Building a Stockpile
I admit I hated this idea at first. There are six people living in my house (myself, my husband and our four young children), so the last thing I wanted was more clutter, and unsightly clutter at that. But balance comes into play here. A stockpile of grocery items (I include anything we “use” regularly in the house as a grocery item for budget-balancing purposes) is actually a very smart idea, but take in to account the size of your family, how fast you go through toiletry items etc.
Your family may not need as many bottles of laundry detergent (lined up neatly on the shelves in the garage) as mine does. You may not need to load up on jars of peanut butter when they are on sale (August is evidently the month to buy peanut butter, by the way) because only one person in your family likes it. I don’t bother stockpiling pasta because somehow – despite being 50% Italian – only one of my children will eat pasta.
But there is something to be said for not having to run to the drug store every time you run out of infant Tylenol, shampoo, bread or champagne… what?
Know Your Space
My first tip is to think about how much available space you have – obviously if you are living in a 500 sq. ft. apartment (closet) in New York City, you may not need a 2 year supply of toilet paper (and actually I am not sure there would even be room for a bathroom in a 500 sq ft. apartment anyways). Our playroom closet (I put child locks on it of course) is currently stocked full of granola bars and other school lunch food as well as extra school supplies. I had the space available, and it just made sense when there was a great deal, for me to stock-up on items I knew we would be flying through during the school year.
As far as toiletries, I find that you can get most any toiletry (yes, razors too) for under a dollar if not free, and even though I have a tiny linen closet in the bathroom, it doesn’t take much space to store bars of soap and deodorant. Keep in mind a lot of times the size of the item you can get for free may be a smaller size or even a travel size – but who cares if you are using travel-sized deodorant when you got it for free.
I have been using the Krazy Coupon Lady’s Stock Up Price List to help reign in my urge to snatch up every deal. She also offers some guidelines for stockpile amounts – but again take in to account the needs of your family and don’t feel like you need to rush out today and get an extra freezer.
Stay tuned for advice on coupon filing and binders, price lists and shopping at multiple stores!!
Feel free to ask a question in the comments section!