We are at the finish line! After today, you are an official coupon shopper! You have all the tools you need to get free groceries every week! As you jump into this coupon world, you will quickly see how often things are free and you'll get very excited. So, my last post in this series will be about Stockpiling vs. Hoarding.
What is the difference between stockpiling and hoarding?
Stockpiling is seeing a great deal, evaluating what your needs are, the expiration dates of the product, the frequency of similar great deals and buying the appropriate amount to hold you through to the next great sale or enough to allow you to skip a few sales.
Hoarding is clearing a shelf just because you have enough coupons to do a deal. It is buying things that you don’t need just because you “can”. It is buying products that will eventually go to waste, just because of the temporary thrill that you get when walking out with so much for so little.
How do I know if I'm stockpiling or hoarding?
This question has to be answered by you. The size of your stockpile depends on a lot of things - the size of your family, their eating habits, the amount of storage space you have, etc. Here are some stockpile pictures I've found online. Some may consider some of these hoarding, but other families may plow through that food in a few months. It all depends on the specific needs of your own family. I try to keep a 1-2 year stockpile.
I'm sure you've all seen this photo. 1142 boxes of Jell-O is hoarding, in my opinion. Unless they'll be donated and used by someone, what is the point?
Stockpiling is an ingoing process because as soon as you get a full supply of one item, you will run low on another.
Some things are just never free...
For some reason it seems there are always some items you can never find a good enough deal on to stockpile. For me, that item is garbage bags. I have never been able to get them free or even close to free, so I never have more thanone box of them in the house.
Brand loyalty is another reason that the stockpiling process may be off kilter. Although brand loyalty is a rare thing among couponers, for some things you just won't compromise! For my husband, this is the Axe line of men's shampoo, body wash, & deodorant. That line of products is never free, so when I can buy them for close to a dollar, I buy 10. It isn't free, but it sure beats the regular price which runs from three to five dollars!You may overbuy by normal standards if you know it's the only brand that you will use, and it doesn't often go on sale.
Know the Seasonal Sales Cycles
Certain items are very cheap or even free during certain times of the year. This is when you want to stockpile a good supply - at least a year to get you through until the next year's sales cycles return.
Here are some examples:
May, June, July - ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, marinades
November & December - flour, sugar, baking ingredients
Basically, the idea is to buy before you need while it’s cheap or free, and avoid having to buy it at full price when you absolutely need it!!
Now, that you've gone through this seven day series, we are all on our way to creating a stockpile that will support our families should we ever need to cut back on our spending. Implement the things you have learned during this weeklong series and you will soon see you are spending LESS at the grocery store and accumulating MORE!