Me ” Holy Noodles! Cup Noodles has it’s own museum!”
Luc “Cool! I’m hungry, can we go?”
Me “It’s in Japan bud.”
Luc ” Whoa, that’s too far to go for something I’m going to live on when I move out.”
I think I went wrong somewhere.
The perception people have when they hear the work “stockpile” is varied. Some instantly picture that Doomsday Prepper Show (I have to hand it to the lady on that show preserving her eggs and cheese, you knocked me out and made me think outside the box. It’s entertaining!) or Extreame Couponing , having a stockpile must mean your a weird hoarder that runs around markets getting everything free by the cart full and stuffs it all into every last nook and cranny in the house until you land on the show Hoarders . That’s not the case.
We have a large family, pets and an average sized home. A home to us, is for shelter, to provide comfort and to make happy memories within it’s walls. If I had to look at Mt. St. TP in my living room or zig zag through a maze of product to find my bed… the comfort and happiness of our home would be sucked right out. It’s a personal choice that we make, to manage a good stockpile and where we feel it’s best to store it. We have to sacrifice some space so we can save money but we also want to be comfy and organized. If you walked in our home, you would not have a clue that we have couponed a nice stockpile, until you open certain cabinets or the guest room closet. We try to keep our crazy contained, most of the time.
WHY? I’m often asked, WHY I have a stockpile and how it grew.
Why? Why not?! When I can get a product that we use, at it’s rock bottom price, for pennies or even free, I will try to pick enough to sustain our family for 13 weeks +. Sales will come and go but if you could pick up 12 packages of floss for free wouldn’t you? You may not have something stuck in your teeth right now but you will and we seem to go through about 3 packages per month with 6 people flossing, we hope daily. A single individual or a couple taking advantage of couponing those 12 packages of floss for free, will have purchased a one year supply for nothing and saved about $15 per year on agerage.
$15 that’s it? I spend that in lattes in one day! Who cares about or wants to do any work to save just $15.
If you can watch for sales and shop with your coupons for a variety of things that you would normally purchase anyway, you’ll start to see that often you can purchase many for less than the retail price of one. Saving $15 on floss, $42 on razors, $25 on shaving cream, $15 on cereals, $20 on gum… the list can go on and on but just right there, I found an extra $117 to apply elsewhere in my budget.
But I can’t eat 10 packages of razors, Meg!
I feel ya. I know. I have cried the same thing, when I didn’t understand how to coupon or find any savings beyond a membership card at my market.
Sales run in seasons so often by paying a little bit of attention, you can stock up for your year or for the next few weeks until another sale rolls around. I personally find that there are products that I can get free certain times of the year, for example: BBQ sauce, mustard and Ketchup. June-July I’m finding opportunities to coupon these items for free. That’s when I purchase what my family will use until the sale next year. We stick a couple of boxes on a garage shelf of free sauce and easily save our family over $50 by making a little room and playing the grocery game as smart as we can. OK so there lies the stereo type of the hoarder, with a boxes full of sauces but really what it is about is Our Family Budget. We want to provide for our children and give them the best opportunities we can BUT we’re also small business owners not billionaires. We trim where we can so we can do the activities we enjoy together. Our children tease about coupons but they see first hand how being resourceful can provide for our family and others in certain areas so that we can apply the dividends of our work to other important places.
Slowly is how the stockpile builds. No need to break the bank to fill a shelf! Each week sales change, giving you opportunity to slowly add items to use today and a few extra for tomorrow. Maybe this week you picked up a few bottles of nail polish for free, got 6 cans of pringles for .25 a can, and got a free gallon of milk from purchasing 5 boxes of cereal. Doesn’t sound really exciting? You spent less than $20, are prepared for the weekends slumber party with cereal/milk and you have chips on the cheap for lunches or a picnic. Maybe next week you’ll find some exciting deals like…
Most people set aside money per week or month towards their stockpile or couponing so they stay on a budget and maximize the savings that they need. I do the same but I have a personal goal game that I play week to week or monthly with myself. Keeps couponing feeling exciting and fresh for me. Even though my only competition is me and the rewards are knowing we can feed/care for our family when times are lean or plentiful.
My personal stockpile rule is… If I would purchase the item anyway, if I can catch it for super cheap or free. I will spend up to the amount one of those items would be at retail cost. Example: the picture above… spent .41 cents and purchased 26 packages of gum. Awesome!! About half have gone into goodie bags for a party. Making for an almost free goodies bag that is FULL! All because of stockpiling. See, not too crazy!
Yesterday, I ran to the market for an onion. Before I left, I made sure to check out Southern Cali Saver , Josie has very accurate and prompt coupon match ups for a variety of stores in Southern California and surrounding areas, as well as a wealth of knowledge for the newbie and quick info for the seasoned cart pushers!
I really didn’t need anything but my onion. However if I’m going I wanted a quick peek to make sure I wasn’t missing any wicked deals that need to this way come! I did find 2 deals for me! HURRAY! Thanks Josie! Without fail, Southern Cali Saver comes through again, with exactly what I needed for my strange stockpile purchase.
