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Stockpiling ~ Why Stockpile?

I had breakfast last week with a life time best friend that I hadn't seen for a few years. It was great to see her and we had a lot of moments of tearful laughter remembering great times we had with each other through the years, mostly our high school adventures. Because you know with me, everything has to be “FUN”! “smile”

As we sat and visited and caught up with our lives, one of her questions she asked me was, “Do you still have 18 deodorants in your bathroom closet”!! Imagine that.....this is one of the “funny” things that came up as we caught up with each others lives. My answer to her was, “No, I have 20”!! Now that I'm doing a Frugal Living blog, I thought I would pick it up a notch.

Though this may all sound funny to you, I have always had a love of “Stockpiling”!! My first job I ever had, and basically the ONLY job I ever had was working for CVS. So at age 16, I was introduced to the world of “COUPONS”. It was amazing to me to see someone get something like, deodorant, that sold for $3.00 for $1.00. I soon starting grabbing the coupons out of my parent's Sunday paper and the rest is history. Well here we are 28 years later, and I am still in love with coupons and stockpiling!!

My first stockpiling adventure was when my sister, Donna, was pregnant for her first daughter. I was just so excited about becoming an Aunt, that I went crazy buying everything that had to do with a baby. So for nine months I bought anything that was on sale, with a coupon, from the baby isle at CVS. I put all of it into a huge box. When my sister had her baby shower, I could hardly pick the box up. She told me she had baby shampoo forever!! The whole box cost $20.00. Of course, that was about 20 years ago. In today's world the same box would probably be doubled. However, you get the picture!!

My house is also nick-named “Debbie Mart”!! I actually think I could charge admission for people to enter into my basement to see my stockpile. People who come over for the first time always ask, “Can I see your Stock Pile?”. Once someone gets into the area of my stockpile, their faces just light up!! All they usually do is “laugh” and say “Wow”!! I actually thought of putting a hidden camera on the wall to catch their expressions to share with my readers!! “You would love it”!! “smile” Of course I wouldn't do that!!
By now you are probably wondering why I stockpile so much or are asking yourself, What is stockpiling?”
So today, I would like to share a few tips on how to build yourself a little stockpile in your home, in other words, a little “store” for your family and friend's needs.

According to the Webster dictionary, the word “Stockpile” is defined as such:
accumulating and storing a reserve supply

So basically, you are doing just that. You are accumulating and storing a “reserve” of food, and health & beauty aids for your family's needs. However, you just don't accumulate these things when they are NOT ON SALE! I would even go as far as saying, “You don't accumulate these things unless they are ON SALE & You have a coupon to stack on top of a sale.” You are stockpiling things you need for your homes at "Rock Bottom Prices", so you never have to pay full price again!! That's right. "Never Pay Full Price Again!! How does that sound?? That is how you can keep your grocery bill down!!

Let me give you a basic idea on what I mean by this.... Say your favorite toothpaste is Colgate Total. Well CVS sells their toothpaste at a regular price of $3.49 for their average size tube. For those of you who are still buying toothpaste, you need to KEEP READING!! Now, CVS puts their toothpaste on sale a lot. The Colgate Total often gets put on sale for 2/$5.00. OK! So that is a savings of $ .99!! So one may say that they would be happy with that, and of course a $ .99 savings is good, but it is not GREAT!!

What you should be waiting for is the CVS sale that looks like this: Colgate Toothpaste on sale for $2.99, Earn $2.00 Extra Bucks, Use $1.00 Coupon. Now you are not paying anything for your toothpaste. Even though the sale price started out at a larger sale price, the bottom line is FREE!! If the limit is (5) **YOU BUY FIVE. Regardless if you need five, which not too many people need five tubes of toothpaste in their house at once unless they have five bathrooms!! However, they are FREE and you can keep five tubes of toothpaste in your house for awhile without them going bad. You could also bless a family in need, which is what I would suggest you do with some of these “extras”.

So now you have five tubes of toothpaste, and you can wait until the next “FREE TOOTHPASTE” sale comes by to purchase some more. Believe me, you will not run out of five tubes of toothpaste before the next sale of FREE toothpaste. Between CVS, Walgreen, and Rite Aid, you should NEVER pay for toothpaste again!! I do suggest you write in large numbers the expiration date on the outside of the boxes where you can easily see it. This will allow you to pull the oldest tube first. This is a great job for 6-10 year old children that need to keep themselves busy while mommy fixes dinner.

