Tip #8: Start On Your Stockpile
Uh oh… did flashbacks of Extreme Couponing come to mind when you read the title?
Does “stockpiling” sound like a dirty word now? Do you cringe when you hear it?
Don’t worry!! You don’t have to have a whole room dedicated to your stockpile, I promise!! It works for some people (like Nathan Engles from We Use Coupons whose stockpile photo is above), but don’t be scared or intimidated by it!
The idea behind stockpiling is this: Buy the products you use when the price is at its lowest, and buy enough to last you until the price gets that low again!
As we talked about in the last article, sales cycles can be anywhere from around 3 months (most are 3 months) to 1 year (for seasonal items like school supplies and turkeys).
So, as you start your stockpile (whether it be large or small) here are my top 5 tips for keeping it manageable and for it to be a HELP in your budget instead of a hinderance:
Set a “stockpiling budget”
Obviously, you don’t need a stockpiling budget for the items you will be getting for FREE or close to free. But you really can’t live off of salad dressing and mustard for very long.
For those bigger purchases that you want to stock up on, like meat and bulk foods, be sure to set aside an amount each week (or each month) that you can use to spend on these items.
It’s easy to spend a ton of money while “saving money”, so just be careful that you are still staying within budget.
Start saving for your stockpile budget NOW (even if it’s just $5 a month), so that when you do find that clearance rack of $2 diapers, you’ll have the money set aside to grab several of them and not pull anything extra out of your regular grocery budget.
Make an organized space for your stockpile
It’s not very helpful to stockpile for 3 months, or however long it is until the next sale, only to not be able to find the things that you bought!
Having an organized stockpile also helps you to see what you have plenty of and which items you need to be keeping your eyes out for a sale.
Here are a few of my favorite food stockpile organization ideas:
:: Put a dry-erase board on your freezer so that you can keep track of the meat that you have on hand.
:: Get sturdy, but inexpensive, shelves for your garage and label them so that you can easily see what you are low on.
:: Invest in a few organizational pieces like the CanSolidator to help out with storage!
Get enough coupons to stock up with for the items you will buy
Is there an awesome deal on a particular product at your store this week that you can get for FREE after a coupon? Then check out places like The Coupon Clippers to order extra coupons for the items you want to get.
You will have to pay a little bit for the time it takes to clip the coupon, but coupon clipping services are what most savvy-couponers use to stock up when items are at their lowest.
Only buy things you will USE or donate
It’s certainly temping to grab 20 bottles of mustard just because it’s on sale for $1 and you have a 50¢ off coupon that will double to $1 to make it FREE! But if no one in your family likes mustard? Then take a deep breath, put the mustard back, and use your time and STORAGE SPACE to get things that you will actually use!
Or grab a few of the free mustards and donate them to your local food pantry. One of the great things about couponing and stockpiling is that you typically end up with lots of opportunities to help out your local community.
Don’t get overwhelmed
While most of the time getting things for free or cheap is something that’s fun (and addicting), if you’re not careful, it can start to feel like it has taken over your life after a while.
If you are starting to feel overwhelmed, maybe it’s a sign that you need to cut back a little. You might even want to take a little break from your big shopping trips and see if you can just eat from the pantry and freezer for a week or two!
I’ve tried this before and it’s amazing how many creative breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas you can come up with when you have no other option but you use what you have.
Stockpiling is a BIG part of actually surviving the stores, and I hope this post had some helpful information for you as you make your journey towards bringing more of your money home!
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