Our stockpiles are a tangible stamp of success in the battle to provide quality items for our families without breaking the bank. By having a good supply of an item, we can wait to buy until we can get it for the price we want.
But there is a line between having a successful stockpile and hoarding. Now, I know this is a delicate subject ,and please know I'm not judging, but I thought it would be helpful for us to have some general guidelines to know when enough is enough. These simple rules are good to keep in mind as we build our stockpiles:
- Know how much of an item your family uses in a month. It is hard to know if you have enough if you don't know how much you need. Make a list of the items you use regularly, and figure out how much of each item you and your family use each month.
- Know the shelf life of the items you stockpile. Buying more of an item than can be used before it is no longer usable is not a bargain at any price and just takes up valuable space. Get to know how much of the items you and your family use in the time it takes before it expires, then try to resist the urge to buy more. Getting 200 packages of string cheese for $0.05 each is not really a bargain if 100 get moldy before you have a chance to use them.
- Don't stockpile items you don't use unless you have a specific purpose for them. Having 50 jars of strawberry jam is not helpful if everyone in your house is allergic to strawberries. Contact shelters or food banks to see if they need your strawberry jam, and go buy things you will use instead.
- One year supply is a good rule of thumb. Even if an item doesn't expire for 20 years, it is probably not practical to store 20 years’ worth of that item. Ask yourself, "Do I really need 500 sticks of deodorant?" The answer is probably “no.” One year is generally enough time to find another great deal on the things you use to keep your stockpile full. If you find a deal on an item that never seems to go on sale, you may need more, but one year is generally sufficient.
- Use the excess to help others. If you do find an amazing deal that you can't pass up on something that you already have fully stocked, find someone to give the items to who will use and appreciate them. Think of church groups, shelters, food banks, and friends and family members. These people and organizations will use and appreciate the items, and you still get that great high of getting the great deal plus the extra high of doing something good for someone else.
Remember that couponing is about saving money and getting great things our families will use and enjoy! Don't get so caught up in the great deals that you forget why you are getting them in the first place.
This has been a guest post by Heather from Eagle, ID
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