Stockpiling isn’t just something you do to prepare for that looming hurricane or snow blizzard, it can also help reduce your grocery bill significantly as you use it every other month of the year.

Ask any TrueCouponer what their secret to saving money is, and they’ll likely tell you it’s stockpiling.

While it might seem a bit counterintuitive, buying multiple quantities of an item your family regularly uses when it reaches its rock-bottom price will save you tons of money.

Instead of purchasing what you need on a weekly basis, you watch the sales cycles and match those items with coupons.

When a product reaches its rock-bottom price (between 50 to 70 percent off), you purchase enough to last your family until the next sale. Shopping this way ensures you never pay full price for the items you’d be using anyway!

But don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to fill your garage top to bottom with pasta, peanut butter, and condiments to reap the benefits of a stockpile. James and I have a regular house and garage and we have a stockpile.

So how do you save money when you are buying more? I’m going to share with you my secrets to building your stockpile. You can also join my FREE Online Video Coupon Class if you want to “kick it up a notch” and take your savings to a whole new level!

When Should I Stock Up?

If an item you use regularly is on sale, and it meets its stock up price criteria, stock up!

Many of the items you use will hit their lowest price every four to six-weeks (we call this the sales cycle), that means you need to buy enough to last your family until the next cycle. Until it is at that lowest price again.

Remember that this cycle is ongoing for each item that goes on sale.

So right now, Pepsi might be on sale, and at it’s lowest price (the stock up price), and that means Coke is not. But next week Coke will be, so you stock up on Pepsi this week, and Coke the next (unless you are brand loyal to one brand over the other, then you stock up on enough PEPSI until it will be on sale again… and you pass right over the Coke sale. Ha!)

Here’s an example of how we use sales to stock up (without going crazy):

A few months ago, there was a REALLY good deal on Pop-Tarts at Publix. I had a coupon to match with an extremely good deal, which meant I could get three twelve count boxes for just $2.31! Since I had two of these coupons, I bought six boxes of Pop-tarts and only spent $4.62 total!

 

We eat these for breakfast, they have a long shelf life, and they take up little space which makes them a perfect addition to our stockpile. They also make a great addition to your emergency food supplies for hurricanes and winter storms. They can also be frozen which makes them last even longer if my kids get tired of them.

Stocking up when items are at their lowest price means you will never pay full price again. And that’s the goal… think of it as a game. When was this the lowest price? How many can I buy so we last until the next time it’s this price again?

What Should I Stock Up On?

If you’re unsure if you should stock up on an item ask yourself these questions:

1. Is this something I like and consume regularly?
2. Is this a stock up price, or just a really good deal?
3. Will I be able to use this before the expiration date?

If the answer to any of these is no, DO NOT buy it!

Go through your recipe binder and pantry, and take note of items your family uses the most. Here are some grocery staples that you may want to consider stockpiling (since they have a long shelf life).

• Pasta
• Peanut Butter
• Canned Fish and Chicken
• Granola Bars
• Cereal
• Oatmeal
• Nuts
• Dried or Canned Beans
• Rice
• Canned or Frozen Vegetables
• Salad dressings, marinades, and other sauces
• Chips, Popcorn or Pretzels
• Coffee Grounds
• Olive Oil and Vegetable Oil
• Gum and Candy
• Flour, Sugar and other baking essentials
• Laundry Detergent
• Toilet Paper
• Toothpaste
• Paper Towels
• Dishwasher Detergent

These are just some of the many things you can stockpile, and many of these items you can buy for less than $1!

Absorb The Cost

The cost of building your stockpile is absorbed right in your normal grocery budget.

You see, as you are shopping, instead of buying a few full-priced items, you are going to wait to buy those when they are at their lowest stock-up price and this week you are going to buy a few extra items that ARE at their stock-up price.

That way your budgeted spending and your actual spending is the same, but you’ve gotten a few extra items to start building your stockpile!

As the weeks go on, that means eventually (about 8-12 weeks) you’ll be purchasing mostly only items that are at their stock-up price.

Sometimes people want to quick-track to build their stockpile, so they spend an extra $5 each week towards buying shelf-stable specific supplies that they know are going to be set aside for their stockpile.

If all you have to work with is $5 a week, you can still make a huge step in building your stockpile.

The next time you go shopping, add the amount you’ve saved for the week to your budget and use it to purchase items for your stockpile.

