Stockpiling Series: The Basics

I have been wanting to write about stockpiling for quite some time.  See, I have stockpiled a lot of things and sometimes I lack the imagination to come up with alternate uses for some of the items I have in my stockpile.  So I want to provide you with some of these ideas to make the most use of any stockpiled items you may have.  However, before I jump into that I thought it would be necessary to talk about stockpiling first.

What is stockpiling? Stockpiling is having one or more extra items of products you consume or use everyday.

How do you build a stockpile? There are a few things you need to consider before you start building a stockpile:

  1. First determine space available.  Keeping a stockpile will require storage area.  If you are a bit short on storage area then you will need to prioritize the items you stockpile.  I have stockpiled items in different places in my home.  I usually keep health and beauty items in a bathroom closet.  I have toilet paper in a linen closet.  I am lucky and have been able to devote a closet in an empty room to diapers and wipes.  The basement has some paper towels and laundry detergent.  I have a storage area in the garage that has cereal, popcorn, more diapers, electrasol and other things.   However, I have not let my stockpile take over my home.  It is all put away in areas that we don’t use on a regular basis.
  2. You also need to consider your family’s consumption of each item you are thinking of stockpiling.  These two concepts (family usage and storage space) will help you prioritize the items you stockpile.  For example it won’t make any sense to keep a stockpile 20 boxes of cereal when your family maybe goes through one box a week.  Meanwhile, you have wasted space on these stockpiled boxes of cereal that you could have used to stockpile pancake mix, something you family uses three times a week.
  3. Determine budget availability.  While in theory you should only be stockpiling at rock bottom prices, if your budget is tight, you need to create some extra room for these additional purchases.  Once you determine what amount of money you can set aside to spend on building a stockpile, stick to it.  Remember that sales are cyclical and chances are pretty good that you will be able to find a good deal on that item again.  Once you hit your limit, then stockpile only those items you can find for free after coupon.
  4. Keep an eye out for sales and coupons for the items you need to stockpile.  Needless to say, you will save the most if you are not brand loyal.  Remember that sales are cyclical and so are coupons.  By now you probably have a good idea that Kimberly Clark coupons and P&G Coupons come out every month or so.  You may also want to read this guide I wrote on how to stockpile items throughout the year.  I show how coupons usually follow the same cycle as some seasonal items.

With all of this in mind now you can determine how much you need of each item to hold your family over until the next sale while making great use of the storage area you have.  You can make decisions based on information like this: you know Kroger has Cottonelle toilet paper regularly priced at $0.99 per 4ct pack and you also know that the $0.50/1 Cottonelle coupon comes out about every three months or so.  Maybe all you need to do is stockpile three months worth and no more.  You can use the rest of your storage space to stockpile the Quaker Oatmeal that’s on sale during the winter months but your family eats eveyday.

As you are working on building your stockpile don’t forget to only get what you will use.  Trust me, I know this one is hard.  I probably have more shampoo that I can use in the next three years.  If this is the case, remember that you can bless others with your bounty. Also, it is very important to keep rotating your stockpile, even things like shampoo and conditioner.  Try to use what you have bought first.  If you find that some items may be close to expiration date and you still have plenty donate it, call family members or friends who may be able to use it before they expire.  Find alternate uses for some of the items you have on your stockpile.  This is what I intend to cover in my next series of posts.  So if you have any questions about stockpiling in general or are wondering of alternate uses for particular items please let me know I would love to help you with them.

Stay Tuned!