Why Do You Stockpile?

by Merissa on January 14, 2011

in Thrifty Living


We had such a good discussion going yesterday with the cooking from scratch thing I thought I'd ask another question today since it seems like it's going to be a little slow.

Why do you stockpile?

I have several reasons. First, I stockpile because I don't like to pay full price. Wait, let me rephrase that, I can't afford to pay full price. When I actually find a great deal or sale on something that I know we will use all the time, I will stock up. That way I don't have to pay full price when I need some again. For example, I really live my moisturizer. I use Aveeno and with my sensitive skin issues it's hard for me to find something that works. The Aveeno Moisturizer that I use costs $15 at Target and Walmart. Occasionally I can find a $1 off coupon but that doesn't help too much, although at least it's something. A few weeks ago I was shopping at Robbs(our local discount/surplus store) and I found 4 of my Aveeno Moisturizers. They were marked 3.75 each and were buy one get one free! You better believe I bought all 4! That will last me well over a year since you only have to use a little.

I stockpile food because it's hard to find what I can eat on sale, so when it is, I stock up. Because of my allergies and diet I have to eat things that are natural and without preservatives, dyes, and additives. It's often hard to find a good deal on things like that, but when I do, I stock up. I also consider my home canned goods part of my grocery stockpile. I "pay" for them with my time.

I stockpile tp, tissue, and paper towel because of the same reason as above. They don't go on sale that often for cheap, so when they do, I stock up.

I stockpile for the poor economy. No matter what you believe about the economy's condition I look at food prices every single day and I can see that the price of everything is going up and up and the minimum wage is not matching the price of inflation. Right now it's costing me at least $200 a month in gas for me to get to town once a week and for the hubby to drive to work everyday. If the price of gas went up even further I would not be able to afford to get to town even once a week so I need to stockpile to get by. Besides, if the price of gas is going to go up, so is the price of food, making it harder for me to be able to afford much.

I stockpile for "just in case". I know we don't even want to think about it happening but with the rate of unemployment you almost have to. What if for some reason me and the hubby were out of work? At least we would have food to eat, shampoo to wash, and a lil bit of chocolate for comfort:)

Ok so what about you? Why do you stockpile? Is it for one of the reasons I mentioned above? Or for another reason altogether?

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mel Free January 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I stockpile for all of the above reasons that you stated & I just LOVE going down into my little basement “store” & bringing up the things I need for the house!…especially when the weather is bad!…I don’t know about you, but I have always thought that I should buy something that I will need when I find it & not when I NEED it!..Unlike you, my Mother didn’t teach me a lot about frugality, so I have had to learn by myself!..But, when I was younger I can recall not being able to find something to wear to more than one important event & having to buy just anything, finally & not really being happy with the fit, color, etc., but needing to buy something to wear!…It is cheaper to buy the things that you KNOW you will be needing at your leisure, & it is also a lot better to shop at your leisure!…This has made my life a whole lot easier & a lot better!

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2 Lana January 14, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I stockpile for all the same reasons as you. My husband’s job went to India 6/1/10 and he is still not working. He did get a decent severance package and we are not in want but I believe part of that is because of our stockpile which we are still eating from. I have only been buying what is at rock bottom price to restock it and we have not had to do without anything at all.

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3 Melissa January 14, 2011 at 8:18 pm

I was raised to have a food supply on hand for the “unknowns” in life. Living in the country there is no such thing as a quick trip to the store. Our nearest town is 30 minutes away. Plus with winter roads getting out is not always a option. Having active kids in sports even the summer months leave me searching for time. I often need to have items on hand for quick meals or unexpected snacks for teams.

I also try to stockpile for financial situations. I am confident if my husband or I lost our job – our family would be able to eat. We keep a 6-9 month supply on hand at all times. That includes both store bought items as well as home canned from our garden. We store everything from dishwasher tabs to powder milk, butter, and eggs.

It is smart to price shop these items. With the raising cost of groceries a sale price may not come around again. Plus the time saved on short weekly trips allows more family time.

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4 Valerie Z January 14, 2011 at 9:16 pm

I started stockpiling a few years ago when I was pregnant with my first. She was due in November and living in North Dakota where winters average 0 degrees, I did not want to take my newborn out to go food shopping. So I would have a month or 2 supply of food and usually 1 extra bottle of shampoo or other cleaning, hygiene product.

I only started couponing this past year. I actually started doing it as a dare from a friend, because I honestly couldn’t believe how much money she ‘claimed’ she was saving.. lol.. It’s really pretty funny now.

But over the course of the couponing, my stockpile has grown to about 3-6 months supply of most things, depending on their sales cycles. My husband is in the military so we are fortunate to not have to worry about a layoff at this time in our life. But, my stockpile makes me feel comfortable knowing its there in case we ever needed to live off it.

And boy do I love shopping in my basement =) It’s really nice to avoid a toddler tantrum because I ran out of her favorite food or snack!

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5 Amanda Y. January 14, 2011 at 10:26 pm

All of the reasons you mentioned–mostly for cost, but also some for survival aspect. It is also a nice back up in bad weather, etc.

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6 Jenni M January 14, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I try to be very careful of what we stockpile due to being military, (lack of space in on base housing) and just never knowing when it is going to be time to move. But the stuff we do stockpile is the same reasons as above, plus honestly I just really don’t like to shop especially if the weather is bad, so I just like not having to go to the store!!!

Marissa, where is Robbs (in Rapid City)? I have never heard of it.

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7 Merissa January 14, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Robbs is in Belle Fourche:)

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8 Wendy January 14, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Fear! Back in the early 80″s my husband was laid off for 2 1/2 years from his job. I just had my second child. We both were working 2 part time jobs making $7.50. To this day I don’t know how we made it. Plus we had to pay for our health insurance. My husband went to the welfare office but they told him we made $50 a month too much. That’s why today I try to buy american made products. And your absolutly correct groceries prices are skyrocketing. About 1 year ago I could buy ground sirloin for $1.99 today it’s $3.99. If you want ground beef parts it’s around $1.79. yuk Great topics the last couple of days thanks.

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9 Lyn January 15, 2011 at 12:30 am

I do stockpile, but don’t have a fully-supplied room or anything like that. I believe in moderation with stockpiling. There’s no use or reason to buy things if they will spoil or will end up not being used. Like yourself I must cook from scratch and have some allergies. So I don’t stock up on food with additives and I’m trying to buy more natural cleaning and HBA products as I can. We can’t afford much organic, but I look for the most healthy items at the best price. I really enjoy your articles, they are helpful. There’s no extreme couponing here :) as I focus on buying basics and what we need and will use. I used to chase a lot of deals, but prefer to have my time now instead. Stockpiling is also done for similar reasons – to shop less, get the best prices, and have a reserve on hand for emergencies.

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10 Heather January 15, 2011 at 4:20 am

I mostly stockpile for the cost savings . My husband is in school right now and we don’t have a whole lot of extra money, but honestly I think I’d do it even if we had the money to spare since there’s always something more fun to spend money on than necessities! Now that I’ve experienced how great it is to stockpile, I’d say I also do it for convenience. I absolutely love not having to keep a grocery list on the fridge of all the things I ran out of and need to restock — because I already have stock on hand!

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11 JD January 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm

With food price projected to rise, now is a very good time to have the basics stockpiled. Its also a good time to stock up on items that we can freeze that prices might sky-rocket like orange juice. We stockpile because its comman sense. Items that last for years that we have saved up just may be what keeps us fed in years to come, because now, food is more affordable then it will be in the future.

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12 Sharon March 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I stockpile for the same reasons you listed. With the uncertain economy, you just never know. Right now we spend over $400 a month in gas to get to and from work. If gas and food prices continue to rise, one of us will not be able to afford to travel to work. Let’s just pray that never happens.

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13 Merissa March 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Being 20 miles from town we worry about that same thing.

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14 Alex November 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm

One of the reasons I stockpile is the fluctuating climate at my husband’s work. One week, they are super busy, able to have overtime, time and a half, etc. and then the next week (or two or three) there is a huge slump. Thus, I never know what his paycheck is going to be from one week to the next. Such is the nature of construction…I also stockpile for natural disasters, not on the doomsday preppers scale or anything, but we do get hit with hurricanes quite often on the east coast and when they come shelves clear off fast.

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15 Leah December 8, 2012 at 10:30 am

I stockpile because of the zombie apocalypse.

Seriously, if anything were to happen I know that my husband and I won’t starve or have to beg off my parents. I don’t know how much of a stockpile I have, but I’m always adding to it. My next big stockpile is meat. I have a new FoodSaver to use. I’m giddy just thinking of it.

I love your blog. I’m not a homesteader, but I’m becoming increasingly frugal and have a secret desire for chickens. I’d never do it, but I’d like to.

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16 Nan Bixby January 15, 2013 at 3:00 am

I stockpile for a sense of security for my family and myself.

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17 Pamela Hibbs January 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm

I stock pile as you do. I also help many people that need for food, lotion, laundry, and other Items. I also live in the country. I’m happy the prices of gas is starting to go down. I’m also a prepper because of the time our electric was out for over eight days. I have a year or more just in one of my stockpiles. I have family and friends that come for items from my stockpile. I watch for sales and coupons. I pay only tax for many of my items. The most I ever pay for huggie baby wipes is .66. I order 10 cases when they on sale like they are this week.

