I started stockpiling in 2006 when I knew my husband was facing unemployment. Creating a stockpile gave me the peace of mind that we would not go hungry or run out of necessities. Stockpiling allowed me to have some control over our circumstances. It gave me something productive to focus on, and it ended up saving us money in the long run.
When you first get started stockpiling, you may find that your grocery bill is slightly higher. You have to spend a little more at first as you put a few extra sale items in your grocery cart each week. I started slowly by buying extra of the stores' loss leaders. These are items that grocery stores use to get you to shop there. They actually lose a little money on these items in the hope that you will spend money on other higher-priced groceries. If you can find loss leaders and pair them with coupons, sometimes you can buy things for very little out of pocket. Anything that I get for free with a coupon or rebate goes into the stockpile.
You might be wondering where you would store a stockpile. I have seen impressive pictures of stockpiles on shelving units where items are lined up neatly and everything is in complete order. You will not see this at my home. I have no garage or basement in which to store things. My “stockpile” is actually throughout my house. I have spare laundry products on a shelf in my utility room, diapers in my baby's closet, and food in a large cabinet in a bathroom that we are not currently using. I feel that just about anyone can find a place to store some extra items. It just takes a little creativity.
When you have built a stockpile, it is important to get organized. I thought I would remember every item I added to my pantry. Boy was I wrong. A stockpile won't save you money if you have to throw out expired items. I keep a list of what I have in my cabinets. Every couple of months, I take inventory of what I have and see what needs to be used up soon. When I buy more of an item, I put it behind other items, so the older ones get used first. Also, I learned the hard way that kids who don't like popcorn balls at Halloween don't like them on sale after the holiday either. Only stock up on things that your family will eat.
Over time, you get a better idea of how many items to stockpile based on your consumption as a family. You will also notice a pattern in what goes on sale, and what times of the year particular items are at their rock bottom prices. I enjoy being able to buy groceries at great prices, and I like the convenience of “shopping” from my stockpile instead of the grocery store several times a week. Do you feel that stockpiling could be beneficial for you?