Focus On One Thing Each Week

The easiest way to learn this process, especially if you are just getting started with stockpiling, is to focus on one category of item each week.

For example, you might find that this week cereal is around $1 a box (the common stockpile price for cereal), so you will stock up on that item this week, then next week you might find deodorant is super cheap, stock up on that next week.

Look for the best deals and focus on one item to keep you from overspending and burning out.

If there is a deal you just can’t pass up, then that is what you should be focusing on this week.

This is where many people go overboard and get burnt out… they realize that there are so many deals to be had, how are they going to keep up with them all. Trust me, there will always be another sale, another coupon, and another chance to add to your stockpile.

If you don’t have time to go this week, just wait till next week and pick up where you left off.

I promise you the deals will circle back around. Trust me, I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years and I still see the same sales circle around over and over again! It’s wonderful!

Coupons Are Cash

You will be able to build your stockpile much quicker and for far less money if you use coupons.

I think of coupons as someone else’s cash. They are truly paying for the item and saving me from using my own cash.

Start by getting the Sunday newspaper for the coupon insert inside. Here is a schedule of what coupon inserts you can expect to find each Sunday for the year.

You can search for coupons in my coupon database to help you get started.

Now that you have your coupons ready to go, begin pairing these coupons with store sales. When you match your coupons with your store’s sales, you’ll be paying stock-up prices for items you were already buying!

Don’t worry… I don’t leave you to figure this out on your own. Just choose your favorite grocery store (or national store) from this page where I’ve done all the work for you to match up available coupons with the current sales. {Boom!}

I also have a FREE Online Video Coupon Class you can take to get up to speed in less than one week!

A Stockpile Is Not Just Food

So many people lose sight of the big picture for how much potential money a stockpile saves them because they look at the coupons first… and decide they don’t use the items they see listed there.

They have dietary constraints such as gluten-free, or lactose intolerant. I’ve experienced the same constraints and we were still able to save a ton of money using coupons to build our stockpile.

When you’re putting together your stockpile, consider items your family uses that aren’t food related.

This includes items such as toilet paper, paper towels, medicine, cleaners, etc.

Nonfood items are a great addition to your stockpile as they have a long shelf life, and can save you some serious cash when you buy them at their lowest price instead of paying full price when you run out or need them.

Making Room

One of the main reasons families choose not to stockpile is a lack of space.

Even if you live in an apartment, you can still stockpile!

I am definitely not a proponent of dedicating an entire room for it. Instead, because we see the deals pop up regularly, I believe you should have a reasonable stockpile that consists of items your family is going to use over the next 12 weeks, thinking about a maximum of 6 months.

That means you are constantly using and replenishing on a regular basis. Never needing to dedicate an entire room to storing items.

If you have a small space, get creative when looking for unused portions of your house.

This could include under the bed, on top of appliances, and even closet space. I only had to add one shelf above my washer dryer and a couple bins underneath the sinks in the bathroom.

Here are a few other ways to store your stockpile if you have no room.

Know When To Take A Break

One of the essential parts of your stockpile is knowing when you have enough of something.

Ideally, you should keep a three to six month supply of whatever you’re stocking up on.

Even if something is completely free (which we see all the time), ask yourself if your family will use this item before you overbuy them.

If your stockpile is overflowing with items, take a week or month off and use up some of the items in your stockpile.

As you see the deals pop up again, take the older (not yet expired) items out of your stockpile and donate them to a local shelter, church or food pantry. It feels so good to be able to donate without it costing anything extra!

Wrapping Things Up

When most people picture a stockpile, the first thing they think of is extreme couponers with walls of laundry detergent and canned goods.

What people don’t imagine is the turmoil they might experience if there was a major storm that left them stuck inside or a job loss that crippled their once abundant lifestyle.

Your stockpile should be a constant work in progress, and you should be mindful to replenish it as you shop each week.

You don’t need a lot of space or money to start a stockpile. As your stockpile continues to grow, you’ll not only be prepared for when times are hard but also to save money. Your grocery shopping trips won’t be as big, and you’ll reap the benefits of your stockpile for years to come.

Plus it will also keep you from ever paying full price for something again!

YOUR TURN: What item are you most excited to stockpile? I am always most excited when I stockpile toilet paper because I hate spending so much money on it. Let me know what you can’t wait to stock up on, in the comments below!

More Fun Articles To Read: