Ohhh, today should be fun, because yesterday you got it all figured out right? You are a mad organized couponer, with all your coupons and shopping list ready to go! You kill it at the grocery store and now you are starting your stockpile!
Why have a stockpile? You have a stockpile of items you bought at the lowest possible price, we talked about this the very first day, and you STOCKED up on them so you don’t have to buy them again until they are at that lowest price again. This will save you a LOT of money.
Our stockpile has come in handy a few times for a few different reasons. My husband was laid off from his job for an extended amount of time, we basically lived off our stockpile for about 9 months. During that time I didn’t buy ANYTHING. NOTHING. I couldn’t. Whatever we already had, I had to make do with. I thought it was a 3 month supply, but you would be surprised what you can make work and stretch if you have to.
Having a stockpile was invaluable for us, and I will never go without one ever. I believe in being prepared.
I have also made last minute gift baskets from my stockpile, supplied sleepover guests with missing toiletries and “paid” my siblings to babysit by letting them go “shopping” in my mini mart!
When you live in the south, unfortunately, you might not have a basement, attic or garage that you can keep food or stockpile items in. You have to be creative and organized in the ways that you can store items.
A friend of mine asked me to post what I store in my garage. I am NOT an expert on this at all, it is mostly trial and error. Who knew deodorant would melt?? Well, I do now! It was also nicely pointed out to me by a friend that I was killing my batteries by keeping them in the hot garage.
Also, there is the issue of the cement, the chemicals from it will leach into your food products so you have to store everything up off the ground. This also goes for anything you are storing water/liquid in. Do not store your food or other products near gasoline, insecticides or other chemicals. The plastic that these chemicals are stored in is porous and can leach into your food and products also. These items should be in a separate cabinet on the other side of the garage.
Most people have the same problems with garage storage. Either your summers are too hot or the winters are too cold. I am not sure there is a perfect climate for all year long non-climate controlled garage storage.
These are the things that I store in my garage:
Liquid Hand Soap
Shampoo and Conditioner
Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
Things that I don’t store in the garage anymore or never have…
Lotion ( it all separates in the heat, even shaking it something happens to it!)
Diaper’s ( they smell mildewy to me… call me crazy!)
Candles (obviously these melt!)
Make Up (I never kept this in the garage, but the heat will ruin it)
Food, canned or boxed or otherwise!
What do you store in your garage or outside?
Couponers are some of the most generous people out there! I have made a plea a few times for stockpile donations from the devastation in Haiti to the tornados in Oklahoma and you guys come through EVERY TIME! One of my friends @couponsammie has probably donated over $1,000 in items from her personal stockpile in the past 2 years to different causes and situations that needed the help!
Something we do is keep “Hygiene Kits” in our vehicles at all times. These are kits that are put together and donated to various organizations when there is a disaster. We keep them in our cars because when there is someone asking for money on the corner, we hand them a kit (we add Walmart gift cards to these) instead of cash. I have never been refused.
What you can put inside:
2 unbreakable combs (no sharp handles)
2 toothbrushes (packaged)
1 tube of toothpaste
2 bars of soap (approximately 4 to 5 oz.)
2 hand towels
Shampoo & Conditioner
I am sure there are 100’s of things you can add!
There are some basic things to think about when creating and maintaining a stockpile:
- Will you use it? If the answer is no, you probably don’t want to stockpile it in your house (buying a few on a good deal to donate, that’s a different story).
- How much of it will you use? Be realistic. A family of 9 will use more of most things than a family of 4.
- How fast will the item go bad? Fresh items, not so long – HBA items, can be good for several years.
- Where will you put it? There’s a fine line between a stockpile and a monster that takes on a life of it’s own. Having an organization system and a plan will help you make the most of your time and money when stockpiling.
- Is it a good price? The point of having a stockpile is to save money. Get items on sale and with coupons when you can get them at rock bottom prices and avoid having to pay retail for them later or in bulk online from places like Amazon.com.
Thirty Good Items to Stockpile
Peanut Butter – It usually has a good 1 1/2 years date on it and it’s a great source of protein.
Canned Fruit and Veggies – Yes, fresh is better, but canned options are better than going without.
Boxed Pasta – Lasts like what seems like forever!
Canned/Jarred Sauces – Tomato based sauces also make a good “veggie” serving.
Canned Meat – Tuna – Shelf life is long and it’s a great protein source.
Canned Soup – Great for a quick meal and they have a long shelf life
Boxed Potatoes and Rice – They make great sides in a hurry and have a great shelf life.
Cereal/Oatmeal – Cereal can often be purchased for as low as $.50 and other deals have made it free. Usually pretty good shelf dates on cereal.
Dressing – Mayo, mustard, ranch, bbq. Pretty long shelf life on many, but keep an eye on those dates, egg and dairy based items have much shorter dates.
Ice Cream and Popsicles
Pancakes and French Toast
Frozen Juice Concentrate
Cheese – Chunk or Shreds, you can freeze both. Then, when ready to use, pull out and thaw in fridge in a day or about an hour on the counter for shredded. Just know that chunk cheese will crumble after it thaws, it won’t make pretty cracker cuts.
Quality Frozen Pizza
Body Wash/Bar Soap
When you first start couponing, there is a little bit of the “honeymoon phase” You are freaking out at all the great deals you can get and free stuff you find. You are running around all day trying to find those last free bottles of body wash even though you already have 50. But it is a TON of fun, and why not, it is free!! OR IS IT?
Take into consideration the cost of gas, coupons and most important your time. Because every sale and coupon is cyclical, you are going to see the SAME sale and coupons again! There is no need to kill yourself to try and get every last toothbrush at the expense of your time and even family. Plus, where are you going to store it?
We have 9 people in our family. We have 7 kids ages 16 – 4. We go through a LOT of stuff! HOWEVER, I don’t have a room dedicated to my stockpile, I don’t need it. I have a pretty decent stockpile, that many would love to have, and you really can’t even see it!
Ask yourself some questions:
How long will it keep? How many will WE use in 3 months? Do I have room for it?
I have seen a few strained marriages over a thoughtful couponer, who is really just trying to help her family, but lets it take over her house and life.