It is so nice to send a child to the basement for a “FREE” tube of toothpaste when needed. You will do this for toothbrushes, shampoo, razors and the like. These things have a long shelf life and can save thousands of dollars over a few years. Trust me on this! I cannot begin to add up all the money I have saved through the years.

For stockpiling food, it is basically done on the same principle as stockpiling your health and beauty items. You just need to be careful not to over buy so it spoils, and becomes a lost instead of a savings.
An example of this would be Ortega black beans. Last year, I bought “75” cans of black beans for $ .35 each. Regular price $1.00-$1.25 depending on the store you shop at.

How did I do that? Well, I had a coupon in my Sunday paper for $ .75/2 Ortega Products. Knowing how much I go through Black Beans, I ordered several more coupons through, “The Coupon Clippers”, which is a company that sells already clipped coupons. More on that later. So each coupon cost $ .10 and the cans cost me $ .25 to total $ .35. The cans went on sale 10/$10.00 at my favorite grocery store. So when the coupon doubled, it took $ .75 off each two cans I bought giving me a final price of $ .25 per can. Then you add the $ .10 for the coupon. Still an excellent deal at $ .35 per can that regularly sells for $1.00- $1.25.

Did I go through that many cans of Black Beans? You better believe it!! The expiration date on all the cans was 2011, so I wasn't worried about going through that many before they expired. This does not mean you have to buy that many if your family doesn't go through that many black beans. You could get 10 and still be saving a lot of money.

The key to stockpiling is to buy enough of a sale item to last your family about 12 weeks. It has been through my 28 years of experience of doing this that these sales are cyclical and usually take no more than 12 weeks to show up again. If the sale comes up before the 12 weeks, buy less at that point, but bring yourself up to a 12 week supply.

Start making a list of your favorite recipes and note what ingredients go in them. Once you've done that, watch for those items to go on sale, and when they do, stock up! I have a weekly blog entry on recipes that are titled “Frugal Recipe Box”. These recipes are both frugal in time and money. Most of these recipes use a lot of the stock up items I have in my basement making it very simple to cook at home and not order out or go eat fast food. This not only keeps your budget in check, but it also cuts down on doctor's visits from eating a more healthy diet.

Once you start, you will never stop. There is such a great feeling to know that you have several meals at your finger tips for pennies on the dollar. This also works out well for your teenage girls who want to cook. It is fun to go down to your stock pile and have them come up with a recipe using what you have on hand. Next time my daughters do this, I will take a picture and show you. Usually, I have them break the cost down per serving and see how inexpensive they can make their meal. It is like a game along with some math and creative cooking skills!

So basically what stockpiling does is, it allows you to keep your total grocery bill down. By only buying staples at rock bottom prices, and buying enough to last you until the next rock bottom sale on certain items, you will stop buying food at “premium” prices. It also helps you save time, because you always have something on hand to cook without having to run to the grocery store mid-week. It is also a way to get your whole family to contribute to saving money for their home.

So to wrap this all up, I would like to bullet some key points to stockpiling. If you have any questions about stockpiling please contact me!! It would be a blessing to help you to get on your way to stockpiling for your family and loved ones.

1.Only buy stock pile items at “rock bottom” prices. After awhile, you will know what you're willing to pay for things. Ideally, you should wait for a sale and use a coupon.

2.Always write the expiration date in large numbers with a permanent marker to make the rotation of items easier, and to prevent waste.

3. Only buy what your family can use before the expiration date. If it is a really great sale where you are getting the item for free, buy more and bless others.

4.When buying perishable items, a good rule is to buy enough to last you until the next rock bottom sale, which is approximately twelve weeks.

5.Buy a few Sunday papers so you can buy more than one of the rock bottom priced item. (Ask friends and neighbors for their unused coupons).

6.If you still would like extra coupons, go to, The Coupon Clippers, to obtain more coupons.

7.Organize your stockpile that will make it easy for you to find things.

8.Have a stockpile the “Frugal Living And Having Fun” way by getting your whole family into it. Ages 2-6 can help carry items to the stockpile area. Ages 6-10 can write expiration dates and rotate stock. Ages 10 and up can come up with recipes and help you cook!! Remember living Frugally can be a lot of FUN!! My family LOVES my stockpile, and so does all of our friends and family that eat here!! “smile”!!!

Monica S.
She will be SO glad she has "all that stuff" in the otherwise unused basement if there is a natural disaster or some other emergency.
Eileen S.
My only question is if you have factored in the cost to store all that stuff? If you didn't stockpile you could live in a much smaller house.
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