouse stores.  Consider trying Discount Food Outlets or Restaurant Supply Stores, Farm Stands, Buying from a Farmer Directly, CSAs or even Grocery Auctions.  Think outside the Grocery Store box.....

Other ways to save money on the items you need is to start or join a co-op or food buying club.
Some folks use warehouse clubs(Sam's BJ's Costco, etc.)and buy in bulk to save money on groceries.
If you don't stockpile, once you start buying at these stores it may force you to, because of the large quantities you are required to purchase. ;-)

I don't find shopping at those sorts of stores helpful very often, unless I need very large quantities.  If you can split what you buy with a neighbor or friend at one of these warehouse clubs, that can solve that problem some times. 

But be careful as just because it's a large quantity doesn't always mean you are getting a great deal.
I recently activated a Sam's Club membership I had won in a giveaway.  Hubs and I took over an hour to just stroll the store and check on the prices of items we use and compare them to my rock bottom prices at the regular grocery stores.  Most items at Sam's were a comparable price(w/the rock bottom prices)but I didn't have to buy in mass quantities at the grocery stores that the warehouse store required.  Some items seemed a great deal but once you broke it down into unit sizes it wasn't a deal at all.  If I still have a family of 5 or more to buy from the warehouse club might be a better choice for us or if I had a stand-alone freezer still.

Once you get the hang of shopping this way it will come natural to you.
Thanks to my efforts, we are on track to spend under $5K on food/toiletries for the year for my family.....and that's for EVERYTHING food, HBA, laundry detergent, cleaning products, dog food and paper goods related.

Even though we have spent so little on food/toiletries/etc. we can find ways to bless others as well.

Anonymous commented on my last stockpile post that I may have "too much" for my small family.  If they haven't been reading here for a few years they may not have realized that what they suggested I already do......

*  I fill giveaways boxes with excess items and gift them on this blog(and pay out of pocket for the postage).  I've been doing this for about 5 years now.

*  I take bags of excess items to friends and family when I visit them. 

*  I hauled bags of toiletries through the Midwest this Summer to give away.

*  I took 20 tubes of toothpaste to the Blogger get-together to give away last March. 

*  I have a box of items for my brother in-law for Christmas and a box of items to take to my son & his GF in Pittsburgh later this month and another box started to take to my daughter's house in LA sometime after the 1st of the year.

*  I use to sell my excess at a local flea market and hold stockpile sales(like a garage sale) though I haven't had to do that in a few years since I scaled back how much I stockpile.

*  And I give to the local food bank.

This week all this is going to my local food bank......

20 bottle of shampoo.  I bought 20 Qs specifically for the sale on Tresemme last week at Rite-Aid, getting 20 bottles for pennies.  Even paying $3 for the Qs from a clipping service this was still an awesome buy!

Plus 10 bottle of laundry detergent also for the food bank.  Didn't have to buy any extra Qs for this score so it was acquired even more frugally.

I have been giving to my local food bank since 2009.  I use to give more when I couponed more vigorously.  I still try to give a few times a year.

If you go back to Thanksgiving of 2011, I instigated the Great Gravy Caper.
If interested you can read about that adventure HEREHERE, HERE, HERE .  That was fun and reminds me how much I miss Judy. 8-(

But enough about stockpiling and shopping for now.
Lets get back to Christmas stuff.....




  1. I suppose you need to post a notice like this each year. Maybe new readers don't realize what you do.

  2. This post makes me a little jealous! I am so low on shampoo, conditioner and laundry detergent.

    And another benefit of stockpiling. Your hubby doesn't have to volunteer to go to the store in the rain, in a wheelchair, because you ran out of the one thing you need to make a goodie for your Christmas get together.

  3. Is there a woman's shelter in your area? Many don't think of them when donating but they always need stuff. Good for you for donating.

  4. I love to stockpile but my load isn't what it used to be. Since it is just me and Den the pile has shrunk but I still look. I also can't seem to find the deals that I used to could. Even one of the big bloggers around here that used to spend next to nothing on all of their needs came out a while ago and said that there was no way she could feel her family on so little. Stores just won't cooperate around here. The next time that you come out for a visit, we will have a coupon off. LOL I'm sure you will win.
    After the holidays, I'm hoping to get our bills back down. It's been kind of crazy here. Mind you, we won't have a credit card bill waiting for us but I had to float a few things for a week or two and that never happens.


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