What is stockpiling?
It's just what you would think- stockpiling is "hoarding" items, especially when they are on sale! If you've ever shopped at a Club Store, you've probably stockpiled, whether you intended to or not (5 gallons of Mayo, anyone?) I'm laughingly using the term "hoarding", but think about it more like a squirrel in winter. You are putting away food and health/beauty care items in case of lean times. The only difference is you're doing it via great sales and deals, not picking it up off the ground and putting it in a tree.
The theory behind stockpiling is that you should never pay full price for certain items again. Have you ever seen a really great deal, bought one or two items, and then found yourself saying later "Man, I wish I'd bought more of that!" Stockpiling is just buying a little more of that really great deal, so it will last you until the next time there is a really great deal on it!
What should you stockpile?
Only stockpile items that are non-perishable, or you KNOW you will use before they expire. You aren't saving money if you save 50 cents a pound on fruit and have to throw it ALL AWAY. I even stockpile certain items as christmas gifts! Some people stockpile by freezing bread and milk. I don't want my bread soggy (though I know some people claim ways to do it without the bread going gross) and we don't drink enough milk that freezing it holds an appeal for me. You are in control of what and how much you stockpile!
Why should you stockpile?
Stockpiling is fantastic in certain cases. For instance, Tampax Pearl was running a promotion where you could buy a box of tampons and get a FREE movie ticket, valued up to $12. If that isn't enough reason to stock up, there were $2.00 and $1.00 coupons in each P&G coupon insert in the newspaper. So for the same price as storebrand, you got a box of tampons AND a movie ticket. Plus, since they don't go bad, there is no reason not to stockpile (unless you simply don't have a place to put the item!) It's a great way to save money!
Are you prepared if you or a spouse loses their job? Through having a stockpile, even if it's just for toiletries, that's one less thing to have to worry about. You can reroute money you would spend on a grocery bill in to making payments on your house or car, or to keep the lights on while you search for new employment.
When should you stockpile?
Stockpile at any time! Keep an eye on your grocery store deals and when you can get something free or nearly free, buy it! I buy Cream of Chicken Soup in bulk around Thanksgiving, when the sales are hitting hard. We use so much of it in cooking, it really adds up if you have to spend $1 a can. When Walgreens put it on sale for 50 cents a can a few months ago, I definitely stockpiled it- that's a huge savings!
There is no purpose to stockpiling if you are paying regular, or mostly regular price for the items.
Ways to stockpile:
-can! Yep, you can stockpile garden (or grocery) produce by canning it.
-dehydrate! If you have a food dehydrator, you can make all kinds of dried snacks, from fruit and veggies to meat or yogurt.
-freeze! Use high quality freezer bags or a food saver to stockpile anything that needs to be frozen.
-shop the deals! This is the most important way I stockpile. I shop the deals. For instance, I was able to purchase 4 Colgate toothpastes and 2 of my favorite brands of deodorant this week at Rite Aid. I ultimately paid the same price for all of these items as I would have paid for just 1 of the deodorants. I could have added in free lotion to the deal, but you know what? I have plenty of lotion. Pick what you need and want, and always keep an eye on your stockpile. Do you need 45 lotions? Unless you really go through that lotion, then no. Will 4 toothpastes come in handy? Absolutely. We use it, we go through it fairly quickly and it will keep us from paying full price until more "free toothpaste" deals come up.
Stockpiling can be a helpful tool to save money, but be careful. You do NOT want items piled up along the walls in every room in your house. Don't stockpile something you will never use, just because it's cheap! Start out slow, with one or two items. I recommend body wash or other health care items. You don't worry about an expiration date and it's a good way to get your feet wet. Plus, there are always tons of sales on body wash!