How to Store Your Stockpile

Basics

  • Rotate by expiration date: When lining up products, put the ones with the soonest expiration date near the front and the farthest away dates in the back.
    • Tip: Write expiration/ use by date on the front of the items with a marker for easier reference.
  • Keep it close: When possible, keep parts of your stockpile close to where you use it. Keep toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine products, toilet paper, and shampoo in the bathroom, food products in and around the kitchen, etc. That way, when you run out of an item, a replacement is within easy reach.
  • Ideally, keep your stockpile in a cool, dry area. If you cannot, look below for how to deal with special circumstances.

Locations

Not everyone has a climate controlled garage, a large walk-in pantry and a multitude of cabinets. Check out below for ideas:

Small Spaces
If you’re low on extra space, consider these locations:
  • Under beds & cribs (in locking totes for the latter)
  • Below sinks
  • Shelving above the washer & dryer
  • Under tables & desks
  • Storage cubes in tall bookshelves
  • Porch or balcony
  • Garage
  • In suitcases
  • Tall dressers
  • Over-the-Door hanging shoe organizers
    • These are great for small items like hair ties, unopened razors, trial size items, and fingernail polish
  • Small set of drawers for couch or bedside table
  • Peg board/ hooks
    • Great for anything that hangs– packages of batteries, razors, cough drops, pens, cotton swabs, etc.
  • Hang a chain from the ceiling and clip on bagged products (chips, dry soup mixes, crackers, dried fruit, nuts, cookies, etc).
  • Linen, coat, and bedroom closets

Space-Saving Tips

  • Buy concentrated detergents and cleaning supplies
  • Take products out of cardboard boxes to pack more items into limited spaces
  • Use a trunk as a coffee table and small set of drawers for couch or bedside table
Shelving
Having or installing shelving in the areas mentioned is a great way to optimize your stockpile space.
  • Build Your Own
    • Materials that work well: PCP tubing, wood, milk crates, or even cardboard (see this post for how one of our readers, Meghan, did hers)
  • Purchasing
    • Second hand: Craigslist, garage/ moving sales, thrift stores
    • Home improvement stores: pair with coupons found in change of address packs at the Post Office.
    • Online: sites like RetailMeNot.com have a lot of current Internet codes for coupons and promos on their website that you can apply to online orders from thousands of sites.

Climate Consideration

Cold
In cold climates, storing food in a garage can be difficult because of the damaging effects of freezing.  Several recommendations to help when storing your food in cold areas are:
  • Food items should not be allowed to freeze.  Freezing can cause cans to bulge, which can cause the seam to fail.  This can lead to food-borne illness. Whenever possible, avoid storing foods where the temperatures will reach below freezing.
  • Freezing can also have adverse effects on liquids such as detergent and toothpaste.  Keep liquids out of the cold as well.
    • If possible, store the above products in areas underground, such as a basement or root cellar.
  • If a basement is unavailable, try insulating the products as much as possible.  Wrap them in newspaper or blankets for storage.
    • Tip: For extra insulation, you can create a small ‘room’ out of straw bales- floor and walls made from straw around the items, and a sheet of plywood covered by more straw on top.
  • Luckily, most canned goods are packed in a solution of salt or sugar, which lowers their actual freezing point.
  • Foods that are dehydrated or freeze-dried will actually last longer in the cold since there is no water in them to freeze.
  • Stockpile things such as paper towels, plastic cups and utensils, razors, floss, and toothbrushes in locations that may freeze.
Hot/Humid
Hot temperatures (above 85 degrees Fahrenheit) cause foods to spoil and some liquids to congeal.  Long term storage can lose as much as 80% of its shelf life in hot weather.  To save money, here are some tips to beat the heat:
  • If at all possible, always keep food indoors where it is cool and dry.
  • If food must be stored in a hot place, try making a homemade cooler.  Using two terracotta or clay pots of different sizes, you can keep some things cool.  Place the smaller pot inside the larger one, and fill the area in between with sand. Keep the sand wet, and cover the pots with a damp towel.  This will keep the contents quite a bit cooler than the surrounding air.
  • If your garage is too humid to store food, you can either buy a dehumidifier or build your own.  To do this, take 5 gallon buckets and fill them with rock salt.  This will suck most of the moisture out of the air. The rock salt can then be dehydrated and reused.
  • Another method of keeping out humid air is to seal the cans, either in a layer of wax (bought in the craft section of stores and melted in a double boiler) or to cover in a clear coating of Rustoleum(™) or similar product.
  • Direct sunlight is detrimental to foods.  It can super-heat the packaging and cause damage.  Keep your stockpile out of direct sunlight.
Rodents/ Bugs
If your planned storage area has pest issues, try these suggestions:
  • Always store foods off the ground on shelves whenever possible.  Not only will it keep things out of the reach of nibbling mice, but off of surfaces like concrete that can potentially leach harmful chemicals into packaging.
    • Tip: Keep fabric softener sheets near your stockpile.  Bugs and rodents detest the smell.
  • If you have serious problems with critters, try storing edibles in food-grade plastic buckets with metalized liners.  The buckets will keep out the bugs, and the liners will help odors from attracting mice and rats.  If you also place oxygen absorber packs in the buckets, it will extend their shelf life as a bonus!

