Learning To Coupon Series
Should I Stockpile Purchase?
To prepare, or not to prepare, that is the question.
I wrote a post on Using Coupons to Stockpile and thought maybe it was time to actually visit the reason behind building up a stockpile. Those of us that stockpile purchase do it for different reasons. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if it make sense for your family.
I stockpile for a couple of primary reasons. First, it’s to save money over the long term. Second, it’s to be prepared in the event of a crisis. A crisis for my family is loss of income, economic collapse, natural disaster, or other event that would make purchasing food and general supplies difficult or impossible. No, I’m not an extreme prepper, but I do have a plan in place to keep my family safe and well fed. So that’s a quick and dirty on why I stockpile purchase. Let’s dig a little deeper into pros and cons for stockpile purchasing so you can decide if this coupon method is right for your family.
Less Last Minute Shopping Trips
When you purchase in larger quantities, you don’t need to run to the store every time you get ready to cook a meal. Once you’ve built up your stockpile, you simply use the same guidelines grocery stores do. You use the products, roughly, in the order they were purchased. Keep products that are expiring the soonest in the front, and those with longer expiration dates behind. When you are meal planning for the week, just take a quick look at what you have, and plan meals around that.
Long Term Savings
If you’ve built up a stockpile for your family using coupons and purchasing when the price is the best, you have saved money in the long term. Buying 10 cans of canned vegetables at $0.25 per can after sale price and coupons is much better than buying them each week, as you need them. What if they aren’t on sale when you need them? What if there is no coupon available when you need them? You’re stuck paying full price. The same concept is true for food, cleaning supplies, personal care items, and more.
If a crisis comes, it’s a larger crisis if you aren’t prepared. Bad things happen to all of us at some point. When you have a stockpile of food, water, personal hygiene products, and so on, many crisis situations aren’t nearly as bad. If you lost your job today, how would you feed your family tomorrow? Food gets expensive quick if you aren’t shopping sales and using coupons. We have a stockpile of food, so I can at least rest easy that my family would be able to eat even if I don’t have a job or if some other disaster happens.
If a natural disaster happens somewhere, you have a ready supply of food and other items that can be boxed up and shipped off to help. If we aren’t charitable, we are stingy. Now that doesn’t mean you have to give away everything you own. But being able to send out a care package to a disaster area will leave you feeling great and will ease someone’s suffering. There have been times when someone I personally know has had a house fire, taken in an emergency foster child, and other things like that. Since I have a stockpile, I’ve been able to pull care packages and have something available to help at a moment’s notice. In the grand scheme of things, the stuff didn’t cost me much, and I was able to do my part to help.
If you like saving money, bartering may be something you experiment with. If you need someone to watch your children for a couple of hours, maybe they’ll accept some items from your stockpile in exchange. If an economic crisis or other disaster were to happen, you’d also have items already stored up to trade with. If you have tons of canned veggies, but very little meat, you may be able to work out a trade with a neighbor that hunts and has meat, but not very many vegetables.
Storage Space Required
When you purchase in large quantities, you have to have a place to store it all. Don’t have a basement or room to dedicate to storing your stockpile? That’s not always necessary. Get creative. You can store paper products under beds, put shelving in various rooms, and optimize your pantry and cabinet spaces. But you will need to have a plan in place to store it all. Buying a bunch of stuff with nowhere to put it can wreak havoc on your house. I’m speaking from experience.
Short Term Spending May Increase
When you first start stockpile purchasing, you’re going to spend more than normal. Be prepared for that. But don’t over spend. Just because there is a deal on something, and just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you have to purchase 30 of the same thing. If your budget is tight, starting a stockpile has to be planned and you’ll need to control yourself. It’s easy to get addicted to purchasing at great discounts. But if you spend, spend, spend, you’ll regret it later. If finances aren’t an issue when you begin, you can stockpile purchase yourself into a cash flow problem. Buy only products that your family will use, and build your stockpile gradually. You don’t have to get a huge stockpile in just a matter of a few weeks. Pace yourself.
Don’t Waste It
If you purchase in larger quantities, pay special attention to expiration dates. Getting a great deal on something that ends up expiring and getting thrown away isn’t such a great deal, anymore. If you won’t use 10 of an item before they expiration date, don’t buy 10 of them. Buy what you can use prior to them expiring. Of course, if it looks like you’ll have items expiring, have a backup plan in place to donate them for quick use.
Grazing May Increase
Stores merchandise things to tempt us into buying them. That’s why candy (aka kid crack) and other impulse items are at the checkouts. When we see it, it’s harder to fight off the urge for it. The same goes with your stockpile. If you have 40 boxes of cereal in the house all of a sudden, children will want to eat it because they see it. This is even worse with teenagers and husbands who have a habit of snacking late at night while working on their blog…I plead the Fifth. Yes, having a box full of candy bars is great if you eat one occasionally. Eating 2 or 3 per night, not such a good idea. We try to keep our snack/junk food purchases to a minimum. However, having snacks on hand for sending to school with the kids saves tons of money over the course of the year. A $1 candy bar at school every day can get expensive, quick, especially when you have more than one child. If you can buy snacks on sale and with a coupon, sometimes getting them free or close to it, then that’s the way to go. Just make sure ground rules are in place and items that tend to spark “grazing” may need to be locked up and not kept in the open where they can be seen.
This post is part of the Learning To Coupon series. Be sure to check them all out! The purpose of these posts will be to teach you about couponing, give you some of my personal insights and tips, but mostly to encourage you. Be sure to stay tuned, and never be afraid to ask me for advice or help.
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