Have you been thinking about starting a grocery stockpile to save money?
It’s really not that hard to do – I promise! It does take time to build, but having a stockpile is worth it in so many ways.
Benefits of Stockpiling
- You will never run out of the things you use (well, sometimes you might – but if you stock up long enough, it’s not often that you will run out of something).
- You don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck when it comes to your groceries. If you’re short on cash one week, come up with an “eat from the stockpile” menu and only use items that you have at home.
- You can help out others in need. Think of all the less fortunate people in the world and imagine how happy they would be to receive some items from your stockpile. It feels so good to give back!
Are you ready to get started on building a grocery stockpile? Here are some tips:
Before you start building your stockpile you need to determine some very important things.
- Where are you going to store everything?
- What types of items do you want to stockpile?
- How long would you like your stockpile to last? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year?
- How many of each particular item do you need to stockpile to last you the amount of time you want?
How Much Should I Stockpile for My Family?
It’s important to become familiar with what items your family uses on a daily basis. Many families go through lots of cereal, soup, pasta, tomato sauce, shampoo, toothpaste, bathroom tissue, etc.
When you open a new item, mark the date on the bottom. When the item is gone, make note of the date and you will learn how long it took you to go through it.
For example, let’s say you mark a box of cereal on April 12th and on April 19th it’s all gone. That means it took you 1 week to go through that box of cereal. If you want to have a 3 month supply, you will need to stockpile 12 boxes.
Pay Attention to Expiration Dates
Be careful not to overbuy, or items could quickly become expired and thrown into the trash – which is not helping you to save money. Always put new items behind older ones to ensure you are always consuming the older items before the new stuff.
Try to go through your stockpile every 6 months and make note of the expiration dates on items. If there are some items you don’t think you will be able to use before they expire, consider donating them to your local food bank or shelter.
Figure Out What You Can Spend
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when starting to build your grocery stockpile is to buy too much, too fast. It can be tempting to create a huge stockpile right away, but it is extremely costly to try this approach. It takes time to build a stockpile. It took me well over a year to get my stockpile to a place where I felt comfortable.
You need to figure out how much money you can afford to spend on “stock up” items every week. You don’t need much. Even $10 or $20 per week can be enough to get you a few extras of items on sale.
When you see a great sale on something you use a lot of, buy as many as you can afford (and can use before they expire).
Pay attention to the store sale cycles so you know when to expect certain items on sale. This will be when those items are at their rock bottom prices, and the best time for you to stock up.
Where to Store Your Stockpile
Once you’ve stocked up on some items, you need somewhere to store everything. Consider a basement, garage or under your bed. Even if you live in a small place, you can still have a stockpile.
Check out my post on stockpile storage ideas for some stockpile organizing inspiration.
Building a grocery stockpile is a great way to save money. By making sure you only buy what you can afford and store, and by paying attention to expiration dates, it’s easy to keep your grocery bills low by stockpiling.
Remember to go slowly. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to grow your stockpile too fast. It’s easy to go overboard – don’t fall into that trap.