Should I Stockpile?
Now that we are settled into our new home and new community it’s time to get back to extreme couponing in excellence! I recommend you sign up to receive the updates to my Sharing From the Heart blog because you won’t want to miss my coupon savings tips I will be sharing with you throughout this new year.
First Tip: To stockpile or not? That seems to be a BIG question I’m asked quite often. There are pros and cons to stockpiling.
Do you have space? If so, what size stockpile do you have room for? What type of products do you think would be worthy to stockpile?
My first question to you-
Are you new to couponing? If so, why not start out slow and start small. This is my recommendation since new couponers can get overwhelmed if they take it on all at once. Just begin watching the ads, getting coupons from the Sunday paper, perhaps printing coupons from the internet, and connect to a few of my favorite coupon saving websites that do most of the work for you.
Have you been couponing for a little while and are comfortable with it? If so, I recommend you buy multiple papers when the coupons are useful for what you will want to purchase prior to the expiration date of the coupon. Most likely the items on the coupons WILL go on sale prior to the coupon expiration so do not rush out to purchase items just because you have a coupon. At this level you can begin purchasing a few of the same items (BOTH with coupons and on sale) to start a small stockpile.
Already an extreme couponer with a stockpile? It’s time for me to get on my soapbox… there is a fine line between stocking with a purpose with an intent to use prior to spoilage AND hoarding. I admit it…you get almost a ‘high’ when you get to this level. When you begin saving 70-90+% and begin bringing home free items consistently, you want to score the next deal and can, get ready for it…yes, you can become addicted for the next score. Sounds funny…or does this sound familiar? Who doesn’t want to pay just $100 for $1,000 in merchandise? ALL things in moderation please. Score the great deals but also be reasonable. The coupons will come around again and so will the sale prices. Figure out what you have room to stockpile AND can use before the next cycle of sales. Then donate the rest! Use your extreme couponing skills to the benefit of local food pantries, missions and such- you can even get a tax receipt for your donation. Think of those you know from church or your neighborhood or community that are hungry, out of work or down on their luck- donate some of your stock and make their day!
Now, my caution regarding hoarding. What is hoarding? It’s stocking in any quantity- large or small- of items you will not or could not possibly use up prior to expiration of the product. Just about all items have an expiration date so it’s important you know when your stock will expire. DO NOT WAIT to donate untill the expiration date. In my book, that’s just throwing away trash to a local person or organization. Trash belongs in the trashcan. All things in excellence please! Hoarding is also treasuring your stockpile more than relationships within your family or community. Hoarding is allowing your stockpile to take over your home. We’ve all seen it on tv and perhaps some of you have this already occurring in your homes- everywhere you turn you have part of your stockpile; you lose valuable space needed for life because you ‘need’ to put more stock there, you won’t share your abundance with others in need, and you look at your stockpile with extremely proud thoughts/emotions. When we’ve put our couponing and stocking above our family life and community life, then we’ve gone too far. Get some boxes and begin filling them with items to donate and share. It won’t hurt, it won’t make you bleed. It will give you an amazing feeling of a job well done! Last year, Bob and I donated over $1,000 in products to a team from our church that provides mission work in Haiti. This donation cost us approx $150! It all came from my stockpile, so the $150 was spent a little here and a little there. This was amazing and very exciting at the same time! We provided health and beauty aids, cleaning products and food for people that have nothing in a land that is devastated. Children ate cereal for the first time in their lives. Something as basic as cereal that we take for granted every day. I am still humbled by it! In fact, it motivates us to do more- there are many opportunities for this!
We do stockpile and we’ve appreciated our stockpile for the past nine months especially! Over the past 7+ months our family experienced the following: I had a heart procedure last May (2012), we placed our home on the market shortly after that, sold our home, lived in transition housing (hotel) while we waited for our next home, moved everything we owned into storage, moved to our new home, unpacked countless boxes, prepared and celebrated Thanksgiving for the family at our home and then celebrated Christmas. It’s amazing how quickly the past 7+ months have gone by. During that time we didn’t need to purchase any cleaning items or health and beauty aids. We only purchased minimal amounts of food. How is this possible? Because we had a healthy stockpile full of things we use and would need. The best part- we didn’t know we were going to move when we stocked up on these items. We hardly went to the grocery store! Yes, this stockpile has been a blessing and we are looking forward to filling the gaping holes we’ve created by using so much over this past year. We’ve also continued to donate to different causes at the same time.
Another benefit to stockpiling is learning to shop to the sales, not the typical grocery list way. When cleaning items are on sale, we stock up. We can do this because we are already stocked up on other items you typically find on a grocery list such as juice or milk… more on this in a future blog.
To stockpile or not? The choice is yours. You can still extreme coupon without stockpiling! You just do it on a smaller level and it still is amazing when you save 70+% at the grocery store!
Please share your comments and questions. This will help everyone!!