What are some of your stockpiling storing hints & recommendations? What works best for you and your climate? We want to know, so comment below! :)

Leave a Reply

115 thoughts on “How To Store Your Stockpile”

  1. Jessieyauch says:

    Ok I preety much have the concept on cleaning supplies and taxables but how do I get free meats and produce

  2. Jessieyauch says:

    Ok I preety much have the concept on cleaning supplies and taxables but how do I get free meats and produce

  3. Annette says:

    I just wanted to share, we are remodeling our house, right now we only have 1 bedroom, there is 3 people living here. For storing our stockpile I went to Walmart and bought see through containers, in the bathroom which is small. I have 6 containers all labels for what they are, I also was able to get ahold of Milk crates, so I put them on their side and stacked those. I have a shelf up high for toilet paper. in my utility room, it is small in there also, I have 1 wall of shelves, there I also use Milk crates and storage containers, Containers are wonderful for the smaller items. and I can label each one. In the Kitchen it is small, but 1 corner I have made a U shape pantry with shelves, here I have also used see through containers and the Milk crates. You can use a shoe holder that will hang on the shelves for your package seasonings and odds and ends. You can get very creative in small spaces with these containers, and you can spray paint the lids to add color. Find free printable labels, and use large clear tape to tape them to the fronts of the containers.

    Just thought I’d share.

  4. Annette says:

    I just wanted to share, we are remodeling our house, right now we only have 1 bedroom, there is 3 people living here. For storing our stockpile I went to Walmart and bought see through containers, in the bathroom which is small. I have 6 containers all labels for what they are, I also was able to get ahold of Milk crates, so I put them on their side and stacked those. I have a shelf up high for toilet paper. in my utility room, it is small in there also, I have 1 wall of shelves, there I also use Milk crates and storage containers, Containers are wonderful for the smaller items. and I can label each one. In the Kitchen it is small, but 1 corner I have made a U shape pantry with shelves, here I have also used see through containers and the Milk crates. You can use a shoe holder that will hang on the shelves for your package seasonings and odds and ends. You can get very creative in small spaces with these containers, and you can spray paint the lids to add color. Find free printable labels, and use large clear tape to tape them to the fronts of the containers.

    Just thought I’d share.

  5. Annette says:

    I just wanted to share, we are remodeling our house, right now we only have 1 bedroom, there is 3 people living here. For storing our stockpile I went to Walmart and bought see through containers, in the bathroom which is small. I have 6 containers all labels for what they are, I also was able to get ahold of Milk crates, so I put them on their side and stacked those. I have a shelf up high for toilet paper. in my utility room, it is small in there also, I have 1 wall of shelves, there I also use Milk crates and storage containers, Containers are wonderful for the smaller items. and I can label each one. In the Kitchen it is small, but 1 corner I have made a U shape pantry with shelves, here I have also used see through containers and the Milk crates. You can use a shoe holder that will hang on the shelves for your package seasonings and odds and ends. You can get very creative in small spaces with these containers, and you can spray paint the lids to add color. Find free printable labels, and use large clear tape to tape them to the fronts of the containers.

    Just thought I’d share.

  6. Annette says:

    I just wanted to share, we are remodeling our house, right now we only have 1 bedroom, there is 3 people living here. For storing our stockpile I went to Walmart and bought see through containers, in the bathroom which is small. I have 6 containers all labels for what they are, I also was able to get ahold of Milk crates, so I put them on their side and stacked those. I have a shelf up high for toilet paper. in my utility room, it is small in there also, I have 1 wall of shelves, there I also use Milk crates and storage containers, Containers are wonderful for the smaller items. and I can label each one. In the Kitchen it is small, but 1 corner I have made a U shape pantry with shelves, here I have also used see through containers and the Milk crates. You can use a shoe holder that will hang on the shelves for your package seasonings and odds and ends. You can get very creative in small spaces with these containers, and you can spray paint the lids to add color. Find free printable labels, and use large clear tape to tape them to the fronts of the containers.

    Just thought I’d share.

  7. Annette says:

    I just wanted to share, we are remodeling our house, right now we only have 1 bedroom, there is 3 people living here. For storing our stockpile I went to Walmart and bought see through containers, in the bathroom which is small. I have 6 containers all labels for what they are, I also was able to get ahold of Milk crates, so I put them on their side and stacked those. I have a shelf up high for toilet paper. in my utility room, it is small in there also, I have 1 wall of shelves, there I also use Milk crates and storage containers, Containers are wonderful for the smaller items. and I can label each one. In the Kitchen it is small, but 1 corner I have made a U shape pantry with shelves, here I have also used see through containers and the Milk crates. You can use a shoe holder that will hang on the shelves for your package seasonings and odds and ends. You can get very creative in small spaces with these containers, and you can spray paint the lids to add color. Find free printable labels, and use large clear tape to tape them to the fronts of the containers.

    Just thought I’d share.

    • Coloradocouponer says:

      Good job being creative. Honestly, my home is newer but most homes anywmore have a lot of wasted space and little storage so being creative is important. You have to work well and use what you have to the best of your ability.

      • Annette says:

        I agree with that. I don’t over stock on nothing, things that don’t go bad (mostly household things) I will use the crates or the containers for those and when I start running low, then I will restock it. For anyone they have to find what works for them and their household. There is so many good ideas out there, always looking for ideas and creativity.

  8. randi says:

    freezing yogurt is good. But does frozen milk defrost and taste the same??

  9. randi says:

    freezing yogurt is good. But does frozen milk defrost and taste the same??

  10. randi says:

    freezing yogurt is good. But does frozen milk defrost and taste the same??

    • Ljc6780 says:

      Yes.. I don’t drink cow’s milk much anymore nor do I have much extra storage space but I used to buy and freeze it all the time and it always tasted fine.. as far as the go bad date? well I’d say at least a week after opening… after that you may just do a quick sniff before you drink.. but sniff from the cup not the jug as sometimes dried milk around the edge can smell when the milk is fine inside.. (that sounds really gross I know.. )

  11. Rickslee22 says:

    I think you mean “PVC tubing” when you said “PCP tubing”. There are tons of great placed online to find neat PVC projects like shelving and stands. Just head to your local Home Depot and pick up the necessary pipe and fitting and you get some nice low cost storage shelves.

