Here are some insights on stockpiling from Marne in Idaho:
Stockpiling or building a usable food storage supply is important for me and my family. I like to have several months of food on hand that we eat on a regular basis. When an emergency arises I know we will be fine for many of the basic necessities. I do this by combining sales with coupons (when available) to get rock-bottom prices. I stock up when the price is the lowest! However, in my eleven years of marriage and avidly doing this, I have found there are some mistakes you don't want to make!
1. Take note of when certain items go on sale and plan accordingly.
In the past I have become really excited about great sales, only to Replace later on lots of what I had purchased was stale. So now I try to only buy as much as I know we will eat before the next sale hits. For example, a local store has a really good oatmeal sale twice a year. That's when I stock up on my oatmeal. I buy enough to last us until the next sale, unless the expiration date is over a year away.
2. Only buy what you know your family will use.
It can be tempting to buy everything you see on sale, clearance, or free after rebate. But for me, I only have so much room in my house and I can only afford space for the items I know I will use. I have learned over the years certain things we just don't use, so I leave them for others to get.
3. Try a new food item first before adding it to your stockpile.
I only made this mistake once. I don't see the point in buying 20 boxes of a new kind of granola bar if we won't eat it. Buy one box on sale, try it first, then go back for more if you like it.
4. Don't stockpile items that are soon to expire.
Watch those expiration dates! Many times at cheap sales I have noticed in the store the expiration date is only a month away. No use buying 20 boxes to last a few months! No one likes stale food. Even deodorant and toothpaste lose their effectiveness after the expiration date.
5. Remember there is always another sale.
I have also learned not to go too crazy at sales. There will always be another sale! If you buy a ton of cereal at one sale you won't have much of a variety. Not that I don't stockpile a lot of cereal, because I do. I have just found we like variety so I try to balance it out between sales.
6. Don't let your food or other items go to waste.
Organize your stockpile or food storage. Know where everything is, and rotate it. My house is fairly small, but I know where every tube of toothpaste and every jar of salsa are.
Besides food, I also keep non-food items in my stockpile. These are some of the things I try to always have on hand and never run out of:
- Duct tape
- Toilet paper
- Feminine hygiene supplies
- First aid supplies
- Medicine (for adults and children)