How to Coupon: Secret of Stockpiling
Today I want to talk about how you can use your coupons to stockpile groceries and save; here’s the thing, though: I bet when you hear the word “stockpile,” you think of some sort of nut job with a bunker in the back yard raving about the coming apocalypse. But there’s a saner way to stockpile. You save a lot of money by using your coupons to stock up on sale items — and yes, you’ll also be prepared for life’s unexpected surprises.
I’m not talking about World War III. But what about a snowstorm in October? That’s what recently happened in my town. We were without power for seven days — yes, seven days — and all our grocery stores were closed. Thanks to my grocery stockpile, though, I didn’t have to worry about my family going hungry. (OK, we did get tired of cereal, granola bars and peanut butter, but it was better than nothing!)
As I wrote before, I’m no advocate of “shelf-clearing” (shopping with enough multiple coupons to clear out a store’s inventory), but by gradually building a stockpile at home, you will save money and you won’t be stuck if all the grocery stores in your town suddenly close.
So how much should you stockpile? The Krazy Coupon Lady has created some realistic guidelines. Families of any size can follow her recommendations, which are based on estimated product usage:
- Refrigerated Perishables: 1 – 2 week supply
- Frozen Items: 1 – 2 month supply
- Canned and packaged foods and beverages (soup, cereal, crackers, snack bars): 6 month supply
- Cleaning supplies, personal care items, paper products: 1 – 2 years
I have one suggestion to add: Don’t stockpile more than 1 – 2 weeks of refrigerated or frozen foods unless you have a generator to keep your appliances running during a prolonged power outage. I heard heartbreaking accounts of food loss after my power outage, including one friend’s loss of over $200 worth of meat. Ironically, while her family was shivering in the cold, her chest freezer warmed up just enough to spoil her meat supply.