Stockpiling – Boot Camp Episode #10
Stockpiling is a great way to save on groceries and toiletries your family uses consistently. The idea behind this is to buy enough of an item, while it’s on sale, to get your family through until that item goes on sale again. This way you are not running out to the store and paying full price for it. I admit we spent a little more in the beginning to start our stockpile. But I was just starting out and wasn’t sure how often the stores cycled their sales.
How to get started:
*Decide what your family uses and make a list. Some of the items you use daily might include tissues and toothpaste. Also, decide if you need to be brand loyal. In the beginning we broke away from our favorite toothpaste when I realized we could get other brands really cheap or even free at the drug stores. However, I knew I could not do that with our laundry detergent because of my family’s sensitivity to them. Determine how quickly you go through these items and how much you will need to get you through at least a month until the sales come back around.
*Start collecting coupons and wait for the sales. This can be the hard part because you may run out of something before you see a deal. Unfortunately, this happened with our popcorn stash. We love our popcorn around here and we ran out. I had a stack of coupons but I was waiting for them to be BOGO. I made my husband wait 3 weeks before we were replenished. It was quite funny actually, after all it was only popcorn, not shampoo, right?
*Make sure you have a place to store your stockpile. It’s important to store them correctly so they last until the expiration date. We have a good amount of storage space here but I never would have been able to store this much in our old house. I organized the pantry again today. The top shelf is our food stockpile. Hubby and the kids have been told to only “go up there” if they are out of the item on the bottom shelves. Below is a photo, although it’s hard to see how much we really have because the shelves are deep. Just as an example, we have 8 boxes of popcorn and 13 cans of Crystal Light.
*Keep in mind the shelf date for items when you are buying them. You don’t want to hold onto something you know your family will not use before it expires. Make sure you rotate your stock when putting it away. It’s good to get in the habit of putting the old items in front so you use them up first. Not so important with toilet paper but more for cake mixes.
I love the freedom it gives us. When we’re invited to an event and I need to bring a dish, I assess my stockpile and commit to what I’m bringing. I’ve also started responding to people with, “Can I bring such and such” instead of letting them tell me what to bring. I try to respond quickly so I’m not told, “someone is already brining that”. It’s rare that I have to run out to the store to buy something to bring. And if you need to do a Eating from the Pantry Challenge, it’s a piece of cake!
Make sure you check out the other Episodes in the Boot Camp Series!