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Stockpiling. Many people do it on a small scale – like having one or two extra jars of peanut butter in the pantry – but some people do it big. Sometimes they’re “preppers”, people who make sure they have a supply of basic staples ready in case of a massive event that will strand them without food for a month or more. Sometimes they’re frugal, stockpiling goods when they’re on rock bottom sale so they’ll never have to pay full price for things. Sometimes they just hate running out of something when they need it so keep extras on hand at all times. I tend to fall between the last two categories. I try to stock up in things when they’re on sale, but there are things that I’ll buy at the warehouse store just so I can have them on hand. That’s changing a bit with our increased focus on organics and such, but there are still things you can get there.
No matter your motivation, stockpiling at least a little is a good idea. Think you don’t have any room? The floor of your coat closet, under your bed, stacked in a corner, on top of the fridge. Squirreled away wherever there’s a spare bit of space. Here’s part of my stash on the bottom half of a bookshelf that I haven’t filled yet:
I know, I have a spare bookshelf next to my bookshelf. What can I say, I’m a word nerd, I love books, and stockpiles. 🙂
Think you don’t have the money? Buy three extra cans of peas when they’re on super sale. That’s the start of a stockpile. Buy an extra box of salt the next time. There doesn’t have to be any rhyme or reason to the order you buy things in other than what’s on sale and what you’ll actually use. I bought a year’s supply of barbecue sauce when it was in sale for $1 a bottle several months ago. We’ll use it. $12 extra. A stockpile is something you build up over time, you don’t need to spend $300 to do it all at once.
As you build your stockpile you’ll have to shop less. You’ll have a supply of things and can therefore wait for sales. The less you have to go to the supermarket, the less chance there is for impulse purchases or going over budget. (My son wants to make sure to remind you that you don’t want to go over budget!)
Storage of huge bulk purchases can be intimidating but if you get the frosting buckets from the grocery store, you can fit quite a bit of flour, rice, or sugar in them. I use a dog food bin to store my sugar – I can fit 20 pounds at a time in there and it fits in a cabinet. My pantry is finally breaking because it was meant to be an armoire, not a pantry. I’m probably going to use bookshelves from now on. They won’t hold quite as much but I’ll be able to see it all better. The stand alone pantries that they sell in stores are just not big enough for my needs.
Anyway, stockpiling is a good idea, even if done on a very small scale. It’s nice to know that you won’t run out of key ingredients just when you need them. Start small and build up as you can. Don’t think that food can only be stored in the kitchen, non-perishables can be stored anywhere as long as you won’t forget about them (that defeats the purpose!). I shop my stash all the time for meal ideas and only have to shop to fill in. As long as I don’t just buy whatever I see that looks good, a stockpile saves me money. Happy stockpiling!