Photo Credit: Tammra, Source: Flickr
I’ve been working on a series entitled Strategic Shopping for awhile now. The first part of this series was devoted to coupons:
- How to speak the coupon language
- Where to find coupons
- How to organize coupons
- How to use coupons effectively
Now we’re going to discuss stockpiling.
Wait, let me rephrase that…now we’re going to discuss realistic, sane stockpiling. We won’t be taking out insurance policies on our stock piles and we won’t infringe on our day to day living with our stockpiles.
So far, I have posted why we would want to stockpile. This article will cover how you can start a stockpile.
Where to Start?
If you are already pinching your pennies together, you might be wondering where you are going to find the funds to start adding 6 boxes of oatmeal to your pantry every week to build a stockpile. Let me tell you, you can do it.
For years, I didn’t play the drugstore game. First, I didn’t really get it. Second, I knew that I had to initially spend a bit of money to start rolling ECB’s and RR’s and honestly I just didn’t think I had it to spend!
The best place to start stockpiling is simply to begin gathering coupons. Educate yourself on how coupons work and slowly you’ll start to see your grocery bills decrease. Before you jump for joy and immediately adjust down your grocery budget, start using those extra funds to start a small stockpile.
Say you generally have a $150 a week budget for all groceries and household goods. With coupons, you have brought that total down to $100 a week. Eventually, you can re-adjust your weekly budget to only allot $100 for groceries and household goods, but first let’s build up a stockpile!
Try For Free, But Remember Cheap Works Too!
When building up your stockpile, the hope is that you can fill it with as much free stuff as possible. Never pay for toothpaste! With coupons and the drugstore game, you should never need to pay for toothpaste. Chicken breast though? You’ll always have to pay for chicken breast, so just wait until the price is at rock bottom and stock up! Every week, focus on something else.
Remember that a stockpile is not made overnight. It needs to be built upon and it takes time. You don’t get stockpiles like you see on TV overnight or even in a month (unless you run yourself ragged driving all over the state!). Stockpiling is not a one time deal either, you constantly have to be watching and making sure that you are replenishing before you are depleted of an item. Remember 6-8 weeks worth of most things is more then sufficient.
We are not hoarding, we are stockpiling and there is a BIG difference.
Slowly but surely, you’ll start to notice that you have built up a decent sized stockpile and you can start dropping your budget lower and lower. Some weeks, you might only have to go to the store to buy fresh produce and milk!
Do Not Go Overboard
Here are some things to look out for when stockpiling:
- If your stockpile is physically impinging upon your lifestyle (meaning you open your bedroom closet and 50 boxes of cereal fall out), you’ve gone too far.
- If you are spending more time building your stockpile then with your family, you’ve gone too far.
- If items start expiring before you’ve used them, you’ve gone too far.
Remember, sales cycles run 6-8 weeks…beyond that, you don’t need it! If you do purchase above your 6-8 week stockpile needs, please consider donating.
Speaking of Donations
The most fabulous thing about having a stockpile is being able to pay the fruits of your labor forward! Once you have your family well stocked, start couponing for charity! Help a family member in need by sending over some personal care items and canned food. Remember, we are saving wherever we can so we can spend wherever we want, but also so we can give freely!
I encourage you to read the first few installments of Strategic Shopping if you haven’t already. Looking for a quick how-to guide to the world of couponing? Check out my Free E-Book, Save Money In 7 Days!
Be sure to check out the ENTIRE Strategic Shopping Series today!