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How to Stockpile

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So, why should you stockpile? There are several reasons. One – you could lose your job and not have a bunch of money to throw around at the grocery store. It would be a huge relief to you, should that happen, if you knew that you had a good stock of things at home so you didn’t have to go buy them any time soon. Two – there could be a natural disaster. I am not a doomsayer……but it could happen. Just look at Hurricane Katrina. If you weren’t able to get to the grocery store, would you go hungry? We wouldn’t…..I’ve taken care of that. We wouldn’t even stink because I’ve got plenty of deodorant. Now, if we couldn’t take a bath, it would take LOTS of deo to control that stank. And think, if you have extra things that people need, you might be able to trade with them for something they have that you need – goods OR services. I like being prepared. I was a girl scout. Three – the aliens could bomb the capital like in the movies and then we’d all be holed up in our homes, afraid to leave. Should that happen, we could live off cereal for quite a while. Have you ever seen a movie where the aliens were coming after cereal? You’re safe.

Generally the easiest thing to stockpile first is toiletry items. Start clipping those coupons and matching them up to a sale. It’s a good idea to keep two, three, or four deodorants per person in the closet. Also, stock up on shampoo, conditioner, razors, and shaving cream. These sales are cyclical, so when the items are on sale, get how many you need to last for several months. I’ve found that toothpaste is on sale throughout the year, so I’m kinda picky with it and only get it when I can get it for $.25 per tube or less. Some of you just laughed……but come to my workshop and you won’t be laughing any more – just nodding your head. :-) Throughout the year, stock up on different items as they become available. For example, stock up on cough drops in the winter when they are on sale……then you’ll have them this year and next. Just because you’re not sick now, doesn’t mean you won’t be later. Be prepared. Have I mentioned that I was a girl scout? Find a good place in your house to keep all your stocked toiletry items. I use my linen closet in the hall. I have one shelf for towels and one for bedding. The rest is dedicated to toiletry items. This is also where I store my toilet paper. If you don’t have such a closet, just attempt to find some empty space. Use an extra closet in ANY room…..or store things under the bed in boxes. If you can get it for cheap, you can find a place to put it. Now, don’t go overboard. We’ve all seen those crazy people on Extreme Couponing. Honey, you don’t need 23,429,834,203,498 shaving gels. You just don’t. Don’t get a room in your house insured to store all your loot in – don’t you remember that story in the Bible about the man who tore down his barns to build bigger ones (Luke 12:18)??? That’s a good enough hint for me!

It’s a good idea to always keep meat and vegetables stocked. For this, you’re going to have to invest in a deep freezer. I see them for sale used all the time. Call a used appliance store…..ask around. You can probably get one for a great price. Ours was a wedding gift, maybe the best gift we got. Stock up on meat when it’s marked down. Bring it home and freeze it immediately if you’re not going to use it for dinner. Wait until MOST meat is $1.99 or less per pound. I always wait to get chicken until it’s at least $1.79/lb. Don’t forget fish! It freezes great. As far as vegetables go, it’s nice to buy them fresh but most of the time they are cheaper in the frozen section……however, you can get them for a good price fresh at your farmer’s market. You can eat them fresh and then freeze them yourself. I like to buy my bagged vegetables at $1 or less per bag/box. If they are more than that, I usually pass. I try to wait for bagged potato products to be $2 or less. And while I’m on the subject – is it just me, or do you encounter the weirdest people in the frozen section? It’s like that’s where they congregate. Carry mace.

A majority of my stockpile is canned stuff – vegetables, tomatoes, soups, etc. Soup is on its best sale in the winter, so stock up for all year – “cream of” soups AND ready to eat soups. I usually stock up on canned tomatoes during Kroger Mega Events. These days it seems that 2/$1 is a good sale for canned vegetables, so when I find it cheaper than that I really stock up. Most canned food will keep for ages. Again, only buy what you’re going to use. If you can get beets at $.25/can but you hate them……leave them at the store. Unless you’re going to donate them, then go ahead. Beets = yuckiness, unless you’re my husband.

We love cereal… I keep a stock on hand – usually around 20 boxes. Some of you are laughing again, aren’t you? I get all of them for less than $1 a box…..who’s laughing now? BOOYA! Most cereal is good for at least a year. Check the date. I love cereal as a snack, and we even eat it for dessert! Cinnamon Toast Crunch makes a lovely after dinner dessert. I also keep oatmeal stocked…..and things like syrup and muffin mixes.

