starting a stockpile??
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  1. #1
    Registered User Dutchie's Avatar
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    Default starting a stockpile??

    Maybe an extremely stupid question and it has probably been posted about a million times, but I have a few questions.

    I would like to/really need to start a stockpile.

    I have a couple of questions about this.

    I assume that I should only buy things for the stockpile on sale and of course only if it's something we use on a regular basis.

    However, and this is what I find tricky, how much do you buy and when do you use it (considering that my grocery budget is very tight at the moment)?
    Do I still have to buy the 'normal' groceries or do I use things from the stockpile or leave them alone.
    I know, I know stupid questions but I really want to get started and want to do it right and not make silly (i.e. expensive) mistakes.

    Thank you!
    Avril



    Mom to Laurens (32), Timothy (29), Dimmen (26), Lloyd (25) and Fiori (23).
    Grandma to Charlie, born April 5th 2013 - so he's now 1 year old.

  2. #2
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    Use things from your stockpile and then just replace it as you can. Thats what I do. This keeps your food rotated so you use the oldest first.

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    Not stupid questions at all! you are smart to be thinking about this &
    you 've got the right idea about buying things on sale.
    It is important to stick to your budget while buying groceries & adding to your stockpile at the same time.
    If you go to the preparedness/stockpile forum you will find lots of good posts with great advice on how others approach this.

  4. #4
    Registered User suki's Avatar
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    Hey, Dutchie! Love the family pic!

    Here's an example on stockpiling... Say canned tomatoes are on sale this week. My family uses canned tomatoes fairly frequently, so I'd buy 4 - 6 cans this week. I'd use one or two of those cans this week. The others would be "stockpile".

    It's difficult for me to explain really because I've had a large, full pantry my entire life... was just that way on the farm. If we ever had less than 2 of anything dad would add it to the shopping list whether we needed it that week or not. My adaptation is to only add it to the list if it's on sale.

    Yes, cook from your stockpile so that you are rotating the stock and keeping it fresh. Stockpile just means a well stocked pantry/larder.

  5. #5
    Registered User Cricketlegs's Avatar
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    1. Set a grocery budget seperate from your stockpile budget.

    2. I stockpiled the first few months(2) by giving myself a set amount and then I just picked up one or two of everything I thought I needed--the basics but all of them I could afford for $150(I found more stuff I needed later as I learned) so I had a nice assortments of foods in a short amount of time on a set budget amount. Start with basics and try to wean away from prepacked processed food as much as you can. Flour, oatmeal, and brown sugar makes a ton more cookies than one package of oatmeal cookies and you can have oatmeal for breakfast too!This way you get a well rounded stockpile you can begin to use immediately and you can get your shelving set up so you don't have to move large amounts of food as you aquire it.

    3. After that I did continue to shop the same way except by this point when I would do my regular grocery shopping(a seperate budgeted amount and trip)about half of it would end up in the stock pile because I already had it on hand due to buying some of everything previously. Therefor I was adding everything to my stockpile once a month and also adding more to it. It was growing and is still growing a lot every month.

    4. At this point since I had a nice pile started and was contining to add to it the same every month I gave myself about $50 more a month to shop the ad specials. You know, canned goods at .33 each limit 12 so I would go back every day to get the 12 that the sale was going on.

    5. If you buy to many of one item you run the risk of expiration dates coming to soon so pay attention to dates.


    sooo in a nutshell my budget

    $150 stockpile
    $150 regular grocery shopping
    $50 pet stockpile
    $30 hba stockpile
    $50 to stockpile ad specials

    I am a dry stockpiler.

    My goal is dry, packaged and canned goods...but if I see half price quick sale meats I grab them up and toss them in the deep freezer. I do not activly stock any meats or fridge items(although some end up in the fridge after opening of course like mayo and catchup etc).

    Also, one of the main reasons I like stockpiling every month on a set budget is because 1. I know I am always activly adding to my stockpile at a nice rate and 2. because the expiration dates stagger so I can control waste. If you buy everyting at once they all expire at the same time.

