A coupon stockpile is, perhaps, one of the BEST things I have in my home. (With exception of my animals and husband, of course 😉 )
First, before we talk about all the goodness of a coupon stockpile, let’s talk about what a coupon stockpile actually is! Essentially, a coupon stockpile is when you buy a LOT of each item when they are on sale so that you have enough of each item to last a long time.
Why You Should Stock-up with Coupons
Creating a coupon stockpile allows you to buy items when they are at rock bottom prices. The goal is to buy enough of each item to last you until they go on another banging sale. Of course, you want to be SURE you are getting the best price possible. If you stock-up on an item at just an OK price, while you still may be saving money, are you not maximizing your savings – which is the main purpose of having a couponing stockpile.
Another benefit to creating a couponing stockpile is that you aren’t likely to run out of things you need and use regularly. This is particularly awesome because it ends up not only saving money, but also saving time. Not having to run to the store to buy toothpaste when you realize you are out, it really cuts down on the additional “quick trips” that can really add up.
Figuring out how to stockpile with coupons is relatively easy.
You will want to know what YOUR rock bottom price on an item is. Here are some general guidelines on stock-up prices. But keep in mind that if you have a favorite brand or if you like or need certain things that are pricier, you may have a different “stock-up” price.
Once you know what your rock bottom price for stocking-up is, then you will want to be on the lookout for a sale that meets that price.
There are some items that you can almost always have in your coupon stockpile such as: Toiletries (toothpaste, toilet paper etc), pasta, canned goods. These goods either do not expire or have a long shelf life – so you can buy A LOT when they are at your rock bottom price.
Another thing you should know when figuring out how to stockpile with coupons is how quickly you use an item. For example, if you go through one tube of toothpaste every 3 months then you only want to buy enough toothpaste to last until the expiration date on the tubes. If you buy more than you will use before the item expires, you ultimately end up wasting money – this is NOT what we want to do!
If you know you will fly through an item and it has either no expiration date or one that is very far out, the best way to decide how much of the item to stock-up on is by seeing how much room you have in your monthly budget. Don’t go over your budget and get into a financial hole just to stock-up.
(If you don’t have control over your budget yet, check out these budget tracking spreadsheets for all the help you need to set a stable, manageable budget!)
Managing Your Coupon Stockpile
So, once you have 20 tubes of toothpaste in your closet, you want to make sure they don’t go to waste! We have a few systems in place to help us manage our coupon stockpile. And if you are making a stockpile you should think about using these (or making your own).
First, we have a master spreadsheet that shows everything in our stockpile. It includes how many of each item, how long it takes us to use them and then autocalculates how long we have stocked up for. This way we know when we are starting to get low on an item, we can start shopping for sales on that item to get stocked back up. Or, if we have plenty of an item, we know we don’t need to purchase anymore or it may go unused – which ultimately is like wasting money instead of saving it!
Our second system for managing our coupon stockpile is to store everything in an organized manner. Like items all go together and they go in order of expiration date. This does sometimes mean a little time and work when re-stocking the stockpile. You may have to pull items out and check expiration dates etc. However, it also means that the toothpaste that you bought 6 months ago doesn’t end up at the back of the pile and always get new toothpaste piled in front of it. It is a real bummer when you end up with expired products in your coupon stockpile!
What will you be putting in your coupon stockpile?!
For more Frugal Finance, Check These Out: