Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Adventures in Couponing - Stockpiling

Stockpiling is a bad word to a professional organizer. So why am I discussing it? Because that is evidently one of the keys to making the couponing valuable and saving you money down the road. To buy the items when they are at their cheapest and then using them when you need them.
With the economy at its worse in most of our lifetimes, there are some things that we all need to change.
For me it may be that stockpiling can change from a "dirty" word...to a "valuable" word.
Actually, I don't mind a little stockpiling. I have no problem with having a back up peanut butter or ketchup.
But with the economy it may be something that needs to be done a little to help out the family budget.
I do think that it would be easy to get carried away though.
If you realistically as a family would never finish 24 boxes of cereal before the expiration date or bugs got into them...do not buy them!
**A "good deal" is not a "good deal" if that "good deal" ends up in the trash!
If you are able to get something almost free or very inexpensive and know you can't use it or won't use it - please locate a food bank or family in need near you and donate it.

Point #1
Make sure you have the space to put up some shelves that are safe from bugs and moisture.
Point #2
Only buy it if you can use it before the expiration date, or if you can donate it to someone who can use it within the time frame.
Point #3
Make sure that you keep your stockpile organized. First one "in" needs to be the first one "out". So that you do not have things get expired. Put the newest items you buy of that product, behind the older ones.
Also be sure to know exactly what you have. Put "like" items with "like" items.
Point #4
Only buy items you know that you will use.

Couponing has been coined "addicting". As with any "addition" it can go to extremes. Be sure to keep your stockpiling and "bargin" buying under control, so that it truly is saving your family money.

*Here is an example I just found at Milk Donor Mama, she talks about all she bought and how she did it and how much she saved. But what I think is great is at the end of the article she explains what her family will use, what her parents will use and then how she will donate the rest! Love it.
(photo found on photobucket - nope...not my stockpile...although those bags of chocolate sure look good!!)


Heather@justdoingmybest said...

Great article! I loved hearing a Professional Organizer's point of view on this. I agree the key to successful couponing and stockpiling is organization, though sometimes I find that easier said than done. :)

Kristen said...

You came to my house and were shocked at my pantry so you posted this in order to shame me into organizing didn't you?! LOL I do use what I have but there is no rhymn or reason at this point. I truly do need to get it under control before things expire and before I forget what I bought!

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

Those are great points, Sandy! It is important to know what you are going to do with all the extra stuff or saving money just ends up taking up valuable space. Thanks for the tips!

Donna said...

You aked what family would go through 24 boxes of cereal before the expiration date? Silly question, you should know that answer. :D

We currently have about 20 boxes/bags and that would last us about 3 weeks if we had cereal everyday for breakfast. Since if all 11 people have the same cereal we wipe out a box.

I will have to pics of my semi organized pantry and freezer.

Felicia said...

I really need to start getting the hang of this. If I could find a way to significantly reduce my grocery bill.. maybe I could stay home full time!!!!

jenjen said...

Hi Sandy!

I seriously need to do this. I need to figure out all of the coupon stuff and get myself organized.

Thanks for the inspiration!


~Sara said...

Great tips Sandy. I love having my pantry organized it makes it so much easier to know what I have on hand.

Tiffany said...

I just found your blog and can't wait to hear any tips on organization. I am a stockpiling coupon/deal shopper who refuses to pay much for anything. LOL But because of that my pantry is a mess most days, I need help in the organizing the masses of stuff department.