  12. Rickslee22 says:

    I think you mean “PVC tubing” when you said “PCP tubing”. There are tons of great placed online to find neat PVC projects like shelving and stands. Just head to your local Home Depot and pick up the necessary pipe and fitting and you get some nice low cost storage shelves.

  13. Nursejakey says:

    Tyou!

  14. Mary says:

    I think some of the suggestions here sound a little extreme, such as sealing things with wax and terracotta pots filled with sand.
    BUGS FOLLOW FOOD. Bugs will go anywhere that they manage to track as a source of food. So, if you are storing food in a place that you think is bug free, you may be surprised three months down the line. People who tend to snack in bed may be surprised to find bugs in their bedroom as well just from the crumbs. Imagine if you store a whole load of dry food in there. It’s a feast. I have had bug problems just in my kitchen cabinets from foods like cereals, dry grains even chocolate. People don’t realize that often times bug eggs come with the food, given enough time they hatch and start an infestation. Don’t believe me? Multiple lab tests have shown the bottom of cereal boxes where you see that sparkly powder, is actually filled with hundreds of bug eggs per box. Dry grains like cracked wheat are filled with bug eggs.
    Toiletries hate sunlight and heat, as I said before lotions, and other things can spoil just like food. So heat and moisture are your enemy. I tend to store my toiletries in the bathroom but in wooden cabinets that keep the sun heat and moisture out as much as possible. I also never buy so called all natural or organic products unless I am using them right away, because those have practically no shelf life.
    I think the main thing is understanding your limitations, there is no point in stocking up stuff that can potentially poison you or sicken you. One doctor’s bill or emergency room bill will wipe out your couponing savings 5 times over. When in doubt don’t do it. When I see people who have 20, 30, 40 boxes of something. To me that is just flirting with danger, not to mention weight issues, because the more you buy the more you consume.

  15. Mary says:

    I think some of the suggestions here sound a little extreme, such as sealing things with wax and terracotta pots filled with sand.
    BUGS FOLLOW FOOD. Bugs will go anywhere that they manage to track as a source of food. So, if you are storing food in a place that you think is bug free, you may be surprised three months down the line. People who tend to snack in bed may be surprised to find bugs in their bedroom as well just from the crumbs. Imagine if you store a whole load of dry food in there. It’s a feast. I have had bug problems just in my kitchen cabinets from foods like cereals, dry grains even chocolate. People don’t realize that often times bug eggs come with the food, given enough time they hatch and start an infestation. Don’t believe me? Multiple lab tests have shown the bottom of cereal boxes where you see that sparkly powder, is actually filled with hundreds of bug eggs per box. Dry grains like cracked wheat are filled with bug eggs.
    Toiletries hate sunlight and heat, as I said before lotions, and other things can spoil just like food. So heat and moisture are your enemy. I tend to store my toiletries in the bathroom but in wooden cabinets that keep the sun heat and moisture out as much as possible. I also never buy so called all natural or organic products unless I am using them right away, because those have practically no shelf life.
    I think the main thing is understanding your limitations, there is no point in stocking up stuff that can potentially poison you or sicken you. One doctor’s bill or emergency room bill will wipe out your couponing savings 5 times over. When in doubt don’t do it. When I see people who have 20, 30, 40 boxes of something. To me that is just flirting with danger, not to mention weight issues, because the more you buy the more you consume.

  16. Mamamaynard55 says:

    Another one for the freezer is butter, I buy several when they are on sale and stick them in the freezer, works great!
    Be sure to check your toothpaste too for expiration dates. It does expire, I don’t know if it would be bad for you, but I sure know that it tastes like soap if it gets too old.

    • Coloradocouponer says:

      You are absolutely right about the butter. It freezes and thaws just fine. I got a screaming deal on Land o lakes butter this spring (1.00 for a 1 pound box), stocked up and froze it. It is nice knowing I don’t have to buy it at the nearly 3.00 charged now.

  17. Tracy says:

    I still need suggestions for storing bags of chips. I only have one rack with 4 shelves which is full of other stuff. Bags of chips take up SO much space. I’ve been moving them around from here and there and they’re turning into crumbs.

    • Coloradocouponer says:

      I put some self adhesive magentic stip in my basement stairwell up higher where they woud not be in the way but would be easy to get to. Then I took bag clips with magnets, or put a magnet on ones that did not have one and hang the bags up with the bag clip on the magnetic stip. They are out of the way, protected from critters and don’t become a mashed mess. This could work in any closet etc since their is always a lot of wasted spaces up higher.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you tried the chain & clip idea mentioned in the post? That is a great space-saver with no shelving required.

  18. songstresgirl says:

    Great tips! Thanks! My hub called the pepsico company bc of this very subject he and I were “discussing” I said we could not store the soda outside, he said we could. Well, we called, and they told us that the bottled 2 liters, propels, things like that we could store out in the garage. We live in high humidity so I was worried it would ruin it, but the lady said it will be fine. =) (and my hub did a happy dance bc he was, as usual, right. lol

    • Miller Momma says:

      just becarefull about anything with artificial sweeteners in drinks, anythign diet shouldnt be in extreme heat because the aspertame turns into a bad chemical when under heat for too long, you can google it :) We dont allow artificial sweeteners in our house, im strongly against it, but for those who do have them in products and items i would urge you to google what happens to the aspertame when under heat :)

      and nothing against those who use items with aspertame, its just something we dont like :)

      and also, does anyone know about making those can storage things that rotate them for u, like u drop one in top and the next rolls down? i heard u can make them out of cardboard boxes and we have tons of diaper boxes, but havnt found the ideas to make them??? TY

      • mrs claire says:

        i would also REALLY like to know how to make can-rotating shelving units from cardboard…i think cardboard boxes are the one thing that stockpile themselves, lol! always have a million!!!

