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Looking to build a stockpile of food and household supplies?
Stockpiling is a great way to save money on items that you use on a regular basis…but only if you are smart about it.
Maybe you are interested in creating a stockpile because you watched one of those extreme couponing shows that show people who have a basement or garage full of food and household items that they bought for pennies…
Who wouldn’t want to save that much money?
But what good will that do you if you are buying things just because you can?
…if you are just getting a rush because you saved money with no rhyme or reason for the purchase…
Plus, creating these massive stockpiles takes a ton of time.
What you may be gaining in money savings, you are losing in time, and we all know that time is money.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start a stockpile; it just means that you should do it sensibly.
When I first started on my money-saving mission, I have to admit that I went a little overboard…the thrill of buying items for pennies on the dollar and never paying full price for them was a rush for me.
But after a while of doing this, I realized how much time I was spending chasing all those great deals.
Plus, did I really need 42 tubes of toothpaste on hand?
It’s like I thought toothpaste would never go on sale again…
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Saving Money with a Sensible Stockpile
Don’t get me wrong, stockpiling when you can get household supplies and food for cheap using coupons and sale shopping is a great way to save money by never having to pay full price for items you use on a regular basis.
I still have a stockpile, but what I have on hand now, makes way more sense…
I am still saving a ton of money and I am not wasting precious time every week.
So if you are looking to save money on groceries, household items and other products that you use regularly, then creating a sensible stockpile is the way to go.
Here’s how to get started…
Find a Dedicated Location
If you are going to start a stockpile, the first thing you should do is pick a dedicated location in your home to store your stuff.
It could be a closet, a corner of your basement with shelving, or a dedicated space in your garage, but should be somewhere that is easily accessible and not in the way of your day-to-day stock.
You don’t want to be pulling out tons of inventory to find what you need in your pantry.
Once you have a dedicated location, you’ll need to find a way to keep things organized so you always know what and how much you have on hand.
Here are some of my favorite things that help me stay organized…
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Getting Started Building a Sensible Stockpile
Once you have a dedicated area ready, don’t go to extremes building your stockpile. The best way to go about it is slow and steady.
You can build up a good supply of items by just adding a few products that you found great deals on weekly.
Start with the things that you buy and use on a regular basis, think of products that are on your shopping list every week.
These are the items that will give you the most bang for your buck buying when you can get them for a low price.
Another thing to keep your eyes peeled for is high priced items.
If you can buy these when they are on sale for say, buy one get one free, that will give you much bigger savings than if you buy lower priced items with the same deal.
Saving Money with A Sensible Stockpile
The key to stockpiling is to stock up on items when you can get them at the lowest possible prices.
But, when you first start out, you may not know what the lowest prices are.
This is when having a price book comes in handy. If you don’t know what a price book is, it’s simply a list of items that you buy regularly and the price they go for.
You can start your own price book in a simple notebook, use a spreadsheet, or you can use a printable like the one that’s included in the Stretch your Grocery Bucks binder.
What you’d do is record the lowest prices of those products so when something goes on sale, you can compare sale prices in store circulars to your price book price.
If you find an item that you need on sale but it’s not the lowest price you can buy it for, wait until it comes back on sale for the rock bottom price listed in your price book.
There are 4 things you should look into when trying to get the lowest price possible when stockpiling.
First things first (I know this is a no-brainer) look for items that are on sale.
Every week review all the sales flyers that are delivered to you and see what is on sale. Make a list of items that you found great prices on that you use regularly.
And as mentioned earlier, just because an item is on sale, doesn’t mean that you are getting it at a great price.
One week an item might be on sale for a buy one get one half off deal, but a week or two later, it might be a buy one get one free special and this, of course, is the better deal.
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Many stores have loyalty rewards programs, if you haven’t joined these programs then you are missing out on some great savings.
These programs are free to join and offer great savings, plus many stores don’t even extend sale prices to non-loyalty card members.
While scanning those sales flyers you should also check out what kind of loyalty rewards the store may be offering in addition to the sale prices.
Next, you should look to see if there are any coupons you can add to save more money. You don’t need to go to extremes and buy a bunch of weekend newspapers and cut out every single coupon.
You don’t even necessarily need to buy the weekend paper. There are other options that are far less time-consuming.
For instance, a lot of stores have a load to card type coupons. You simply visit the store’s website and pick the coupons that you want and they are loaded directly onto your loyalty cards.
This is a real time-saver, no more clipping, and organizing coupons!
Another option is scanning coupon sites like Coupons.com or SmartSource.com. Simply look through the coupons they have available and only pick the ones that you can match up with the sale items you are planning on buying.
Some of these mobile apps have the option to link your store loyalty card to them so all you need to do is pick the offers you want.
Savings are applied to your account balance automatically.
If you shop at stores that don’t have a loyalty card, you can still get the rebate but you’ll need to submit your receipt by taking a picture of it so the purchase can be verified.
What I love about these apps is that you can stack the rebate on top of coupons and loyalty rewards to get the best deals possible.
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More Tips to Sensible Stockpiling
Only Buy What You Use
Just because you can buy items at rock bottom prices, doesn’t mean you should especially if you aren’t 100% sure you are going to use them.
Take for instance you find a great deal on cereal, say .50 cents a box.
This is an awesome deal but only if it is for the kind of cereal you or other members of your family like. If no one likes the cereal you buy, then you are wasting money buying it.
If you are unsure, try the product out first, then make a decision.
Don’t Go Overboard
I know it can be tempting to buy everything you can at great prices. But is it really necessary to buy another 10 tubes of toothpaste if you already have 42 tubes sitting in your stockpile?
Trust me, toothpaste will go on sale again!
Only buy the amount you are going to need to last you for a certain period of time, three to six months is a good timeline to shoot for.
There is no need to buy 5 years’ worth of products just because you can.
Organizing Your Stockpile
Keeping your stockpile organized will keep you from wasting money. By keeping your stockpile well-organized, you will always know what you have on hand and what you need to replenish.
You should also rotate anything that has an expiration date, every time you add a product to your stockpile.
Make sure to move the items that were there before forward. You don’t want to let things go to waste because they have expired.
Group like items together, for instance, all your canned goods in one spot along with the rest of your food items.
The same goes for all toiletries, paper products, cleaning products and so on.
Stockpiling is a great way to save a ton of money, but you do not want it taking over all of your spare time and home for that matter.
Building a stockpile slowly and reasonably will still save you a bunch of money in the long run.
Do you have a stockpile? Please leave a comment if you have any more tips to share.