Now, let’s talk refrigerator. What’s in mine? I stock biscuits, cinnamon rolls, cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, eggs, fruit, and butter. Sometimes there are other things in there, but those things are ALWAYS in there. Why? Because I use them a lot…..and when I can get them cheap, I buy them. That allows me to NOT buy them later when they’re on sale. Barry got me a refrigerator for my birthday one year to keep my extra stock in. It is in the garage…that’s also where my stocked shelves are. It has really saved us a lot of money. We bought it used and it has paid for itself by giving me a place to store things when I get them super cheap. I really should advertise for a used appliance store.

Now, how do you get started? Slowly. Start shopping sales with your coupons. Instead of buying one at a good price, buy 3 or 4 for Pete’s sake! “I found this really great sale on canned soup! It was only $.75!” That’s great….but if you buy only 1 can, you really shot yourself in the foot. Don’t try to stock your house in one month. It will probably take two or three. When your stock is built, you’ll buy less at the grocery store – picking and choosing over what’s the best sale. You have the power now….you’re not at the mercy of the Kix. Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to run to the kitchen and fashion a hat out of aluminum foil to keep myself safe from the alien gamma rays. Come on, people, that was a joke!  Now get stocking!


Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. Kim Anderson says:

    Great article, thanks!!!! I still can’t get cereal for a $1. HELP!!! I’m a cereal LOVER!!! I think the cheapest I’ve gotten it is for $1.35 a box, maybe less ONCE.

    • I just buy several when I do find it. I’m always looking for $1 off coupons….keep an eye out for $1 off ANY cereal and that’s when you’re going to get a good deal. The coupons are hard to find, but when you do, it’s good. The coupons that are $.50 off one double at Kroger, so look for those too.

  2. Great article. Lots of useful tips. It’s only okay to make aluminum foil hats if you have plenty of backups and got it super cheap.

  3. Pasm HIckman says:

    Hey Stacey,

    Thanks for all your tips. Concerning stockpiling: If you find a great coupon for $1 off, how do you buy more than 2 items when you can only print 2 of each coupon? Enjoyed your workshop at Riverview in Carter’s Valley a few weeks ago.

    Thank you,
    Pam Hickman

    • Pam, if it’s a GREAT deal then I ask my husband to print from his computer and/or my mom to print. That would give me 6. Just find friends and beg. LOL

  4. just sayin’ Stacy… I love beets too!!

  5. Amy Osborne says:

    I enjoyed your article and I love the things you are doing. My family does stockpiling the old school way. My mother keeps a huge garden that my sister and I assist with over the growing season (my sister and I live very close to our mother, so its easier just to have one garden). We will can, preserve, and freeze almost all of our vegetables for the year. We have a cellar that we keep all our potatoes and we will buy apples and oranges from the FFA chapter to make applesauce and will make orange maralade from the oranges we don’t eat. We keep berry bushes and always have jelly. We also slaughter a beef usually every year to two years (or buy apart of one from the 4-H steer project). Sometimes we will buy a pig and do that same thing. My mother has been known to make her own sausage and can or freeze it. My husband is big into catfishing and hunting, so we also have catfish, deer, and turkey on occasion. On and off we have kept chickens for eggs. My mother currently has three chest freezers, an extra refrigerator, a generator (for the freezers if electricity goes out), a cellar, and a canning room. My sister has two freezers and well I am working on my first one. When we catch something on sell we will buy several and keep it bought up (including toiletry items). Going down to my mom’s basement is like going to the grocery store. I’m newly married, so I am just now getting started in all of this on my own. However, my husband is still not used to all of this and just blows his mind all the food we keep. We need to probably work on our coupon skills, but no one can be perfect. We might not be saving money (never calculated it out) by doing all of this, but at least we know where our food is coming from and get higher quality. This is just my family’s take on stockpiling. Your blog makes me think of other things we could do and glad that other people have an interest in such matters.
    Amy Gail

  6. My husband and I are trying right now to save all the money we can and stock pile. We want to buy a new house. We want to learn to stock pile (not like those crazy people on dooms day preppers) This year we are going to plant our first garden, I know how to can thanks to my wonderful Granny. I already make my own jelly from the wild mustang grapes and the wild blackberries all over in East TX. I do not have high speed internet (we are out in the sticks, but love it) Is there some way that I can have a pdf or word file for how to get the coupons and for how to stockpile. I am a strong believer in Proverbs 31 and I believe it is my job to take care of the home while my husband takes care of us with his job, and leads us spiritualy. You have been a great inspiration to me. I am the spoiled girl that got everything. We make our two boys 12 and 14 earn what they want. So thank you for showing me that I can be frugal and not have to be broke. Instead I will be frugal and pay cash for our new home (we hope to at least pay half)

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