      • Ljc6780 says:

        From everything I’ve heard/read, Aspartame is a “bad chemical” in and of itself!! WHY the FDA ever allowed it into our foods is a mystery to me! Anyway…

      • Ljc6780 says:

        From everything I’ve heard/read, Aspartame is a “bad chemical” in and of itself!! WHY the FDA ever allowed it into our foods is a mystery to me! Anyway…

    • Miller Momma says:

      just becarefull about anything with artificial sweeteners in drinks, anythign diet shouldnt be in extreme heat because the aspertame turns into a bad chemical when under heat for too long, you can google it :) We dont allow artificial sweeteners in our house, im strongly against it, but for those who do have them in products and items i would urge you to google what happens to the aspertame when under heat :)

      and nothing against those who use items with aspertame, its just something we dont like :)

      and also, does anyone know about making those can storage things that rotate them for u, like u drop one in top and the next rolls down? i heard u can make them out of cardboard boxes and we have tons of diaper boxes, but havnt found the ideas to make them??? TY

  19. Caroline says:

    Also worth noting, toothpaste becomes explosive when under pressure or exposed to high heat.. This is why it’s a popular ingredient in homemade pipebombs (I watch a lot of crime dramas lol) ..on Nathan Engles’ episode I was shocked at his “room of toothpaste” as he’s literally living on top of a ticking timebomb!!

  20. Kollat1015 says:

    Is this an actual picture of your garage? If so, you need to get you plastic bottles up off the cement floor. Cemical that are used to make cement may leach up into you plastic containers with a flat bottom and can contaminate you food inside. If they have rimmed bottoms they are suppose to be okay, but to play it safe put wood or something under them. My mother is the emergency preparedness lady in her church in Cali and told me this, so I did some adjusting myself ! :)

  21. Has anybody else tried sharing this through FB??
    why cant i share some of these great stories??

  22. Vanessa says:

    I haven’t read all the comments so I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this, but if you have a smartphone there are a number of (free!) apps you can use to keep track of your stockpile inventory. Just scan the barcode of your items when you put them away and you can quickly reference what you have from your phone at any time. You can add expiration info too, and categorize your items. I love that it enables you to see what you have when you’re at the store, so you don’t get carried away and buy 10 more tubes of toothpaste when you already have 10 at home. And it also helps so that things don’t get lost if you stick them in a suitcase somewhere–even if you’ve forgotten where you put it, you know you have it somewhere!

    • Miller Momma says:

      My hubby kept telling me there has to be a way to track it with our smartphones, has anyone found a free app they really like? so i can track what i have and also what prices i got them at and bla bla bla?
      :)

      • It’s not an app…it’s an excel spreadsheet, but I really like foodstoragemadeeasy [dot] net

        It takes some work, but it’s very useful and you can track anything!

      • It’s not an app…it’s an excel spreadsheet, but I really like foodstoragemadeeasy [dot] net

        It takes some work, but it’s very useful and you can track anything!

      • It’s not an app…it’s an excel spreadsheet, but I really like foodstoragemadeeasy [dot] net

        It takes some work, but it’s very useful and you can track anything!

      • It’s not an app…it’s an excel spreadsheet, but I really like foodstoragemadeeasy [dot] net

        It takes some work, but it’s very useful and you can track anything!

    • Miller Momma says:

      My hubby kept telling me there has to be a way to track it with our smartphones, has anyone found a free app they really like? so i can track what i have and also what prices i got them at and bla bla bla?
      :)

  23. Coloradocouponer says:

    I don’t have a lot of available space in my basement. I went to my grocery store and got the cardboard flats that they use for the canned goods. I use those for a lot of my extra items. They stack perfectly. I have taken the outside perimiter of the landing in the stairwell to the basement and I stack the cardboard flats full of whatever. The flats against the wall keep the stack stable. They hold just about anything from cans to jars and it is easy to see what is in them.

    Also, if mice are an issue in your area, keep anything they would like up high. They are very resourceful and can leap onto shelves.

  24. CouponFroggy says:

    Great info! Thank you!

  25. danielle says:

    I have been couponing for about 2 months now and am absolutely shocked how quickly I built a stockpile. I am one of those people with no pantry, so I try to keep one of every food item in the kitchen cabinet. I have a large entertainment center in the living room with cabinents on the bottom that I keep all my extras. I try to keep it as organized as possible, although it won’t have any room much longer. My 5 year old loves putting extras away when I come home from the store!

  26. danielle says:

    I have been couponing for about 2 months now and am absolutely shocked how quickly I built a stockpile. I am one of those people with no pantry, so I try to keep one of every food item in the kitchen cabinet. I have a large entertainment center in the living room with cabinents on the bottom that I keep all my extras. I try to keep it as organized as possible, although it won’t have any room much longer. My 5 year old loves putting extras away when I come home from the store!

  27. danielle says:

    I have been couponing for about 2 months now and am absolutely shocked how quickly I built a stockpile. I am one of those people with no pantry, so I try to keep one of every food item in the kitchen cabinet. I have a large entertainment center in the living room with cabinents on the bottom that I keep all my extras. I try to keep it as organized as possible, although it won’t have any room much longer. My 5 year old loves putting extras away when I come home from the store!

