Extreme Couponing: Don't Be Scared of the Stockpile
I swore I wouldn't become one of those weird stockpilers when I started my extreme couponing experiment but here I am, three months later, with a nice little stockpile that I'm not only happy with but proud of.
Like most of you, when I thought about stockpiling, I pictured things like Nathan's toothpaste room or Manders' wall of toilet paper. The reality is that most of the couponers I've met (in person and on the internets) don't have this type of extreme stockpile. Most of us have just a few month's supply of some very basic every day items. Most of us simply stock up on things we use every day remembering that the sales cycles will bring low prices again in a couple of months so we don't need to buy a year's supply of anything all at one time. Stockpiling this way makes sense for the frugal shopper -- but I will admit to coveting Manders' toilet paper wall but that's just because toilet paper plays an important role in our lives.
Take a peek at Cindy's stockpile. It looks a lot more like the kind of stockpile I'd want, (though that's a lot of ketchup -- we don't use much ketchup around here.):
It's kind of fun, in a voyeuristic, guilty pleasure sort of way, to look at the extreme stockpiler's toilet paper rooms and special storage shelves, but that's not the kind of stockpiling I want to do. I don't want four years worth of toilet paper. I want just a few months worth of products we use all of the time -- unfortunately, I didn't really know what we've accumulated since we started extreme couponing.
I was tracking money spent and saved but I wasn't tracking specific items purchased. Oops. That needed to change because I don't want to keep coming home with bottles of body wash if I don't need them. And worse, I'd hate to miss a sale on toilet paper because I thought my stockpile was full.
I jotted down some guesses about what I thought we'd stockpiled. I felt like we had a lot of toothpaste, a lot of body wash, a lot of cereal, and whole a lot of pasta. I wasn't sure about tomatoes, soup, or toilet paper.
On Sunday, I got busy cleaning up the laundry room so that I could organize the stockpile and decide if we'd hit the three month, six month, or one year point for any particular items. I was a little surprised by what I discovered.
Take a look at my stockpile.
We do have a lot of pasta and cereal -- we won't be buying either any time soon, which is awesome since all of the pasta was purchased at less than .50 a box and all of the cereal was purchased for $1.50 a box or less. We have a lot of toothpaste and we don't need any more but, since it's free every week (and usually a money maker), I'll probably still buy some occasionally, (and continue to give it away). As for body wash, we have less than I thought. Considering we send a bottle to TW's sister in the nursing home every month -- 9 bottles is not too many. I was surprised to find we have a TON of shampoo and an awful lot of canned tomatoes. We've also got enough cake mix, brownie mix and cookie mix to last us a very long time. (Cake pops, anyone?)
I think we have just enough laundry detergent, paper towels, air fresheners and cleansers. What we really need is... more toilet paper.
What's in your stockpile? And how do you decide just how much of each item to stockpile?
I'll be watching TLC's Extreme Couponing again this week, (new episode airs Wednesday at 9:30 pm ET), and you should watch along with me. I'll be live Chattering and tweeting, join the fun! And afterward, stop by the Coupon Lovers Group where I'll be posting I've posted the next installment of my Extreme Couponing Challenge which will includes tips I gathered from watching Extreme Couponing this week.
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