Stockpiling 101

Before discovering the art of stockpiling, I wasted so much money. I can remember suddenly realizing that we had run out of something, jumping in the car and heading to the store.

I would pay (gasp) full price for what I needed and dart back home. I can’t say that I don’t run out of things now, but I can say that we keep a pretty full stock of everyday items.

Wouldn’t you love to have your own “stock” like a grocery store?

Ok, ok, I know…it sounds too good to be true. But seriously, you can do it! When you find a great sale, that’s when it’s time to get as many as you can.

Stockpiling Vs. “Hoarding”

With the success of all those “hoarding” shows, I know that the line is pretty fine between stockpiling & hoarding. The difference is only stocking things that you and your family will use. If you’re stocking up on baby formula and don’t have a baby, then that may be a sign of hoarding…hehe. The deals and money makers can be addictive. Here’s a few of my personal guidelines to keep it manageable.

Stockpiling Vs. Hoarding

  • Keep expiration dates in mind and donate anything you won’t use before the expiration. I know several people that include these items in their yearly yard sale.
  • Most stores follow “sale cycles”, meaning they tend to have the same items on sale every 6-8 weeks. So, if I find a great sale on my favorite brand of coffee, I will buy enough for 8 weeks. If it’s a deal I can’t pass up (free or money maker), I get as many as I can, keep the 6-8 week stock and donate the rest.
  • And the most useful advice is to keep it organized. Without a little organization, you will never know what you have and will end up buying something that you already have. I like to keep the further expiration dates towards the back, just like a grocery store. This way I know that I am using the soonest to expire.
  • Items that don’t have an expiration date, I try keep a stock for up for at least a year. As I stated above, if it’s a deal I can’t pass, I will go ahead and get it, but I will donate or throw in my yard sale boxes. Examples of these items are shampoo, toothpaste, dish soap & razors.

How & where to store

I’m sure you’re trying to figure out where you’ll store all this stuff, right?

Space is definitely a concern when stockpiling. With the money I’ve saved, I was able to buy storage units (on sale of course!). I keep 2 in my daughter's closet =P She never goes in there, so that’s the best space for me. You really have to get creative though.

In Florida, we don’t typically have basements, but I’ve heard that's a really great place to keep your stockpile. In my opinion, the garage or patio is not good because of the temperature changes and likelihood of “small visitors”.

I have a tiny linen closet and a small pantry but I use the spaces the best I can.

No matter where you decide to keep your stockpile, there are a couple of things to remember. Don’t store cleaning supplies close to food. Also, if you have small children or pets, you might want to think about stocking certain items higher. For example, I have a three year old and keep bleach & cleaning supplies on a higher shelf. I also have a dog, so I don’t keep dog food & treats on the bottom shelf because I don’t want to get home after work to find he has discovered it and made huge a mess (this really happened to a friend of mine!).

All in all, stockpiling is one of the best ways to save money and live frugally. My family always has an abundance of everything we need and I am happy because I only pay a small percentage of the full price. Slowly but surely, you will have a great stock too.

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