I paid only $2.14 for all! My onion was full price and the most expensive of my items. :/
Farmer John 8oz. packages of sausages are on sale 10 for $10. I used a coupon issued last week for $1.00 off each package… which makes it…. wait for it…. Yup FREE! I used 10 coupons and stuck a few extras on the shelf in the hopes that a find that makes for free will spark another new couponer to the savings!
I had a coupon for these Cup Noodles too. I know, I know, not topping my list of healthy must haves but they serve a purpose around here. When we go riding, we’re sweating up a storm. If I have these high sodium and hot quick foods to serve right after they get off a dirt bike all day before dinner. The water we all drink a ton of in the desert is better refueled. Gotta love salt for water retention!These larger Cup Noodles are usually over $1.00 each at the market, they were marked down to .69 each + using my coupon, I got 6 for less than the price of 1 retail!
My onion was .99 cents a pound. It needed to be mine and come home to play nicely with the other ingregients in our dinner. I never weigh my produce. I should, I would save more money being a wear of the true cost and weight of each item. I purchase produce with my Chef Eyes, not my cheap little heart. We are starting a garden to cut down on the cost of some of our produce. I believe I will make a point to weigh out and purchase my produce a bit more frugally. I do LOVE an onion and all kinds of fresh fruits and veggies!!
So That’s the big scary behind the scenes, real human being, reality stockpiling. We’ll not be eating 10 packages of sausages today. We do have a slumber party coming up, some friend’s coming to visit & we have 6 people to feed. 10 packages will provide 3 meals for us. Maybe I’ll even try making The Pioneer Woman’s Recipe for Sausage Pancakes on a Stick http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sausage-pancakes-on-sticks-recipe/index.html… Genius!!!! LOVE her chopstick idea! Check out The Pioneer Woman’s Blog http://thepioneerwoman.com/ you will not be sorry. She is a HOOT from kids, cows to fantastic cooking her blog is outta sight!!
Stockpiling isn’t a dirty word or a hush hush secret. Through our use of coupons, spending wisely for our family, we are able to stretch our dollar almost 3 times further. It’s a MUST for us. There are so many products that we have learned that we never need to spend money on, to have plenty of it to go around for all. I have our “free drawers” that I keep in our home office.
The “FREE Cart” is a set of plastic drawers that contains some of the bathroom stockpile. Friends, family and the kids over night slumberers all know that this is the place to go to grab a forgotten stick of deodorant, get the soap for the carving project, grab a lotion for your purse. Those who care share, so if you have a talent to see a deal and act on it, share your stockpile with friends as well as the knowledge so they can do it too!
I’ve had friends help me as we struggled. It’s nice to know that we don’t have to shell out extra money to take care of ALL of the people in our lives that we love. But honestly, we have a lot of bodies and go through a lot of tooth paste, deodorant, razors, soap, etc. I feel so lucky to understand how to build and maintain a stockpile for our family. With a little knowledge, some coupons, a plan in mind, you also can stop paying for many of the products your family uses every day.
A stock pile is there to share. I feel good knowing that we can provide for our family for weeks without spending a dime at the market if necessary and not compromising on the lesser product to save a dollar. It took the better part of a year to build a revolving stockpile that really worked for us the way we needed it to. A stockpile doesn’t happen over night. Week by week, it will come but you’ll be seeing the savings instantly! Savings is a MUST for a busy family, Couples starting out, single folk and everyone currently drawing a breath! We would all love to have a little extra money each month, week or to save up to blow on one Wicked Top Shelf Vacation!
I look at our stockpile as the key to freedom. When I have what we need on had I’m FREE to not have to hit the stores. When I acquire what we need for well under budget, we’re FREE to apply our savings elsewhere or just be SO grateful for the extra wiggle room in the budget that month. We’ve lived off our stockpile when business was slow and we were able to continue our lives in the exact same way as though the times were plentiful, without going into debt. Couponing was a hobby I never thought we’d be accused of participating in. Now, I think it’s NUTTY not to!
Silly, only the super smart, savvy folk realise that there are ways to create the life you desire with a little knowledge and some coupons.
Hate to tell you but if you have more than one of the same item in your pantry… YOU HAVE A STOCKPILE TOO! 😉
Bottom line is save money thinking smarter, not working harder!
You don’t need to keep 12 BBQ sauces if you don’t use them or need them. We do! We use 2 bottles each month so if I can get it for free, I buy for that year. That’s how I roll. Everyone needs to do what works for them, their home, their family and be happy. It’s a fun hobby NOT a weird competition. We need to provide for our families, why not encourage each other when we find tips and tricks that assist our everyday lives. Let’s not recreate the wheel… sure paint it, dip it in sparkles and glitter and tie all kinds of fun and colorful ribbons on it but no need to fix what isn’t broken. By encouraging others and sharing, you’ll be surprised the wealth of knowledge in various areas you’ll receive in return.
Don’t be afraid to add a rack to the garage in the name of savings. We wont report you. Stash drawer fulls of products if you’ll use them and they don’t get in the way of your normal life. We wont tell your mother in law about the bins in your closets or the TP under the bed either. Not even your friends will have a clue that under your sink lurks 3 types of mouthwash, a bin of toothbrushes, 17 bars of soap and 12 body washes. So what! You earned the right to be proud Couponer.
Saving money is not only a MUST but it’s also a classy way of life!
What products do you get for free all the time?
Stockpiling for today & a rainy day too,