Once you become serious about saving money and using coupons, you might want to consider starting a stockpile in your home. Now before you start thinking I’m a hording crazy-person that stuffs as much stuff into my pantry and closets as I can, let me explain.
I once wrote an article about how most people think stockpiling is an act only needed if you are preparing for a zombie apocalypse, or other disaster. That article, as is this one, was meant to explain to individuals why a stockpile can help you save money during ordinary times and not just when the zombies come crashing at your door. If you have ever taken a good look around your grocery store shelves or went through your local stores’ sales papers, you may have noticed a pattern. Stores put certain items on sale in cycles. How often your favorite toaster pastry goes on sale will depend on the local store or franchise, but it is typically 4 to 6 weeks. Meaning if Crunchy Fruit Pops is on sale this week at a $1.99, it will most likely be back to its originally price of $3.89 at the beginning of next week; and you won’t be able to get it again for a lower price until 4 to 6 weeks.
Now there are exceptions for every rule. Sometimes stores will run an item at a sale price for more than one week or run the same sale again in two weeks. It depends on the amount of the item they need to move and demand for the item, as well as other factors.
Now For The Stockpiling Part
Let’s say that your family of 5, the size of my family, eats 3 boxes of Crunchy Fruit Pops per week. If you have teenagers, you may even be talking more boxes of cereal than this, but we will go with 3 for this example. At an amount of 12 boxes of cereal per month, it would pay you to purchase the item when it is on sale. If the item only goes on sale every 6 weeks, you are going to have to pay the higher price for the additional boxes you need to feed your family their favorite breakfast food.
Let’s Do The Math
On your weekly grocery run you pick up 3 boxes of Crunchy Fruit Pops at the sale price–$1.99. You paid $5.97 for those three boxes. Now, for the rest of the month the cereal is sold at the regular price–$3.89. You still need 9 boxes of cereal to feed your family—9 x $3.89=$35.01. If you had purchased all of the cereal during the sale—and placed it in your pantry—you would have paid—12x$1.99=$23.88 for ALL 12 boxes instead of $35.01 for only 9.
Now let’s throw in a coupon. The manufacturer of Crunch Fruit Pops has a coupon for $1.00 off 3 boxes of their cereal in the Sunday paper. You are purchasing all 12 boxes and have 4 coupons with you. (You can use all 4 coupons because you are purchasing 12 boxes—4×3=12) Now the math looks like this $23.88-$4.00=$19.88, which means you are getting each box of cereal for around $1.66 per box.
I don’t know about you, but I would much rather pay $19.88 for 12 items than $40.98 for the same 12 items. ($40.98 is the total cost of the 9 boxes of regular priced cereal at $35.01 plus the 3 original sale priced boxes at $5.97) You would have saved $21.10! It isn’t a fortune, but it will definitely buy something else.
Let me just say that I don’t approach every sale item or item I have a coupon for this way. I stockpile items that I know my family need and want and use on a weekly basis. I mostly stockpile bathroom tissue, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, cereal and their favorite snacks. I also stockpile items for the home such as laundry detergent, dish soap and cleaners—when I find these items on sale.
My theory is, why pay a higher price for the items I KNOW I am going to need when I find at a really good sale price and I have a coupon. The money I save can be better spent on another item or saved up for something the family needs or wants that we might not otherwise be able to purchase.
What do you think of stockpiling? Is it only in case of zombies? Think it is a crazy idea? Call me out, leave a comment!