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What is stockpiling?  When I first heard the term, I immediately pictured the show on A&E about hoarders.  Well, let me tell you that Stockpiling and Hoarding are two entirely different things.  Stockpiling is stocking up on items that are at rock bottom prices or free so that you don’t have to buy them at full price ever again.

There are a few concepts to understand in order to really master stockpiling:

1)  Sales cycles are typically every 6 – 8 weeks.  For some items, the cycles are long, some are shorter, but on average 6-8 weeks is a great time frame.  So – when you stockpile, you want to purchase enough of a rock bottom deal to last at least 6-8 weeks.  And, if the item is not perishable, you should purchase enough to last 6-9 months if not more!

2)  In order to successfully stockpile, you need to match a great sale with a great coupon.  Rock bottom prices mean that essentially the item can’t get any cheaper – either the item is FREE, a MM (moneymaker), or discounted down to at least 75% off.

3)  In order to buy multiple quantities of one item, you will need multiple coupons.  This means buying more than one newspaper every Sunday and printing out more than one copy of internet coupons.  There are other ways to gather coupons – read “Intro to Couponing” for a ton of ideas.

4)  Keep your stockpile organized so you know what you have.  In your pantry, organize your food by expiration date keeping the food with the shortest shelf life to the front so that you use it.  Keep good inventory so you know exactly what you have, what you need and what you don’t need.  If you have 12 boxes of pasta, you have the luxury of ignoring rock bottom pasta sales until your stockpile dwindles down.

5)  Once you have established a sufficient stockpile, only shop the rock bottom sales.  You will now have the luxury to ignore average sales and focus only on rock bottom and freebies!

6)  Know when to say when.  Determine your families needs on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.  There is no reason to have 6 years worth of pasta just because it was a great deal!  Stockpiling can transition into hoarding if you have more of an item than you could ever use.  Or, if you are constantly throwing away food that has gone bad.

7)  Give it away!  These are tough financial times.  What is better then to see a family in need and to give them overflowing bags of groceries – groceries from your own pantry!

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