Wednesday, April 22, 2009

To Stockpile or Not to Stockpile

Stockpiling. An interesting concept. When I first talked to someone who stockpiled, I thought they were living in a time warp afraid they would need to live in a bomb shelter. As I learned more, I realized that stockpiling is a very wise thing to do! Now, I have always been a hoarder, but stockpiling is different. Hoarding is just gathering as much stuff as possible without an intention to use it. Stockpiling, in the sense I am discussing, is an intentional gathering and storing of supplies for the future and for the care of your family in a way that enables you to save money on these items.

Why stockpile? I'll combine what I learned in a message at church plus my own ideas.
  • To be prepared for disasters - natural or otherwise. In the event of a disaster, even a minor one, basic services may take a few days to be restored. Grocery stores only carry a couple days worth of food. It is just wise to have some things on hand to get by for a few days.
  • By creating a stockpile, you are prepared for your own little emergencies. Let's say a car dies and you are unable to go shopping. The stockpile is there to get you through. Or, money is extra tight one month (like when we were surprised by a nearly $400 heating bill this winter), the need for grocery spending is minimal.
  • By creating a stockpile, you can actually save your family money. You will be able to shop for things when they are at their lowest price rather than when you need them and they may not be on sale.
How is a stockpile set up or started? Starting a stockpile for me was difficult. We had just moved across the country and had our first baby. Money was tight. I was able to piece together a little stockpile and now have a better idea of how to make the most of it. Every family's stockpile will be a bit different.
  • Use your favorite meals to help you build your stockpile. Write down the non-perishables you use regularly in these meals. List the paper goods you use as well (we all need lots of toilet paper!). As you shop, try picking up one extra of a few things if you find a good deal.
  • Figure out where you will store your goods and how you will keep it organized. I have a small cabinet in the basement that fits most of my stockpile. I have seen pictures of some stockpiles that fill entire rooms that have been outfitted with special shelving.
  • Each time you plan meals for the week, list what items you could buy and store. As you begin to build up a small stockpile, you will begin to see what will work best for you.
  • Stay organized - keep track of what you have and what you need. I love the printables from this site to keep on top of things.
  • About once a month, pick up a gallon of water. It is just a good idea to have a few gallons on hand in case you need clean drinking water.
To help with ideas, I'll list the basic things I currently have in my pantry plus what I am seeking. We tend to eat a lot of packaged side dishes/hamburger helper type things. I know that I am not good at storing produce (potatoes/carrots) long term so I don't even try. This is what works for us.

Currently have (not a complete list):
  • case of chicken soup plus some broth and other random soups I found on sale
  • a few boxed dinners and side dishes
  • 5 gallons water
  • 2 cases toilet paper
  • 6 boxes tissues
  • 5 bottles bbq sauce, extra ketchup and mustard and marinades
  • extra cleaners
  • 3 tubes toothpaste, 2 cans shaving cream, 1 pack razors, 2 extra shampoos and conditioners
  • 3 huge packs of huggies wipes (scored those for 99 cents each!)
Searching for deals on:
  • Potato buds
  • Jif peanut butter
  • Splenda (generic)
  • Coffee
  • Diapers
  • bags - ziplock and garbage bags
  • paper plates
I'd love to hear about your stockpiles and what works for you!


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