If the word “stockpile” brings images to your mind of garages stuffed with mustard and basements loaded with enough salad dressing to make a salad to feed the world, then you have been watching too much reality television, and just in case you didn’t know it… reality television is far from reality.
Our family saves money with a modest stockpile and has no reason to rent out a storage facility.
What is stockpiling?
I could start you out by saying what stockpiling is NOT, but I will spare you my personal opinions (and let you click that link over there to find out… if you really want to know.)
A stockpile is a collection of items that your family uses frequently. These products are bought at rock-bottom prices during sales cycles that rotate every 6 to 12 weeks. Sometimes, you can even stack coupons with the sales to add to your stockpile for super cheap or even free. Oh yes… FREE.
How do I get started?
If you want to see the maximum benefit of having a stockpile, then you will need to collect coupons. Whether printed from online sources or purchased with your newspaper on Sunday, coupons can be grouped with sales prices to achieve tremendous savings.
Next, take a coupon class or find a deal blogger with online tips for how to coupon accurately. Coupon bloggers abound, and you can probably find one who specializes in your area and will show you how to match coupons to the sales in your local stores. Why try to do this yourself when you can have someone else do it for you?
Be sure to make a list of what you buy the most before just wildly buying everything on sale. You can use a suggested stockpile list as a guide, but don’t miss any area of your home. Even produce can go on sale for cheap and be great for canning or freezing.
I also recommend having a price book to track sales and to learn what a rock-bottom price is on your favorite products. If you do not have the time (or just don’t want to take the time) to keep track of prices that way, I recommend a short subscription to The Grocery Game. When I first started, I subscribed to The Grocery Game for one cycle and through her lists of sales and coupons, I learned to recognize deals and memorize the prices of the items I purchased the most.
Where to store your stockpile
We have a small 3 bedroom home with a skinny pantry in the kitchen. So, when I first started stockpiling, storage space was an issue. I learned to store products close to where they would be used. We installed shelving in the laundry room close to the ceiling to give me extra storage space for some things, but the majority went under sinks, in closets, and in cabinets.
I have heard of people using storage containers in their garages and luggage under their beds. You might have to get creative like this but the savings will make it worth the effort.
How to use your stockpile
If you are not using the items in your stockpile before they expire, then your money is being wasted. So, consider these tips to get the best use from your stockpile:
- Rotate your items. Place new product to the back of your stockpile, leaving the oldest in the front.
- Check your expiration dates every time you change your clocks, at least twice a year. Move nearly expired items to the front or donate them quickly. (Expired items should be trashed.)
- Make your menu based on what you have in your stockpile. Then, make your grocery list to fill in the ingredients that might be necessary for a recipe.
- Donate generously. If you find that you have purchased too much of an item for your family to use within a 6 to 12 week cycle, give it away to a friend or charitable organization.
A stockpile doesn’t have to be a mountain of toilet paper. A stockpile doesn’t have to involve a radiation-proof bomb bunker.
A stockpile can be a simple addition to the way you shop and add tremendous blessings to how you save.
You can learn more about saving, couponing, and stockpiling in my ebook, Advanced Penny Pinching. Use discount code HSDEALS to get the book for just $2.99!
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Do you stockpile? What are your best tips?
Tabitha is a saved by grace wife to one amazing husband and mother to four terrific kids, ages 9 and under. Blogging under the pseudo-name “Penny” at Meet Penny, Tabitha loves to write about topics including homeschooling, frugal living, homemaking, recipes, Autism, faith, parenting, and motherhood. In 2012, she was ranked number 5 in the Top 25 Homeschooling Moms 2012 at Circle of Moms, recognized as one of the 15 pinners mothers should follow on Pinterest by iVillage, a division of NBCUniversal, and was featured in You Can Do It Too: 25 Homeschool Families Share Their Stories.
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