Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why I Stockpile, part 2

This is post 2 of Why I Stockpile, the first post can be found here. Today I wanted to address 2 of the main concerns that come up in class whenever I mention stockpiling. Before I do that, I want to reiterate that stockpiling should not be synonymous with hoarding, but stockpiling is just to ensure you have stock on hand when you need it. A good rule of thumb would be "buy what you use, and use what you buy."

The first issue is always COST. When you purchase more items, the more they cost, right? Not in the Extreme Shoppers' world. With coupons, the more you buy, the more you save. Stockpile one or 2 extra of things you buy each month. They will tide you over until you find more coupons or a better deal comes along. Only stockpile more than 2 of the items when they are at their absolute bottom price - ie, when they are free or close to it. And truthfully, if I run out of anything, I've been known to tell my family that we'll eat something else until that item comes back on sale or until I have coupons for those items. With the variety of food available in my stockpile, this has worked well for us. The most common item that comes to mind is cereal, as my kids tend to eat their favourite kinds first. I do admit there has been times I have purchased items WITHOUT coupons, and I try not to beat myself up for it. I figure with what I'm saving each month, a little splurge here or there is acceptable, and sometimes, a little couponing break is good. I have been stopped at grocery stores by students/readers and they teasingly ask me,"you've got coupons for all those things, and are getting them all free, right?" LOL.

Personally, I stockpile about 2 months worth of canned food. Some might say that's too much, others will say that's too little. I'm not sure where I stand on that yet, I'm still trying to figure this out for myself as well. I do have enough to last me for at least 72 hours in case of an emergency. My stockpile can probably feed my neighbourhood for at least a day or two as well. If you are just starting on a stockpile, getting ready a 72-hour ration kit might be a good place to start - just change up the items every few months to make sure they don't go bad.

The areas that I am completely overstocked on is household cleaning/paper goods/toiletry items. I really have no need to shop for any cleaning item, tp, shampoo, creams or razors, feminine products or even laundry detergent, swiffer stuff, and so on. I'm not saying this to brag, but to show you, after just a couple months, you can cross these items off your monthly shop list, thus saving you money. In fact, the only real items I need to buy each month are perishables like diary, vegetables, meats and fruits. I do restock the canned goods, shampoos, paper goods, etc as they get used up, only if I can get them dirt cheap or free, which is yet another benefit of stockpiling: I can WAIT until the best sale comes around, where I can get the items for cheap or free with my coupons - no more paying full price for anything. Nowadays my "buy" rate is at about 10% and getting lower : if I can get the items for 10% of retail or less, I will consider it. Recently I have even passed by some FREE deals just because I didn't want to have to pay tax on those items, even if they were free, because I knew I had enough of those items in my stockpile. Now THAT's extreme!

Nowadays if I buy stuff that I already have, it's for classes as I give items away as door prizes or hostess gifts. It is a blessing NOT to have to scramble for our daily items, and my hope is for everyone who reads this blog or takes my classes to be able to say the same as well.

Now, WHERE to store the stash? I tell my students, don't compare stashes with anyone. Because everyone's lifestyles, homes, availability of storage space, etc is different. Store what you can and make sure you can get to the stash when you need to. There is no need for your garage or spare room to look like a mini grocery store. If you have a small home, use hidden space like under your bed, above cupboards, under the stairs. I would recommend you keep like items together just so it doesn't get too disorganized. As for myself, right now I have a toiletries cabinet in my guest bath that I use, and a small cupboard in my kitchen for canned goods. Overflow canned goods and tp and paper goods are stored on a shelf in my garage. I do have a freezer in my garage that holds meats, frozen fruits and so on. In each of my bathrooms, I have the basics: cleaning products, paper items, feminine products, etc - tailor-made for the occupants of those bathrooms, and probably just 1-2 months' worth.

My favorite item to stock up is pasta because in the last few months, I've been able to stock them absolutely free. I love making meals where I know the only items that cost me money was the meat and vegetables. :)

Things I'm planning to add to my storage: sauces, oats, sugar, peanut butter, chocolate chips, peppers (I will dice them up and freeze). This summer I am really hoping to be conscientious in my garden growing and buying fruits/vegs to freeze.

Things I DO NOT stockpile on a regular basis: chips, chocolate and pop. Only because I would be eat/drink those up right away. Right now we have chips and pop due to the Superbowl deal I did, and the chips are already almost gone. *sigh*

I'm now looking for a Kitchenaid mixer as I am ready to start baking more and making breads, rolls, etc. I've been making do without a mixer for a while now and it's time I got a mixer stand but can't make myself pay for a new one. So if anyone knows of a great price for a mixer or if you have one you're not using, please let me know and we'll work something out!

The next post of Why I Stockpile will be about alternative ways to save on items like vegetables, jams, honey, meat, etc. If you have any tips, please feel free to send them my way and I will share as well!

1 comment:

  1. I stash my stocpile in 3 different areas, simply due to space constraints in my little house. And I agree about not stockpiling the junk foods! I will buy them when they are a very good price, but only a few, and once they're gone, they're gone!