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A coupon stockpile is, perhaps, one of the BEST things we you can have in your home. It ensures you won’t run out of things (hello, no more last minute trips to the store) and also provides a good money savings since you are only buying items at a rock bottom price.
Essentially, a coupon stockpile is when you buy a LOT of each item when it is on sale so that you have enough of each item to last a long time. Coupon stockpiles allow you to save time (less shopping) and also save money (buying things only on sale). They do take up some space, but that space is worth the time and money savings they produce.
Need to REALLY learn how to coupon? The Couponing for Beginners Planner can take you from couponing newbie to experienced couponer with easy to follow steps, checklists and worksheets!
Why You Should Create A Coupon Stockpile
Creating a coupon stockpile allows you to buy items when they are at rock bottom prices. The goal is to buy enough of each item to last you until they go on another banging sale.
Of course, you want to be SURE you are getting the best price possible. If you stock-up on an item at just an OK price, while you still may be saving money, are you not maximizing your savings – which is the main purpose of having a couponing stockpile.
Another benefit to creating a couponing stockpile is that you aren’t likely to run out of things you need and use regularly. This is particularly awesome because it ends up not only saving money, but also saving time.
Not having to run to the store to buy toothpaste when you realize you are out, it really cuts down on the additional “quick trips” that can really add up.
How to Build a Stockpile
It is important to build your stockpile with a bit of a plan and strategy. Otherwise you may end up with things you don’t need or not enough of things you do need. Here are some tips to build your perfect stockpile.
Know The Right Price
You will want to know what YOUR rock bottom price on an item is. Here are some general guidelines on stock-up prices. But, keep in mind that if you have a favorite brand or if you like or need certain things that are pricier, you may have a different “stock-up” price.
Once you know what your rock bottom price for stocking-up is, then you will want to be on the lookout for a sale that meets that price. It is important to know what your target price is otherwise, it can be tempting and also confusing to know when the best time to purchase your items in large quantities.
What to Stockpile
First, you should make a list of the items that you use regularly and put them on your stockpile list. Any items that you use a lot of should be in your stockpile.
Other items that are good candidates for your stockpile are ones that either do not expire or have a long shelf life. This way you can by A LOT of them when they are at your rock bottom price and you don’t have to worry about them going bad. Some items that fall into those categories are: toiletries (toothpaste, toilet paper etc), pasta, canned goods.
When in doubt for what to add, you can add things that are good for an emergency stockpile as this will cover most of your basic needs.
So, while we are calling this a coupon stockpile, if you garden you can also stockpile food for super cheap. Growing your own food is most times much cheaper than buying it in the store. Grow enough for a whole year and then you won’t have to buy that item at the store!
Once you have your list of what you want and need to stockpile, you should then focus on getting one or two items at a time. This allows you to not bust your budget and also stay organized and not get overwhelmed with looking for too many deals all at once.
How Much to Buy
In order to know how much of each item you should buy, you need to know how quickly you use that item. This way you can compare the items expiration date to how long it will take you to go through it and then figure out how many you should purchase for your stockpile.
For example, if you go through one tube of toothpaste every 3 months then you only want to buy enough toothpaste to last until the expiration date on the tubes. If you buy more than you will use before the item expires, you ultimately end up wasting money – this is NOT what we want to do!
If you know you will fly through an item and/or it has either no expiration date or one that is very far out, the best way to decide how much of the item to stock-up on is by seeing how much room you have in your monthly budget. Don’t go over your budget and get into a financial hole just to stock-up.
(If you don’t have control over your budget yet, check out these budget tracking spreadsheets for all the help you need to set a stable, manageable budget!)
Managing Your Coupon Stockpile
So, once you have 20 tubes of toothpaste in your closet, you want to make sure they don’t go to waste! We have a few systems in place to help us manage our coupon stockpile. And if you are making a stockpile you should think about using these (or making your own).
First, we have a master spreadsheet that shows everything in our stockpile. It includes how many of each item, how long it takes us to use them and then auto-calculates how long we have stocked up for. This way we know when we are starting to get low on an item, we can start shopping for sales on that item to get stocked back up.
Or, if we have plenty of an item, we know we don’t need to purchase anymore or it may go unused – which ultimately is like wasting money instead of saving it!
Our second system for managing our coupon stockpile is to store everything in an organized manner. Like items all go together and they go in order of expiration date. This does sometimes mean a little time and work when re-stocking the stockpile. You may have to pull items out and check expiration dates etc.
However, it also means that the toothpaste that you bought 6 months ago doesn’t end up at the back of the pile and always get new toothpaste piled in front of it. It is a real bummer when you end up with expired products in your coupon stockpile!
What will you be putting in your coupon stockpile?!