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18 marci357 January 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Always have – brought up in a house that did… plan to always do same. It’s a way of life.

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19 Nancy January 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I stockpile mostly for the reasons you all do. But in Oct 2012 I found out how important my stockpile was. My husband got laid of from a job he had for 20 years-no notice, no severance package. He was in management at the company and his pay was really great. Then his last 2 paychecks from the company bounced. The next day they filed bankruptcy. Other than buying a turkey and ham at Christmas-I haven’t really did a major shopping trip because of my stockpile. I only buy milk, bread, perishables. It has been by the saving grave of GOD that we have managed. I am thankful that he is drawing umployment but it is only 3% of what his salary was. I am greatful that he gets that 3%. In the next month I have earmarked $500 to replenish out stockpile. We have not ran out of anything yet. But I don’t want to either. I have the luxury of having a 4th bedroom that was converted to a pantry. We put cabints all around the room so it basically looks like a craft room. That way no one knows.

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20 Heather January 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm

We stockpile for convenience, money-saving, and security. It’s become such a way of life for me that it feels foreign to cook in someone else’s kitchen when it isn’t well-stocked.

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21 Mary Foerster January 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm

I was raised by parents who were children during the depression in the ’30′s, so they were raised to be frugal and/or lived on farms & grew, then put up their stockpile for the year. We were lucky to have a large garden and we put up a lot of produce. Because we had to be frugal we would often go in halves with another family & buy a whole pig or cow, plus my Dad would hunt & we usually would get a deer per winter. My Mom sewed our clothes & taught my sister & I to do the same. We rarely went ‘shopping’ as people do today just for enjoyment! My Dad was a machinist by trade, and could make anything he needed in that regard, and during the ’70′s “Back To The Land Movement”, he build a food dehydrator from scratch! So I came from a Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle state of mind before it was “Cool” ! I still have trouble getting rid of anything because I am so certain that it “Will come in handy someday” ! But I live in a single wide mobile home & am very short on space, so I have to careful about what I really ‘need’ & and what I ‘want’. I’m always looking for ways to simplify, which is why I just LOVE your helpful ideas! Thanks Merissa!

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22 Cynthia Skelton January 18, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Back in 2008 when the stock market crashed, it took me 3 months to find work. At the same time, my husband’s hours at work were cut from 75 hours a week to 25. It was a rough time, but we made it. Having a fully stocked pantry was such a help. We spent $7-10 a week on groceries such as milk or produce, and otherwise ate from the pantry. Towards the end of that time, we were eating some boring meals, but we didn’t starve.

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23 Michaelann Dahlman January 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm

I stockpile for all those reasons you mentioned. Our situation is a little unique, I was on disability for many years, but am temporarily off because I got a settlment for a car accident I was in 5 years ago. I want & need to make the money last as long as possible. My husband is on Social Security disability, even though he lives here in Canada with me, due to a reciprocal agreement our country has with the US (think snowbirds). I try & make sure we have lots of stockpiled food & other things, whenever there’s a sale. That way on thos really tight months, we have a backup to help tide us through.

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24 Rachael January 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm

I agree completely. For one, I can’t afford to pay full price on stuff. I’d rather get a great deal and stretch it as far as I can. My local grocery store has a huge cart of banged up produce that they sell in huge packs for $1. I can get the same produce as everyone else for a mere fraction of the price, then stretch those through breads, pastries, jams, jellies, and more. All year long, I have delicious, homemade dishes at the ready that cost me barely anything.

But, I don’t consider myself a stockpiler. I only buy what I need when it’s a good deal, but I do always try to have the next bottle of dish soap or laundry detergent at the ready. Otherwise, you’re stuck resorting to current sale prices or full retail. Yikes!

I do like to buy in bulk when I can ensure freshness. Lately, I’ve been researching wheat berries prices since I like them more than rice and can shave a lot off of the final price if I buy many pounds at once.

Great question! I love reading these comments. :)

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25 maggi g July 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm

i started stockpiling with my parents as a child because we live on the gulf coast and hurricanes are common here. back then, the electric would go off for days and weeks at a time so we lived off the grid after a storm even in the city. today, the electric grid is much better and we rarely lose electric during a storm. i live in the old part of town and our electric sometimes goes off during just regular rainstorms that have high winds. so…i am prepared for anything. i am now retired and my income is much lower so i like buying in bulk for most everything if possible. being thrifty is a good thing anytime.

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26 margaret m January 11, 2014 at 7:05 pm

I havebeen doing this for years I just never called it stockpiling I called it getting by.I pray that you will all beblessed in your endeavors and stockpiling and don’t forget to share with some one less fortunate,no matter how poor you are their is always someone you can help!

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