I know that sometimes when people hear the word “stockpile” in relation to couponing, they think of the people who have enough toilet paper, canned goods, and toothpaste to last the next 50 years. Don’t worry–that’s not the kind of shopping we advocate around here. Sara has a motto that she mentions at our classes: “Feed your family, not your stockpile.” That means reasonable stocking up when sales and coupons match to give you a great price…put probably not 75 bottles of mustard at once! 🙂
A few tips to keep in mind with stockpiling to keep it under control and make it work for you:
- Buy what you’ll use: If it goes to waste, it’s a waste of money to buy it, no matter how much you save. Things like toilet paper, cereal, pasta, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo are items that frequently go on sale with matching coupons, and can be found for pretty cheaply.
- Shop in phases: I’ll admit, I’ll buy a ton of cereal when it’s super cheap at Giant Eagle starting Thursday–but there are 6 in my family, we eat cereal for snack or dessert sometimes, and I know I’ll get great deals. The cool thing (besides having a variety of cereal to choose from again), is that I can take a break from searching for cereal deals for a while. I’ve been known to do the same with shampoo, deodorant, or laundry detergent when there’s a great deal (like the Bonus Fuelperks deals coming Thursday). Then you don’t need to worry about those items again until you’re running low. Which leads to a third hint…
- Sales and coupons go in cycles: If you miss a deal (or if you don’t need a deal at a certain time), there’s a pretty good chance a decent deal will come back around in a few weeks. You don’t have to stockpile enough to last all year (or till the apocalypse), just enough to get you through till the next sale. After a while, you’ll get a feel for how long the cycles are for your favorite items.
- Keep tabs on your stockpile: If your shelves are getting full, give yourself a few weeks off to use up some of the deals you’ve scored. Likewise, keep an eye on the essentials to make sure you have what you need. Don’t just assume that there’s another pack of TP on the shelf in the basement (otherwise you’ll find out 20 minutes before company arrives…not that I have personal experience with that or anything…) 😉
So don’t let the word stockpile scare you off–make it work for you! Your stockpile shouldn’t be an obsession or a source of stress…it’s a means to an end: providing for your family at the lowest possible cost. Keep it simple, grab a few extras of your faves when they’re a great deal, and share with others when you can. Any other tips? Share them in the comments or on Facebook!