I know that there are only two of us and our two fur babies living in our home, but I still found it very important to have a stock of our regularly used stock pile items at our disposal. When we first lived together there were certain items that I made sure we were always a little stocked up on ; toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent. But now, I have found it very beneficial to stock up on all household items we use on a regular basis.
There are many things that need to be considered when creating a family stock pile. A lot of time and planning and trial and error went into our stock pile, and I want to share how I do it with all of you in hopes that your venture will be much easier than mine was.
The following are the things I plan to enlighten you on in regards to creating a stock pile for you and your family: finding your magic number, knowing when to stock, knowing your limits, storing a stock pile.
When starting to plan your stock pile basics, you need to take into consideration how long you want to stock pile for and how much your family needs in moderation to its size.
Personally, for just the two of us, I like to stock on items for about 6 months if I can.
So i figured it out. If we go through approximately 1 bottle of all purpose cleaner a month, than we need 6 bottles of the cleaner to have a 6 months supply. Get it?
Now every item in your stock pile may have a different magic number, but that is okay because realistically you will go through certain things a lot faster than others.
Once you have figured out your magic number for that particular item it is important to stick to that number. So if you find a great sale on laundry detergent and your magic number is 8 bottles for 6 months then only buy 8 bottles. Or say you already have three bottles in your stock, then only buy 6 bottles to make your grand total 8 bottles. Get what I'm saying here? You need to stick to your magic number or you may find that your stock is too large for your family to handle.
This is a very important tactic that I mention briefly on my post titled 'Knowing Your Rock Bottom Prices'. But, I wanted to talk about it further here as well.
It is a very great skill to be able to combine your overall knowledge of sale prices, coupons, and knowing your rock bottom prices to maximize your savings as greatly as possible. Once you have got the hang of shopping this way it is going to become second nature.
Knowing when you have found the best deal you possibly can and when to stock up on that item is a bit more tricky then I ever thought it would be. You have to take into consideration the product itself, its uses, and the total amount you are going to be spending on that item at that time. For example, say you found a great deal on laundry detergent for $4.00 a bottle and you want to buy 4 bottles. That's still $16.00. You have to ask yourself if you can afford to spend the whole $16.00 right at that moment or maybe you should pick up one bottle and see if you can find another deal again before you run out. You catch my drift?
Stock piling has many benefits and one of the more beneficial ones is saving money, but if you are paying too much for the items in your stock pile then how are you really saving money?
This is also a very important skill to learn that ties in with knowing your magic number. You have to have limits and you seriously have to shop within them. Even if it is an amazing deal you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Will it go on sale again?
- Do I NEED this?
- Have I hit my magic number?
- Can I afford this?
One of the things that needs to be considered is the space required to house a large stock pile. Do you have a place that you can put a years supple, six months supply, three months supply of household needs? Once you have decided on a space then there is the issue of what you are going to store your stock pile on.
I know a lot of people who use shelves like these to store their items :
But they can retail at stores for $30.00 plus. Finding a good deal on storage is always a plus.
You need to take into consideration a couple things when choosing your storage.
Price: how much are you willing to spend on a shelf that is suppose to be storing your items that you've gotten cheap enough to buy a 6 months supply?
Quality: Of course you don't want to spend a lot, but you also don't want to cheap out and have the shelves breaking within a couple of months of use
Necessity: How many shelves do you need to store your items? We use 1 large wood shelf that was in my room as a teenager, a small white shelf that was in J's room as a teenager and the shelf that is built into the closet we use to store everything.
Before you jump into creating a stock pile, I wanted to let you know that mine was not built right away. I did not go out and buy everything at once. It has taken months to get my stockpile to where it is today, and it is constantly changing. I take things out and they are replaced when then next good sale is. If that means I take 4 bottles of cleaner out before the next good sale then so be it. You need to be patient with the sales and not immediately buy things just because you think they are a good price. There will always be sales. There will always be coupons. The cycle will continue, so if you miss out on one deal there will always be another one not to far off. Keep that in mind fellow frugals!