  28. Kathy S from Methuen MA says:

    You have your article about stockpiling – one thing I do that seems to speed things up is to create labels by month and year. Then I print different colors for different months so it’s really easy to spot what needs to be used first.

    I use Avery 5418. I go in at the beginning of every month and change the month and print out a few sheets.

    Then I watch for sales at Staples and usually can get the labels for free !!

  29. Miller Momma says:

    Hubby, daughter (2yrold), another baby on the way any day now, adn I live in a two bedroom apartment. however we are lucky, its an older style apartment so it has great big closets!!! (something newer places just dont seem to have) and so in our daughters closets we have our diapers, canned food extras, and items that she cant harm herself with :) in our bathroom, hubby put up a big long shelf above our mirror and it holds all our shampoo, body wash, deoderant and blablabla lol all bathroom stuff. i have a shoe holder in our bathroom too with all our “currently being used/next to be used” items. and have a over the toilet shelf unit (we secured it to wall for safty since have littles ones in house) and have baskets on it filled with more bathroom stuff like razors and things. My laundry room is also another big storage area, and any shelf in closets i use as well. I try and keep alllll food items either in our pantry or above cubbards in kitchen. Hubby is going to install two more shelves in kitchen for more food storage :) at home depot we get the plain white shelfs and L brackets, we use three instead of two for extra support (can never be too safe).

    Im going to now work on reorganizing and working on using our underbed area for more storage and work on a better system for our food storage (we have only been doing this for 2 months, so hoping to get a stay good plan before new baby arrives )

    i love the website that tells about the storing of food and expiration dates, helps when buying and storing. Im curiouse about the can food rotaters made out of the cardboard but i still cant find a sight that gives teh info on how to make them, we have TONS of diaper boxs we can convert, but dont know how??? anyone done this???

    and if you live in an apartment, what are ways you do your stockpile???? i would love to know more from those in situation like me and my family :)

    And KCL i love your posts!!! Its great to hear all teh ideas from others and tips/tricks i would have never thought of :)

  30. Newspapernfc says:

    I live in the country, mice are a nusuance. In addition to your suggestions, I store rice, beans, etc. in glass jars. Anything that is not mouse proof is kept in the busiest cabinets in the kitchen.

  31. guest says:

    My tip: Don’t store soaps, dryer sheets, or cleaning supplies near food. We had crackers in a cabinet next to some laundry supplies and after only 3 months they all tasted like the dryer sheets smell. Store these items in different rooms if possible.

    • Azchickens says:

      Ditto wn coffee, tea and dishsoap. NOT fun figuring those out.

      • Tara says:

        If they bag it separately at the grocery store or wrap an additional plastic bag around it before adding it to your bag, chances are it is an item you want to store separate at home too.

        • Ljc6780 says:

          I agree to a point.. some stores’ policies are to bag all “chemicals” separate than food no matter if it’s sealed or safe or whatever.. also it’s sad, but many cashiers these days are what I call “bag happy” where they put only 2-3 items per bag and use another.. what a waste! I personally use recycled plastic bottle reusable shopping bags.. they hold WAY more than cheap plastic bags and I use the self check out whenever possible or just tell the cashier to set the item down and I will bag as they scan.. this way stuff gets packed how I like it.. I can usually get a pretty good cart full of goods in less than 5 bags.. without squishing! Anyway.. sort of got a little off topic.. :-)

          • Tara says:

            I use reusable bags too and totally agree with the bag happy cash wrap folks. You totally sound like me. I walk to my local Safeway so it is important to me that my bags are balanced. I don’t want to walk home lopsided with one heavy bag and one that is barely full. Or have them hand me a bunch of additional flimsy bags when I know the four I brought can handle the groceries I purchased. So I tend to take over my own bagging whenever I can. I never use self checkout. I have spent two years building a repore with my various favorite cashiers at Safeway, Costco, & CVS. Having who enjoys your smiling face each week is so valuable. My gals at Safeway & CVS and my guys at Costco actually pretend to be mad if I don’t get in their line. I hope to eventually have a ‘friend’ at Target too, but I don’t shop there frequently enough.

  32. Debbs Seattle says:

    Here is a great tip on laundry detergent and liquid fabric softener…or actually any liquid item that does not have an expiration date nor any compromise of quality if opened…shampoo? conditioner? Cleaning product?

    When you buy a jug of laundry stuffs, it is filled usually about 2 inches from the top of jug. When I buy 8 jugs at a time, I can usually pour the entire 8th unit into the other seven jugs. If there is a little left, it just goes into the laundry room for immediate use. Does not save a huge amount of space, but my shelf is exactly 7 jugs deep.

    I also remove all razor cartridges from packaging and store in mini boxes in a dresser drawer, rather than bulky packaging. I would say that I have reduced necessary space by 95% or better on those.

  33. Debbs Seattle says:

    Here is a great tip on laundry detergent and liquid fabric softener…or actually any liquid item that does not have an expiration date nor any compromise of quality if opened…shampoo? conditioner? Cleaning product?

    When you buy a jug of laundry stuffs, it is filled usually about 2 inches from the top of jug. When I buy 8 jugs at a time, I can usually pour the entire 8th unit into the other seven jugs. If there is a little left, it just goes into the laundry room for immediate use. Does not save a huge amount of space, but my shelf is exactly 7 jugs deep.

    I also remove all razor cartridges from packaging and store in mini boxes in a dresser drawer, rather than bulky packaging. I would say that I have reduced necessary space by 95% or better on those.

