How do I get started?
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  1. #1
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    Default How do I get started?

    I love the idea of having a stockpile but have no clue as to how to get started. Does anyone have some tips?

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I think the easiest way is to just buy extra when it is on sale. Identify the best deal in this week's grocery ad and buy that.

    You need to identify a stockpile storage area. It doesn't have to be large, but it should be cool and dry. You want the food collected in one place so you can find it, no missing cans in different locations. It may be that your kitchen is large enough to hold it, or there is room for shelving in the laundry room, etc. I keep mine in the garage in winter, the basement in summer.

    Buy what your family will eat within the time period listed on the product. A lot of food is good past the "expiration date", for a few months, but you don't want to be stuck with 6 boxes of stale cereal because the kids don't like it.

    Rotate food, first in, first out.

    If you are freezing meats wrap them well and label.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    Because we, the people, have the power to build a better future. KH

  3. #3
    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    Once a year or so, inventory everything. That helps to keep things from getting too old and you get a chance to use things up before they go bad. It also helps you to find out that you have 50 cans of diced tomatoes and really don't need anymore. (Though, I am quite well prepared for the zombies to come).

    My guys get "creative" when they put groceries away. When we do an inventory, I reorganize the pantry and freezers.

    Look into using a menu plan. I have a huge list of recipes that pull from the stockpile. I plan our meals out from that list.

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    Registered User Zhoen's Avatar
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    Yeppers, what they said!

    I'd say that the first thing would be to identify WHY you want a stockpile, and what kind you want. For me, my "stockpile" is just a really a pantry on steroids. I buy what's on sale in enough quantities to last me "a while" while not taking up too much room. And then there are the people you've seen on extreme couponing where they have 188 rolls of paper towels... And there's everything in-between.

    So do you want to stockpile to save money? Then buy extra of things whenever the prices are lowest. Example, I combined a sale and a coupon a few weeks back that brought the cost of manwich down to about $.33 a can, so since the use-by date was 18 month away, I bought 18 cans, since we're unlikely to eat manwich more than once per month. But that's why you'll hear people talking about "price books." People track local prices to know WHEN to buy 18 cans of something...because just because the store says "SALE!!!" doesn't mean it's a good price.

    On the other hand, if you want a stockpile because you live far outside of town, then you're more interested in a large quantity than in every single item being on sale-- the point is to save gas and not run out.

    If you're worried about the apocalypse, you'll be more interested in very-long-term storable stuff, which is an entirely different deal.

    I'd say a good place to start is figuring out what the sales cycles are for your area. Around here Safeway and Aldi change on Wednesday, Giant changes on Friday but releases their new ad on Thursday, and CVS changes on Sundays, releasing their ad on Friday or so... Knowing before the current sale ends what the next sale will be helps you decide whether to buy now or to wait. And getting the "weekend edition" paper on Saturday should get you the coupons that most people won't get until Sunday morning, which can help you figure out if there's something worth going at-opening-time.

    Some people (who are WAY more dedicated than I am) have figured out that toilet paper goes on sale every X number of weeks and they buy enough to last to the next "big cycle." I don't do that... BUT when you get a coupon circular, don't throw it away until EVERYTHING is expired, even stuff you think you'll never buy... SOMETIMES (rarely) things that aren't a great deal usually will go on sale weeks later, and when you buy X amount, you get Y back... CVS does this a lot with P&G items...

    And, first and foremost, promise yourself you won't overbuy a bunch of junk you'll never really use. Even if you're lying, promise yourself. It's not a good deal if you'll never use it.

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    Registered User dolphin's Avatar
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    I would suggest starting with the basic's of sugar, flour, salt, pepper, rice, & pasta, or any seasoning's that you use every week. A lot depends on if you are a vegetarian or a meat eater. My husband must have some type of meat, (beef, pork, or chicken), for EVERY meal. And yes, he has no health problems & no weight problem, grrrr, lol. He buy's huge amounts (what we can afford) of On-sale meat because the price is lower. We then cut those down into portion sizes for 2 & re-wrap with freezer paper or use the Food Saver bags. These re-wrapped meats easily last 6 months to 12 months. We save a lot this way & have a freezer full of meat all the time.

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    Registered User dolphin's Avatar
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    It really depends on how you cook. If you use helpers like "Hamburger Helper", or any of the newer boxed things than just buy 2 or 3 instead of one on the next shopping trip. Same with canned tomatoes or any veggies, just buy 1 or 2 more next shopping trip & keep buying one or two extra every week.

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    Remember to stockpile items that you regularly use. Some items you do not need to know the expiration date such as dental floss, toothbrush, toilet paper, etc. It is also good to remember what sales to expect by season. In the summer condiments and paper products go on sale, during the holidays is a good time to stockup on baking products, January is a good time to stockup on personal care products, etc. Once you have a good idea of the items you regularly use it will become a habit to know what the best sale price is and even what store that might be. Stockpilling does not mean food only, it can mean clothing, shoes, school supplies, etc.

    Initially it will require extra spending but once you have a good stockpile established you can usually wait until the item goes on sale again which is where the savings come in.

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    Another way to think about getting extras is to dedicate a certain $ amount each shopping trip for the extras. you don't want to go broke buying excess or go into debt doing it.

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    Registered User Brat's Avatar
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    If you really don't know where to start you might keep a list of things you buy each week and how many you get at that time...On food items I keep a list of my meals for a couple of months to get a pattern of what I used when..Then I started getting enough to last until the next sale..They do run in cycles..If I was buying 10# of sugar every week when it was on sale during the holidays I would pick up a couple of extras every week that it was on sale...I keep a running list on the pantry door..so when someone takes out something they mark it off..This way when I get low I put it on the list to watch for the sale of that item..

  11. #10
    Registered User MamaTreadler's Avatar
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    So how is it going? Have you gotten your pantry stockpile going yet?

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