Monday, February 14, 2011

Stockpiling 101

I've received a few emails about stockpiling, so I thought I would do a 101 post to help everyone out.

What is a stockpile?

A stockpile is basically "extras" that you have on hand. When an item that you use is at a rock bottom price or free, you buy larger quantities that you will need and keep it in storage. Stockpiles can be freezer items, non perishables, toiletries, etc. Once you have a good stockpile your weekly food budget will go down significantly as you will be well stocked on shampoo, toothpaste, rice, etc. Some weeks we only have to buy perishables.

Building your stockpile

Creating a stockpile is easy! If you have been couponing for a while, you know you can get lots of great deals at rock bottom prices. Use these items to create your stock pile with items that you regularly use. I wouldn't recommend going to Costco and getting a huge jug of ketchup at full price. That doesn't make much sense. When a commonly used item is at a deep discount or free, you want to stock up on it!

The cost of a stockpile

It really shouldn't cost you much or anything at all out of your weekly grocery budget to create a stockpile. Going out and getting a bunch of groceries with a few coupons just to create a stockpile isn't worth your time and money. It may take several months to create a stockpile depending what is on sale and what coupons you have. Some weeks I will come home with one or two free items for our stockpile, other weeks it will be several bags worth. Do your regular grocery shopping and stay within your budget and add to your stockpile when you can.

Organizing your stockpile

Once you start getting items for a stockpile, you'll want to set aside space designated just for those items. You'll want a cool and dry area. Depending on your living situation you can turn a drawer or closet into stockpile storage. Personally, I like to keep ours in the basement on a 4 tier rack(which we are quickly outgrowing.)

Other helpful hints

*You will want to keep it fairly organized so you can see what you have, what you need and expiration dates. Every 2-3 months I go through mine and rotate stock. If I know we have way too much of something, I will donate it rather then let it go to waste.

*In case of leakage, keep food separate from toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc.

*Stockpiling is a process. Each week we consume from the stockpile and I add to the stockpile. Some weeks we eat alot from it, other weeks not at all.

*Stockpiling makes good financial sense but it can also be good for emergencies.

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