About ten years ago, couponing was the thing to be doing. There was even a show where people would showcase how low their bill would go and show off their ginormous stockpiles of stuff. There was couponing controversy - how people were getting their coupons, how people weren’t following the rules, how their stockpiles were too much or full of things they didn’t need. And then, it started to fizzle out a bit.
But to me, saving money never goes out. I admit, back in the day I had a decent stockpile. Nothing like what you saw on tv and I tried to be selective. But a pretty good size one. Life happened and I got really busy. I probably lived off the items in my stockpile for a year or two! Now, that we have a blended family that is, well, big (we have 4 kids at home full time) I have to say, I miss my stockpile. It’s time to bring it back. The best part is that if you don’t want to coupon, you don’t have to! A stockpile is simply purchasing items that you will use in the future at a sale price. If you don’t want to coupon, but see a sale on laundry detergent that will save you 50% then you are winning!
If you have a resolution for saving money then a stockpile is a great place to start. Here are my tips for creating a realistic, functioning and effect stockpile to save you and your family money and time!
1. Decide what kind of stockpile you want.
For me, the fastest and easiest stockpile to build and to save on is one for personal care products. With six people in a house, we go through a lot of toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap, shampoos, etc. Luckily for me those are some of the easiest products to save on! I love these kinds of stockpiles because they will always get used and they typically don’t go bad.
You can also have a food stockpile. In my dreams we would have one, but realistically with 4 teens/preteens in our house I know that no matter how many boxes of cereal I put in the pantry, we will always be out! (That and the open one thing at a time rule is clearly a struggle for our kids….drives me crazy!)
So for me, I’m focusing on personal care. But don’t think I won’t pick up some food items if it is a great deal! Pick out what works best for you and your family. You don’t have to start big - you can even just choose to start with one or two types of products if you wish.
2. Set aside a stockpile budget.
You can take this amount out of your grocery budget if you want to cut it down or simply add $5, $10, $20. You will be amazed at how far it goes! If you are couponing as well, you will be able to get somethings for free too.
3. Be patient.
I’m an instant gratification kind of girl. But being patient and buying at the right time is important. If you are new to everything, you may see a deal and think that it is awesome only to find out later that the price can go even lower. Sales will cycle back every 8-12 weeks. If you missed the lowest price on laundry detergent know that it will come back.
4. Pick your stores.
Do you have a favorite store? I personally LOVE CVS for stockpiling. Even without coupons, just using their ECB (Extra Care Bucks) and their Beauty Rewards, I can save a ton and they generally run good sales. I also shop a lot of Meijer and Kroger. Target is a little more expensive, but you can get good deals combining their Target cartwheel app, coupons and especially if you use the Target Red card. Walmart is another place people love. You may decide to branch out from your usual stores!
5. Scan the ads.
Take a look at the ads for the stores. I like to circle the deals I want or write them on a piece of paper. You can get the ads online too. Sometimes you can even look at the week’s ahead ads which is really helpful in knowing if you should stock up now or wait!
I also recommend finding a ‘deal site’ that you like. They really do the hard part for you, especially if you use coupons! Usually the blogger running the site will scan the ad, match it up with a coupon (and if it is an internet coupon they will link to it for you making it SUPER easy) and show you the best way to get the deal.
Some sites I love are:
CVS: I Heart CVS (You can preview the next few week’s ads here too)
Walgreens: Wild Wags
Walmart: I Heart The Mart
Target: Totally Target
Kroger: Kroger Krazy
6. Don’t forget about online stores!
Amazon is typically more expensive than the store (especially with coupons) but you can still get some AMAZING deals! (Jungle Deals is all Amazon deals) I have been able to grab deals for food, clothes, games, etc that I wouldn’t be able to nab anywhere else. Remember, stockpiles aren’t just for food and toilet paper! Creating a gift closet and shopping for birthdays or holidays year round can save you HUNDREDS! Just be sure to stick with a budget and keep track of what you have purchased.
(PS Amazon Prime is the way to go! Not only do you get free shipping, but free movies, music and SO much more. But be sure to check out their other Programs like Amazon Mom and Amazon Students to save on everything from diapers to college textbooks! You can find more information on Amazon Prime benefits, including their other programs here. And check out one of our past posts on how to save big on Amazon! Be sure to take advantage of Amazon Prime’s free 30 day trial too!)
7. Plan and shop
Make your plan, head out and shop! Follow your list and get excited when you find your deals!
At home, be sure to keep track of what you have and use your oldest products first.
That’s it! Stockpiling is really easy, especially when you get the hang of it. It is the perfect way to ensure that not only are you stretching your dollar, but that you don’t ever have to make a run to the store because you just ran out of shampoo. :)
Here are 15 products you should never pay full price for because you will EASILY be able to score great deals on them for your stockpile!
- Toilet Paper
- Laundry Detergent
- Toothpaste and Mouthwash
- Tampons & Feminine Hygiene Products
- Shampoos and Conditioners
- Dish Soap
- Drugstore Brand Makeup (Covergirl, Almay, etc)
- Canned Soup
Don’t forget to pin how to start a stockpile! And while you are pinning, check out our favorite money saving boards on Pinterest!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.