Sunday, August 19, 2012

Creating a stockpile...

Finally!  My last couponing post on the basics: creating a stockpile.  In order to really start seeing savings on your weekly grocery/target trips, you need to have a stockpile of cheaply purchased (or free) items that you use on a daily basis.  By purchasing these items in larger quantities you won't have to "quick" run to the store to buy toothpaste that will set you back $3.00 because you know you have x amount of them in your stock.  This will overall lower your weekly spending because these items won't need to be purchased. 
What's a stock up price??
Well that will depend on you.  For example, I won't buy cereal unless it's under $1 but a couponer just starting out that is used to spending almost $4.00 a box may think under $2.00 is a stock up price.  The better you get, the more you will notice what's a good price to get lots of an item of.  This is a good time to order coupons if you know of a snazzy deal coming up and you currently only have 4 coupons, for example.  Times I have done this were to get basically free items we use a lot of: toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, hand soap, pasta, dry pasta sauce and certain other items.  I usually order in a lot of 10 or 20 so I can help build my stock.  We go through LOTS of these types of items with three kids, so 20 doesn't seem excessive to me!  The Krazy Coupon ladies once put up their stock up price list, if you are interested, you ca search and try to find that to get an idea.  I don't use theirs because I know whats a good deal and what to pass on. 
How much to stockpile??
Well, again, that depends on you and your family.  I was once told that you should order enough coupon inserts or papers for each member of your family.  I order 4 papers, but also print lots and occasionally order some if needed.  My kids are also small and don't eat too much so four works for us.  I have other ways of getting q's too, so normally I have more than four of each coupon.  If you had teenagers who ate tons, you may want to stock more!  Stores run their sale cycles in 12 week cycles.  So, normally, you'll see a sale now, and most likely it will be on sale again for a similar price in 12 weeks.  That doesn't necessarily mean you'll have the same coupons to score a great deal, but it's a good judge of how much you should have on hand.  One rule I also have if I really won't have more on hand of an item that I can store in its designated space.  So if my razor drawer is completely full, I won't grab anymore, unless its completely free, of course, because not all items come up free :)  I will, however, donate my excess at times.
How should I store my stockpile??
I don't have a super awesome walk-in pantry so I had to get creative in where I store my extra stuff. The bulk of my stock is in my laundry room on the shelf that is above my washer and dryer.  When I first started to get a stock, my mom and I went to target and bought two 3-ft wire shelves and installed them above the existing so my one shelf became two.  This is where my extra food, paper towels and toilet paper go.  I also have a free shelf in the garage that I've occasionally used to store extra paper goods as well.

As you can see, I don't have a humongous stock, but I have a fair amount.  I have about 15 boxes of cereal, 12 cans of green beans (the only veg david will eat), about 15 dry pastas, 8 sauces and lots of bbq sauce, mustard, salad dressings and canned tomatoes.  I also have some kids snacks and other odds and ends.  In addition, I have a fully stocked pantry in the kitchen. This is also not as much tp and pt's as I would like, but I'm hoping for a nice p & g sale coming up at frys to build my stock :).
In the laundry room, I also have a LARGE stock of cleaning supplies (three shelves worth) and that includes about 20 dish soaps and 10 laundry soaps.  I have enough cleaning supplies for at least a year.  I store some personal products as well in here in a shoe rack hanging behind the door.

Here I have about 20 body washes (and more in the bedroom), 20 bar soaps (also more in the bedroom), 10 shave creams and some face washes.  This storage takes up NO space and is very convenient :) In the bedroom on the floor under david's clothes, I have two three drawer plastic storage things full of more stuff.

These drawers are clearly labeled and are LOADED with stuff.  I have AT LEAST a years worth of toothpaste, floss, tooth brushes, deodorant, and razors.  I also have more bar soap and body washes on top.  But if you notice, it barely takes up any space and it is neatly tucked away.  I also have a stock of kids body products and some kids medicines in a basket under their sink in their bathroom, lots and lots of baby wipes and diapers in the girls closet on the top shelf, and some feminine products, adult medicines, cotton balls, q-tips and hair dye under our sink.  All is stored in a basket and is also very neat.  Just because you have a stock pile, doesn't mean you have to be messy!!!  The final place I have items are on a few shelves in the garage, which hold about 50 hand soaps, 20 bottles of vinegar and lots of baggies.  Don't forget to check expiration dates and the "first in, first out" rule. 
So know you are armed with all my knowledge about couponing!!  Remember, no one taught me, I got my crap together and got out there and practiced.  It doesn't come over night and don't expect to save 60% on your first order.  If you keep at it though, it will come.  New coupons come every Sunday (except on a holiday week) and new ones are always appearing online.  Every week, there are new chances to grab great deals, it's very exciting!!! I hope you all give it a try because, honestly, there are so many places in life that it's almost impossible to save, like your mortgage or those dang medical bills, so why would you want to spend more on food when with some planning, you don't have to??  You know I am right!! Good luck and happy couponing!!


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