    If you were to look on my shelf right now you would see 9 boxes of rice and almost everyone would have a different expiration date. I mark them well with a black sharpie, line them up oldest to newest and them use them in order and replace them, usually one a month sometimes more depending on sales.
    Last edited by Cricketlegs; 03-09-2009 at 02:29 PM.

  6. #6
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    My goal now, for the most part, is except for fresh to cook only from the stockpile and shop only for the stockpile. There will always be the odd item here and there I will need to go buy - like some things for some new recipes I've been picking up - but the basics will be on hand. Like others have said, that way you rotate what you stock, and it is heaven not to have to shop.
    Donna

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    I've accumulated enough stockpiled food that I basically follow dcompton's goal - I shop at home for meal planning. Rarely is an item on my grocery list anything other than what is needed to replace things in storage AND it's nearly always on sale. Most of my purchases are based on loss leaders/discounted items/manager's specials.

    When I have a jar of peanut butter in storage that has a fairly close use-by date, that's when I add peanut butter cookies to the meal plans, or other recipes that include peanut butter - choose peanut butter toast for breakfast a couple times a week, etc. Otherwise, we normally use one 16-oz. jar of peanut butter per week. Knowing that, I can see how many I can realistically keep in storage by the use-by dates of them.

    I may be down to my last 1-3 of something-er-other, but I'll wait for a STRIKE POINT to purchase it (the point at which you know it's the lowest price - because I keep a PRICE BOOK - http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/20...food-spending/ - and log prices in it for reference) . I'll also be on the look-out for coupons and rebates for those items so I can stack savings. (On sale, with a coupon, on double/triple coupon day, PLUS a rebate = optimal savings.) I don't have very many cans of pork n' beans just now because I'm waiting for the summertime sales that generally occur just before a big cook-out holiday several times during the summer.

    As others said, most of us started by buying an extra one or two of something when it was on sale. Eventually the cabinets get full and you have to use more organized storage. Shelve items by use-by dates and use the closest dates first, and keep an inventory.

    I always suggest getting a variety of foods that cover all the food groups and store ingredients with which to make a large variety of foods, instead of large numbers of pre-made convenience foods. "Ingredients" are usually less expensive than convenience foods and highly-processed foods.

    If anyone is thinking "survival" mode (layoff, power outages, natural or man-made disasters, $ need to go to something other than food, interrupted food supplies, etc.) you may want to stock what are often termed the "Seven Survival Foods" first:

    -grains
    -legumes
    -sprouting seeds
    -honey (or sweetener or choice)
    -salt
    -oil
    -powdered milk

    I keep several years worth of these items and everything else is 6-12-months. It took several years to accomplish this because I did it within my grocery budget, not extra money set aside for stockpiling. I always used a portion of my food budget FOR stockpiling - at least $5 a week purchased food destined for the shelves in storage.

    Even if you don't have a mill, you can make all kinds of things from whole wheat berries. Small amounts of a coarse flour can be milled in spice/coffee mill. I use a Sue Gregg recipe and make Blender Batter Waffles/ Pancakes from whole grain. www.suegregg.com (click on the picture of the batter being poured on the waffle iron for the recipe). If you don't have any fresh veggies, sprout wheat and you'll have the nutrition of fresh vegetables.

    Carrot & Pineapple Salad
    1-1/2 c. shredded carrots
    1 small, 8-oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
    2 c. cooked whole kernel wheat
    1/2 c. salad oil

    Combine all ingredients. Chill. For variety, you may add nuts, bananas, apple pieces and raisins.

    Grainlady note: You can "cook" wheat in a Thermos: 1 c. whole wheat berries, 2 c. boiling water, 1/2 t. salt. Place hot tape water in a quart-size Thermos to pre-heat it. Dump out the hot water and add the wheat and salt and the boiling water. Close the Thermos and set it on it's side to better distribute the water and the wheat. Leave overnight. Cooked wheat can also be used as a breakfast cereal. You can also "cook" rice and beans in a Thermos.