    • Awesome idea with the jugs! I do the same thing with the razors. :D

    • Ljc6780 says:

      I just got done doing the same thing with my laundry detergent too! :-)

    • Tara says:

      Another idea when it comes to fabric softener. I use the liquid variety and found that if I use my washers fabric softener dispenser with the super concentrated softener it clogs after only a week’s use. So I started saving my last empty bottle, pouring the new bottle half into the old and filling them both to the top with water. The half/ water half softener no longer clogs my HE washer’s dispense and I’ve never used more than line 1 in the cap for a med/lrg. load. So my already cheap gain softner suddlenly becomes 50% cheaper.

  34. sjdesch says:

    I have a question- I try to keep as much food as possible in my house, but since it is small with not a lot of places to store things, I do keep the larger items like bags of chips, top ramen, and crackers in the garage with my toiletries. Are these items okay to store in a garage that is approx. 100 degrees right now, or should I try to find a spot in the house for them?

    • Heat and stored food simply don’t mix. To answer your specific question, if your garage gets to 100 degrees, how long do you plan to store the chips? A couple weeks…a couple months…a couple years? If you said a couple weeks then sure, they’ll be fine. If you said a couple months…ehhh, hard to say. If you said a couple years, no – I wouldn’t do it.

      If storing food is important to you (as well it should be) then you’re simply going to have to make it a priority. Don’t let me walk into your house and see 30 pairs of shoes sitting in your cool, dark closet while you try to find space for your food in your 100 degree garage. Under your bed, up high in a closet, or get creative and put a pretty table cloth over a coffee table and store things underneath (out of sight).

      I know I’m a bit extreme…but for me, it’s a top priority. I minimized and consolidated my clothing as much as possible and used 90% of my closet space for food storage. I just couldn’t reconcile the fact in my head that I had dozens of clothing items hanging in a closet that I rarely wore and was struggling to find storage space for my food. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing closet, but it’s beautiful to me. Until you make it a priority…you’ll always struggle to find space to store food.

      • sjdesch says:

        Thanks for the advice! I thought I may be pushing it a little bit by having those things out there (and I would never put anything that is highly perishable or melts easily in the garage), so it’s good to hear that I really shouldn’t have them out there if I want to keep them for very long. I need to do some reorganizing around the house, and I am sure that I can find a spot to put them in. Thanks so much!!

  35. sjdesch says:

    I have a question- I try to keep as much food as possible in my house, but since it is small with not a lot of places to store things, I do keep the larger items like bags of chips, top ramen, and crackers in the garage with my toiletries. Are these items okay to store in a garage that is approx. 100 degrees right now, or should I try to find a spot in the house for them?

  36. Sfclippers says:

    just a tip—-i found plans online for a guy who built those soup can rotate things out of cardboard. i saw an entire system of those from costco, for $200!!! my husand built the ones with cardboard from diaper boxes and they work great. now i write a date and toss them in i always know my can stockpile is rotated

  37. Sfclippers says:

    just a tip—-i found plans online for a guy who built those soup can rotate things out of cardboard. i saw an entire system of those from costco, for $200!!! my husand built the ones with cardboard from diaper boxes and they work great. now i write a date and toss them in i always know my can stockpile is rotated

  38. Azsoftballfanz says:

    Wow this looks like a mini mart………

    No Way I could store all of that in my garage not in 115 degree heat like were having today….

  39. Azsoftballfanz says:

    Wow this looks like a mini mart………

    No Way I could store all of that in my garage not in 115 degree heat like were having today….

  40. Yellowjacketgal says:

    I strongly recommend skipping the oxygen absorber packs when you are storing sugar. Basically, it will turn your sugar into a brick!

  41. I work in restaurants… just fyi, a health inspector would tell you not to store ANY food on the floor… it should be at least 10 inches from the floor…. just saying (the juice in the pic… tsk tsk….) I have just started couponing, so I don’t have a stockpile yet, but at this point I have issue with storing more than I can use in a year… I already have deodorant in my pantry that I have had for almost a year, because I bought a 2 pack on clearance when I still had a whole one in my medicine cabinet… so I don’t see much point in having 20 on back-up if I don’t know how long it takes to go through 1…. same with toothpaste…i don’t know… I appreciate saving, and even storing back ups, but at what point does it turn into hoarding?

    • That’s a great question – I think hoarding is going to be different for everyone. I store food to help protect my family from personal emergencies like losing a job, or being in a hospital for a long period of time. I don’t think the amount determines hoarding…it’s the reason. If you want something because you feel you’re getting a great deal and your family needs it (or will eventually need it) then you are wise. If you buy something because you like being able to say you got 60 bottles of mustard for free, and you like seeing the look on someone’s face when you tell them, and/or you just like the way it looks on your shelf…you’re probably a hoarder.

      Also, people who are wise in spending generally take good care of the stuff they purchase. Hoarders tend to let everything go to waste. So…there’s no easy answer, but you’ll have to decide for yourself.

      • Ebenton11 says:

        I am so glad that someone brought up this point. When you watch “Extreme Couponing”, you can tell the hoarders. They are the ones that buy all the items on the shelf just because it is free. I think that I read somewhere, probably on thekrazycouponlady etiquette, that we need to be think about the next guy and not buy everything off the shelf if we do not have an real need for it. If you use 100 bottles of pain reliever and you find a great deal, GREAT. Buy all you can of it. Otherwise, this kind of abuse will eventually cause the stores to change their coupon policies and all these great deals will be fewer and harder to come by.

    • Newspapernfc says:

      I think as long as you can reasonably use the food/product by the expiration date you’re ok. Non-perishables, I’d say about a year for most things. If you just can’t resist the free razors, mustard, and pasta donate them to the local food bank. They’re always very appreciative.

