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Guest Post: Saving Money Through “Stockpiling”


photo by ninjapoodles

Guest Post by Andrea from Mommy Snacks

Our family of five spends around $100 per week for groceries,
which includes food, health and beauty, diapers and formula (since
our baby has a milk allergy). When I first began the journey to really
focus on our budget, I found a great way to save even more during my
weekly shopping trips: stocking up on items our frequently used items. This not
only helped save money in our budget, it also helped with saving time
and gas–which equals money, too!

Some of the tips I have used to build our stockpile without going overboard are:
1) Determine what your stockpile needs are.

Some of
these items that most families use on a very regular basis and would be good items to stock up on when there's a good sale are pretty obvious: toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, etc. Food items may require you to think about past meals to figure out what
was eaten the most.

I am a visual person so I found that looking at
past menu plans to see what meals we had over the course of several
weeks helped to determine this. Keeping a food journal is another way
to get this information, too. This will help to determine what those
highly-consumed items are for your family.

Another part of focus is knowing when to say when. Going
overboard can seem very exciting in the beginning; blowing your
grocery budget is not.

Try to stick to a stockpile budget that is
included in your grocery budget. This allows you to stock up on the
really good sale and also money in the budget for the weekly
necessities. I generally use around $10 of our budget each week. Some
weeks there are no opportunities to stockpile anything but at least I
know I have a goal to stay within.

2) Define what a comfortable stockpile amount is for your family.

This amount is completely individual. I personally keep a 3-month
supply of health and beauty items in our stockpile. Many of these
items can be easily replenished for free so I don't find a larger supply is
necessary for us.

When you are determining this amount for your food
stockpile, be sure to keep in mind the food expiration dates and
storage recommendations. You certainly don't want to have a supply
that expires!  Again, remembering what meals are more popular will help
to determine if you want a larger supply based on that item's sales

3) Know when a seemingly "good price" is truly a good price.

I generally stockpile items when they are
at least 75% off. This percentage varies some, of course, since some items can be
considered "stockworthy" at a lower percentage, others may be at a
higher percentage so it depends on the item.

Sometimes there aren't
coupons for what you may have to purchase but the item may be on sale
for 40% off. If you never see that item on sale, the sale price is a
great value in itself. 

An option to keep track of pricing is using a price book to track the sales trends in your area. Another resource I have found helpful is the
discussion on sales cycles here. This gives you a general idea of the cycles
many items follow. 

4) Establish a place for storing your stockpile.

Before you buy a
truckload of something, think ahead to where you are going to store it. Certain products
have storage recommendations that should be followed so truly
understanding what your needs are will help you from wasting money in
expired stockpile items.

I use the FIFO policy–First In, First Out. Meaning that I use up the items which have been on the shelf longest first. This helps me rotate the items as new ones are placed in our storage to ensure nothing expires before it can be used.

Andrea Deckard is a stay-at-home mommy with an amazing husband and three energetic boys. Mommy Snacks
is a representation of the life she lives:  faith-loving, money-saving,
weight-struggling mom who is trying to be the best that God wants for
her! Stop by Mommy Snacks to get your fill of "zero-calorie" snacks to help you make it through the day!

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  • Carrie says:

    I’m totally in the stockpile groove this morning: Came home from Jewel-Osco with 6 boxes cereal, 8 cans tomatoes, 5 boxes microwave popcorn and six bags of coffee. Now I’m just hoping that the colder weather doesn’t drive any mice into my basement, which is the only place I have to keep my stores.

    Besides cereal, the main thing I stockpile is granola bars and other kids snacks. These are outrageously priced normally, but I buy ’em whenever they drop to $1/box or lower.

  • Trixie says:

    Hi Andrea!

    Thank you for the great tips. The thing I like best about your post is the part about knowing what your stockpiling needs are.

    One of the ways we are able to keep our grocery budget so low is by stockpiling. And, we only stockpile items that we use regularly. How much sense does it make to stockpile microwave popcorn when you never eat it?

    Some of the things we stockpile a lot are ground beef, chicken, canned tomato products, potatoes, onions, veggetables, pasta and rice, seasoning packets and corn muffin mix. These ingredients really help to pull a dinner together quickly out of almost nothing. Quick, tasty and cheap!

    Take Care,


  • kelly says:

    I would like to hear suggestions from people on where to donate some of the things that I have stockpiled. I dont have children at home anymore and I have tons of dimeatapp.

  • april says:

    besides personal hygeine stuff, I stockpile soup, spaghetti o’s, side dish items(canned beans, mac & cheese, etc), broths, any kind of snack items(granola bars, fruit snacks, etc), cake and cookie mixes(if I can get free), and prob a lot more. Those items seem to take the biggest chunk out of a budget if you don’t have them on hand.

    Besides, who wants to run to the store for just a can of broth?

  • Jennifer S. says:

    Kelly – I donate to two shelters in my area. One of them is open to anyone in need, the other is limited to women and children, who are only allowed to stay for 30 days. The shelter helps them find a job and a place to live and helps them set up their new homes. This means that health and beauty items, cleaning supplies and food are always welcome!

  • Heather says:

    Thanks for the link to the sales cycles at Hot Coupon World! What a great resource. I bookmarked it!

  • calina says:

    We also stockpile and another thing I do that’s not mentioned here is when I purchase my food and such, I take a sharpie and mark the purchase date on the item. Makes the first in – first out policy easier.

  • Cheryl says:

    Another benefit of stockpiling is that with winter coming, you are already on your way to being prepared for any storms that may come along. Not having to worry about running out to the store with a storm approaching, or getting snowed in etc. is one less thing to worry about.

  • Emily says:

    Great article Andrea! It gives me a great sense of peace when I go to my pantry or freezer and see the stockpile I’ve been able to build up through couponing. No matter what happens out there in the world, knowing I can feed my family somehow makes me feel like things aren’t so bad!

  • tina says:

    we have not be very good with stockpiling food items , guess did not know how to go about with . thanks for this tips its really helpful.

  • Amy says:

    I am now an avid stockpiler. It’s so much easier to knock out the basics in one big trip. I’ve started going once every three months. Then, I just run into the store every for perishables and meat. It’s great!

  • Cher says:

    We stockpile to save money and to store food for difficult times. Our church has encouraged us to be self-reliant, which goes along very nicely with “frugaling” ways! We currently have about one year’s supply of food, toiletries, etc. I keep a list of how many of each item we need and stockpile based on those needs. It got a little difficult shuffling 48 cans of beans around so we got a sweet deal on The Harvest 72″ food rotator at It is kind of pricey (at regular price), but we purchased it during a free shipping with a HUGE coupon. I still get coupons emailed to me. IT HAS BEEN WORTH EVERY PENNY! No more food getting tossed because I missed the expiration date. Cans go in the top and get eaten in order out of the bottom. Love, love, love it!

  • Rob Brydon says:

    Very good article. I adhere to many of the principles listed.

    Just the other day, at the last minute, my wife and I entertained 30 people at our house for a BBQ and only had to purchase some hot dog and hamburger buns.

    Just an FYI. Hopefully this comment is not taken as spam, but I ran into a website called Savings Angel and it works on the same principal. Combine a coupon with a sale and buy a lot of an item so that you don’t need to purchase it until an item like it becomes on sale again.

    This keeps my pantry stocked and cuts my grocery and toiletry items bill in half. I was spending $600 a month and now it’s down to $300 dollars a month.

    Check it out if you want. You don’t have to enter my code. It does truly work though.

    Go to and type in referral #: 1498

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