  8. #8
    Master Dollar Stretcher LastDragonfly's Avatar
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    Dutchie, I'm with everyone else, I started by just picking up one or two items at a time. As you develop your stockpile you will find your comfort zone. It's kinda like being pregnant...same story....with different experiences and a cute baby (pantry) a while later...sounds dorky I know, but it's true.

    Dont forget to clip your coupons. Keep your eyes open for a good deal.

    I am using my dehydrator to help me stockpile without taking up everyspace in my house. I've only been at it 4 days and I can already see a HUGE differance on space issues.

    You can do it even on a tight grocery budget.

    P.S. you will LOVE LOVE LOVE shopping from your own stockpile.
    Last edited by LastDragonfly; 03-10-2009 at 02:53 PM. Reason: P.S.

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    Registered User Cricketlegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penascodragonfly View Post
    Dutchie, I'm with everyone else, I started by just picking up one or two items at a time. As you develop your stockpile you will find your comfort zone. It's kinda like being pregnant...same story....with different experiences and a cute baby (pantry) a while later...sounds dorky I know, but it's true.

    Dont forget to clip your coupons. Keep your eyes open for a good deal.

    I am using my dehydrator to help me stockpile without taking up everyspace in my house. I've only been at it 4 days and I can already see a HUGE differance on space issues.

    You can do it even on a tight grocery budget.

    P.S. you will LOVE LOVE LOVE shopping from your own stockpile.
    And so will your college children! Emily headed out of here with 5 bags!

  10. #10
    Registered User familyof3's Avatar
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    Not much to add here that the others didn't say...

    I cut coupons and shop the sales. When I first started, I set aside $20 for stockpiling each week. For some that may be a lot, but we had some job concerns and I wanted to be focused. Now, I spend around $10. The rest of my food shopping is produce, dairy and some meats (always on sale.) We eat from our supply. Nothing is "in case of emergency only" food.

    Once you get started, you'll see that the products add up quickly. This week, I really don't need to do much shopping at all. But I'll go anyway and pick up the loss leaders at the store and nothing else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by familyof3 View Post

    Nothing is "in case of emergency only" food.
    One layer of stockpiled food in my 3-layer system is called emergency long-term storage, that doesn't mean it's for emergency use ONLY. It just means it has a much longer shelf-life than normal store-bought foods.

    ALL food has to be used and rotated out of storage. Therefore I incorporate freeze-dried fruit/vegetables in our diet when they get rotated out. Same with freeze-dried meat and cheese. I incorporate dried butter powder and dried whole eggs in homemade mixes and convenience foods and baked goods. Reconstituted powdered butter makes a good bread spread. I GLADLY use powdered dried whole eggs when they are cheaper per egg than shell eggs. We use our powdered whey-based milk substitute EVERYDAY, not just when we run out of milk.

    So there are no "emergency only" foods. Even the foods in our 72-hour emergency kit get rotated out and we eat them and replace them with fresh each year.
    Last edited by Grainlady; 03-10-2009 at 05:41 PM.

  12. #12
    Registered User familyof3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grainlady View Post
    So there are no "emergency only" foods. Even the foods in our 72-hour emergency kit get rotated out and we eat them and replace them with fresh each year.
    Oh, I agree that your plan makes sense. I just ordered a dehydrator and plan to order a grain mill as well. I'm working on developing a pantry that goes beyond store canned veggies, soup, and meat. I'm just not anywhere near there yet!

    I was referring more to reading people (not in this thread) storing foods that they wouldn't normally eat. I don't care how good a deal it is, if we don't normally eat it, I don't buy it.

  13. #13
    Master Dollar Stretcher LastDragonfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cricketlegs View Post
    And so will your college children! Emily headed out of here with 5 bags!

    Here too! Ashleigh leaves with at least 2 avon boxes full of food.

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