    • Julia says:

      I so agree with you Angie. I’m all for capturing savings but when it comes to the point that you have to store stuff in a suitcase or under your bed, there are other issues going on. When does saving become greed?

      • Miller Momma says:

        i kinda disaggree. because those storing tips she put are for those who dont have much space to begin with! im in a two bedroom apartment with me, hubby, daughter, and another on the way, and we only have one tiny little pantry with 4 shelves, so we have to use creative ways like under our beds, and things for storing items. But i do agree if you have exceeded what you and your family will use/need, then donating is great because it helps out others in need :)

        we store extra things like soaps and what nots under the bed along with canned goods too

      • Miller Momma says:

        i kinda disaggree. because those storing tips she put are for those who dont have much space to begin with! im in a two bedroom apartment with me, hubby, daughter, and another on the way, and we only have one tiny little pantry with 4 shelves, so we have to use creative ways like under our beds, and things for storing items. But i do agree if you have exceeded what you and your family will use/need, then donating is great because it helps out others in need :)

        we store extra things like soaps and what nots under the bed along with canned goods too

    • Mary says:

      I think if you really want to see hoarding, you should watch that Extreme Couponing show, some people may criticize me for this but I stand behind my statements. Most of these people have a rationate like “I am afraid I am going to lose my job.” Well guess what all hoarders have a rationale. I use 1 deoderant per month, so if I have 12 that is a whole year’s worth. Considering that some brand of deoderant tends to be on a real extreme deal every 3 weeks or so, there is no danger of not getting a good deal on deoderant. Some things go on sale very infrequently, so you can target those items. For example if you like Dove products, they are not on sale that frequently. So when you see a sale, you may want to buy 10 body washes, that’s enough for a year.

      • Moriah says:

        definitely agree with all of this! & for body wash, bar soap, & deodorant all I use is Dove! I have very sensitive skin and Dove products work fantastically for me! I use all of there “For Sensitive Skin” products. I keep waiting for new Dove Q’s to come out and for good sales! I did take a sneak peek @ the coupons for Sunday & I think there might be some Dove Q’s avail. :)

      • Coloradocouponer says:

        As someone who did lose a job and used a stockpile for over a year, try living on unemployment indefinately, I was so grateful for my stockpile. It kept my family fed with the exception of produce and dairy.

      • Coloradocouponer says:

        As someone who did lose a job and used a stockpile for over a year, try living on unemployment indefinately, I was so grateful for my stockpile. It kept my family fed with the exception of produce and dairy.

      • Coloradocouponer says:

        As someone who did lose a job and used a stockpile for over a year, try living on unemployment indefinately, I was so grateful for my stockpile. It kept my family fed with the exception of produce and dairy.

      • Coloradocouponer says:

        As someone who did lose a job and used a stockpile for over a year, try living on unemployment indefinately, I was so grateful for my stockpile. It kept my family fed with the exception of produce and dairy.

    • Mary says:

      I think if you really want to see hoarding, you should watch that Extreme Couponing show, some people may criticize me for this but I stand behind my statements. Most of these people have a rationate like “I am afraid I am going to lose my job.” Well guess what all hoarders have a rationale. I use 1 deoderant per month, so if I have 12 that is a whole year’s worth. Considering that some brand of deoderant tends to be on a real extreme deal every 3 weeks or so, there is no danger of not getting a good deal on deoderant. Some things go on sale very infrequently, so you can target those items. For example if you like Dove products, they are not on sale that frequently. So when you see a sale, you may want to buy 10 body washes, that’s enough for a year.

    • Ljc6780 says:

      I have also recently started couponing.. I have between 4-6 coupon packets each week (depending on who all saves them for me!) and order item specifics from eBay when needed.. (would love to know of other coupon clipping services!!) anyway.. I have impressed my family and some friends with my savings so far.. I have found most of my deals at Walgreens (an employee discount makes the deals even sweeter!) anyway my point was that while I may not use 6 tubes of toothpaste that I get for free (or less!) I can share them with my family.. I’m currently stocking up to help my sister and her 3 kids out as she’s currently in between jobs with no savings… :-( so if I can grab a few extra FREE deodorants, soaps, toothpastes, tooth brushes, body washes… whatever.. I figure it’s worth the time and energy put into couponing if I can help someone else out! Happy couponing!

  42. Gina says:

    Even if this garage is climate controlled. Having your sauce or anything in the sunlight is NOT good. Just an FYI.

  43. Ehartselle87 says:

    Other than the obvious, what other foods can you freeze? I saw on Extreme Couponing that milk, cheese and bread were also frozen. What other foods can you freeze, how long can you freeze them for and, lastly, when you open it how long does it last?

    • Yellowjacketgal says:

      I had some of the same questions, but I would also like to add a few of my own. Is there anything that should be done to these products before freezing? Also, I tried freezing yogurt once, and when I thawed it out, the texture was just terrible. I read that some people will freeze yogurt for their stockpile. How can I freeze yogurt without compromising the texture?

      • guest says:

        I don’t freeze yogurt, but haven’t had any problems freezing shredded cheese. The texture changes a little, but most of the cheese we eat is melted on something and that texture isn’t any different than un-frozen cheese.

      • guest says:

        I don’t freeze yogurt, but haven’t had any problems freezing shredded cheese. The texture changes a little, but most of the cheese we eat is melted on something and that texture isn’t any different than un-frozen cheese.

      • KristinK says:

        So far, I have found that if you freeze yogurt, it is best eaten slightly thawed, as a frozen treat!

