Stockpiling is a key aspect of running a successful frugal household. Not only can it be used as a successful savings tool, but it can also actually save you time!
First, let’s define what a stockpile is. A stockpile is a collection of products that you have purchased for free or at a significant discount that can be used to get your family through to the next sales cycle. Sales cycles tend to be 6 to 8 weeks in length depending on what the product is and where you live.
Now, here are some things you should know about starting a stockpile:
You should not be spending extra money to build your stockpile.
Occasionally I will talk to new couponers who share with me that they seem to be spending more money on building their stockpile than they are saving. Of course, this is not helpful to anyone, so it is important that a stockpile is built in the correct way. The key to this is patience. It takes a good amount of time to build a stockpile and it is not going to happen overnight. New items should only be added to your stockpile when you are able to get them for their rock bottom prices. This usually happens when you are able to stack a coupon with a really good sale.
You do not need to have a dedicated room to house your stockpile.
Extreme Couponing on TLC depicts stockpiles large enough to feed an entire army for a year. Unfortunately this has resulted in a negative view of those of us who have been stockpiling in a realistic way for years. A stockpile does not need to be extreme and can actually fit quite comfortably in most existing homes. Be creative when you look for places to store your stockpile. It might take a little rearranging of your kitchen cabinets to store the additional items, but trust me, it will be worth it.
Keep your stockpile organized.
Expired products are no good to anyone. Once you have built a good sized stockpile, it is imperative that you keep it organized. Without this organization, items are likely to get lost or even expire. Keep items organized in date order by expiration date and put newly purchased items in the back. This will prevent you from having to dig through a pile of products to find the one that you should use.
Use your stockpile.
One benefit of having a stockpile is that it allows you to have staple products (items that you use frequently) on hand in your home. This is the time saving part since you will not need to be running to the store constantly. An established stockpile should allow you the freedom to take a vacation from grocery shopping for a week, two or even longer. Of course you will still need those perishable items like milk and produce (unless you have them frozen), but meals can be planned around what you already have on hand and the pressure to make a large shopping trip is significantly lessened.
If you are not going to use it, don’t keep it.
I am a huge believer in this one. There is no sense in stockpiling products that you or your family is not going to need or use. On the other hand, I am not against picking up items for free or very cheap that you or your family will not use. Why? Because there are many other families out there that would love to use those products. Please consider donating the extra items in your stockpile and if you have an opportunity to pick up a few extra freebies, please do so and help your community with the abundance.
I would love to hear from you experienced stockpilers what tips you have for those readers that are just starting out. Also if you are a new reader, please feel free to use the comments section to ask questions?
This post is part of the Bargain Blessings Savings Pledge series. If you have not already made your savings pledge, please do so and follow along with this series for lots more tips on how you can meet that pledge. Below is a list of the topics that I have covered so far. If you have any suggestions on future topics please e-mail me or leave it in the comments section.