      • KristinK says:

        So far, I have found that if you freeze yogurt, it is best eaten slightly thawed, as a frozen treat!

      • guest says:

        I freeze yogurt all the time. I don’t thaw it out my kids eat it frozen. It’s a fun treat sort of like ice cream.

        • Debnmike3coupons says:

          I freeze Milk, Shredded/sliced cheese and Jugs of Orange Juice all of the time.

          When thawing the Milk make sure that you don’t use it before it is completely thawed and shake it before each serving to make sure it has not separated. Otherwise it taste just the same. If you use the milk before it is completely thawed you will sometimes be left with more cream than milk because the H2O thaws before the milk solids. Shelf life of the milk i use is at least a week after thawed if the kids are in a slow milk mode. After 11/2 weeks we smell before we use!!

          Shredded cheese and sliced have not noticed any difference in texture but as someone said earlier I am usually using it in a casserole or something melted anyway.

          OJ is great frozen and slushy according to my kids. We have all just gotten into the habit of shaking a jug before we pour!!

          Enjoy.

          • songstresgirl says:

            I agree! We do the same! And regular OJ freezes great but the Sunny Delight doesn’t freeze well. The taste changes to a really watery flavor. =)

          • songstresgirl says:

            I agree! We do the same! And regular OJ freezes great but the Sunny Delight doesn’t freeze well. The taste changes to a really watery flavor. =)

        • Debnmike3coupons says:

          I freeze Milk, Shredded/sliced cheese and Jugs of Orange Juice all of the time.

          When thawing the Milk make sure that you don’t use it before it is completely thawed and shake it before each serving to make sure it has not separated. Otherwise it taste just the same. If you use the milk before it is completely thawed you will sometimes be left with more cream than milk because the H2O thaws before the milk solids. Shelf life of the milk i use is at least a week after thawed if the kids are in a slow milk mode. After 11/2 weeks we smell before we use!!

          Shredded cheese and sliced have not noticed any difference in texture but as someone said earlier I am usually using it in a casserole or something melted anyway.

          OJ is great frozen and slushy according to my kids. We have all just gotten into the habit of shaking a jug before we pour!!

          Enjoy.

        • Karen says:

          I love to eat frozen or partially frozen yogurts but when you freeze it the healthful probiotics…which is why I eat yogurt daily…goes dormant. You have to thaw it out all the way for them to come back.

        • Karen says:

          I love to eat frozen or partially frozen yogurts but when you freeze it the healthful probiotics…which is why I eat yogurt daily…goes dormant. You have to thaw it out all the way for them to come back.

        • Karen says:

          I love to eat frozen or partially frozen yogurts but when you freeze it the healthful probiotics…which is why I eat yogurt daily…goes dormant. You have to thaw it out all the way for them to come back.

        • Karen says:

          I love to eat frozen or partially frozen yogurts but when you freeze it the healthful probiotics…which is why I eat yogurt daily…goes dormant. You have to thaw it out all the way for them to come back.

        • Ljc6780 says:

          I made yogurt and pudding cup pops by sticking those little plastic disposable/reusable children’s spoons through the top and sticking in the freezer.. it gives a bit more of a handle than just a regular wooden stick and they are reusable too!

    • Check out www stilltasty [dot] com to find out (generally) how long things last on a shelf, in a fridge, or in a freezer!

    • songstresgirl says:

      We freeze milk and cheese and bread all the time! It tastes exactly the same when its time to use it! Don’t try to freeze the Dean’s dip though.. haha I did that and it came out all weird; then my son showed me the bold-type on the side of the carton that said do not freeze! haha We freeze the ready-to-bake cookie doughs too!

    • songstresgirl says:

      We freeze milk and cheese and bread all the time! It tastes exactly the same when its time to use it! Don’t try to freeze the Dean’s dip though.. haha I did that and it came out all weird; then my son showed me the bold-type on the side of the carton that said do not freeze! haha We freeze the ready-to-bake cookie doughs too!

    • Elebode says:

      I froze bread a couple of times before … in fact, I do have 2 more loafs in the freezer right now… they taste the same after you thaw them out … I always buy 3 for $5, when my store has that deal… that way… I don’t have to pay 4 for one, like I would normally do … :)

  44. Lindsay says:

    it’s like a mini grocery store, i love it! ;)

  45. Lindsay says:

    it’s like a mini grocery store, i love it! ;)

  46. Joni Bentley says:

    I am laughing about storing stockpiles in suitcases! Too funny. “Hey Carol, are you going on a trip” “No Gayle, why do you ask?” “Well I noticed all those suitcases lined up along the living room wall…”

    One of the important things about stockpiling, IMHO, is you can’t buy more than you reasonably have room for. Maybe you can only store 4 months worth of toothpaste (what is that – 4-5 tubes depending on your family size?). There is no guilt in missing a sale – they always come around again. :)

  47. Joni Bentley says:

    I am laughing about storing stockpiles in suitcases! Too funny. “Hey Carol, are you going on a trip” “No Gayle, why do you ask?” “Well I noticed all those suitcases lined up along the living room wall…”

    One of the important things about stockpiling, IMHO, is you can’t buy more than you reasonably have room for. Maybe you can only store 4 months worth of toothpaste (what is that – 4-5 tubes depending on your family size?). There is no guilt in missing a sale – they always come around again. :)

  48. Eric says:

    Great picture of your stockpile. When you get additional coupons for more Washers & Dryers, you may have to reorganize your shelves so that you can stack them on top of each other.

  49. Eric says:

    Great picture of your stockpile. When you get additional coupons for more Washers & Dryers, you may have to reorganize your shelves so that you can stack them on top of each other.