What is a stockpile?

What is a stockpile?

A stockpile is a large quantity of items that are stored for future usage. In my opinion, everyone should have a stockpile. Whether it be small or large, having extra supplies on hand makes life alot easier.

With grocery prices rising, it is becoming more important than ever to find ways to save money on your groceries. Many people go to the store every week and purchase just what they need for the next 7 days. Some people shop every day! This will definetely not allow you to save money, but will more often than not, have you spend much MORE money than you should.

So how do you build this stockpile? Well, first things first – make a list. Write down all of the things your family uses. Shampoo, razors, deodorant, pasta, bread, tomatoes, etc. Then, estimate how many of each item you use per month (also, for the future, once you start a new item, put the date on it. This will show you exactly how long it took you to use up so you can update your list later on). Multiply it by 12 months and that is the amount you should have in your stockpile. Of course, you don’t need a full year’s supply. You can do 3 months or 6 or 8. Whatever feels right for you. Personally, I do 12 months. For example, let’s say your family goes through a bag/box of pasta every week and you want a 6 month supply. 6 months x 4 weeks = 24 weeks. That means you will need to have 24 bags of pasta in your stockpile. Now, that doesn’t mean you will get all 24 in one time (unless they are free of course!). You have to BUILD your stockpile – it’s an ongoing process.

Now you are ready to build your stockpile! First, keep in mind that stockpiling should never affect your budget in a negative way. Set aside, say, $15 per week for your stockpile items (or whatever you can afford). Once that is all gone, only go after items that you can get for free. The whole point of a stockpile is to SAVE MONEY!

To begin building your stockpile, you will need to watch the sale flyers at all of the stores nearby. Don’t just limit yourself to one store and also, don’t just limit yourself to a grocery store. Drug stores and department stores (think: Wal-Mart) work just as well! Say Price Chopper has a sale on cereal for $1.50 per box. You know that your family eats 2 boxes per week and you want to have a 6 month supply which = 48 boxes. If you don’t have coupons, this would cost $72 which is a good price, but not worth it to buy that many at one time. However, if you had 48 coupons for $1.00 off, this would only cost you $24 which is a fantastic deal! This is why I suggest coupons to everyone. They dramatically help with lowering the cost of your items!

A stockpile is not something that is built in one day. It takes months, sometimes years to have a large enough supply for your family. Just remember that with every item you throw on those shelves is future money saved!

Things you should consider before you start stockpiling:

1. Space – You should always make sure you have adequate space in your home before you start bringing tons of items into the house. Worried about lack of space in your home? You have more space than you think. Install shelves, store things under the beds, in closets, in the garage. Whatever you do, don’t let your stockpile own you. If people are tripping over packages of paper towels and you cant find your jacket in the closet because it is filled to the brim with baby wipes, you are starting to get out of control! Only stockpile what will be able to be stored comfortably in your home.

2. Expiration Dates – You should always watch the dates on items before you purchase an item. You are not saving money if you can’t use up the item before it spoils!

19 responses to “What is a stockpile?”

  1. sally says:

    I personally think stocking piling that much food is just not for me.
    Sure Ill buy 6 packages of pasta at a time, or buy in club packs, or I find a good deal ill buy extra, but I really dont feel the need to stockpile my house like a bunker.
    I think the gov wants to make sure everyone has enought to last a week or so? I always have a full pantry, so im covered. We also always have enough bottled water to last.

    I personally dont want a grocery store in my house. What if there was a fire? Or you got robbed? Or god forbid you come home with flour that has pantry bugs? I know insurance would cover some of this, but as well all know once you have a claim in with insurance your rates go up. We have a newer home with 4 bedrooms and I could never spare the room for a mini grocery.

    A lot of talk on the news lately has been that one of the reasons gas prices are going sky high is because people feel the need to stockpile.

    I guess enough is great, too much is just too excessive. Of course this is just how I run my home.

  2. twin says:

    MrsJanuary U ROCK!!! Love the picture of your stockpile. Wish I had the room. Can I come live with you? lol

  3. willowsprite says:

    Wow, that’s a LOT of stuff. 🙂 Although I don’t feel the need to have a year’s supply on hand, kudos to you. I also just don’t have that much space. I find that when I buy a lot of stuff when it’s on sale I run out of room…:) I’m just wondering how stockpiling increases gas prices…?

  4. adora says:

    I love the way you organize your pile! Thanks for sharing! 😀

    Stock piling toiletries is great. Can never understand how my friend buys toilet paper by the rolls. He often end up buying toilet paper at gas station out of emergency! Toilet paper, soap, shampoo, detergent, tampons… these things don’t go bad! I don’t keep that much food. I either get bored, or the grains and seasoning lose fragrance.

    Most sales come in 2-3 month cycle. If you are doing it for money saving, you don’t need to go beyond 4-6 months supply in my opinion. The money can be invested instead.

    For apartment dwellers like myself, buy concentrated version to save space. Never get the single roll paper when you can get the mega rolls for about the same price. Ultra thin pads over maxi pad, Tide 2 over regular tide…

  5. sally says:

    I wasnt saying stockpiling groceries drives up gas prices.
    Im just saying that the news said stockpiling gas drives up gas prices is what they say on the news.
    With the rice shortage if everyone stockpiled it would go sky high too.

    As to reference to the ultra thin pads to the maxi pad, hehe I think even if I had a mansion I wouldnt buy the thick ones, but cute analogy.

  6. Erica says:

    I think stockpiling its great, I started doing it with some things, mostly makeup remover and body wash and shampoo and conditioner. As for people stockpiling gas..I dont think that, that has anything to do with why gas prices are going up. Gas is going up because canada is stupid and rebuys what they sell to the states at double the prices.

  7. sally says:

    Well I didnt say it was the reason lol. I said twice that the news has stated on many occasions its one of the reasons lol, I dont write the news. If I did it wouldnt be so depressing.

  8. mrsjanuary says:

    twin: sure you can live with me as long as you dont use up my stockpile too fast 😉

    im glad everyone is discussing stockpiles, i think it is good for people to heard both sides and vocalize their opinions. stockpiling is not for everyone!

  9. silsan says:

    I like the idea of stockpiling too, I do it but only with cleaning supplies that are on sale and using a small space beside my laundry. Thanks for sharing your idea n nice pic 🙂

  10. kekes says:

    We have been stockpiling for years, mostly cleaning products, personal products and canned foods. I am finally at the point where I want to start refining my process better. We have started a list …ie. how much spaghetti sauce do we use in a year? how many javex … we’re in the country and running out and having to run to a store is not a cheap option (especailly with the price of gas)

  11. mememe says:

    mrsjanuary is bringing life lessons to smart canucks. lol

  12. Alex says:


    I would suggest that people date all foods so that they are used in a reasonable time frame.
    Canned goods only have about a six month life on them.
    I would be more inclined to store personal care items such as soaps, cleaners etc.
    PS. I would suggest that directing people to Walmart would indicated that you are not aware of the behaviour of this company. Google Jonquiere and Wal-mart as an example and you will see what this company [Walmart] truely thinks of Canadians and our values. You can also read about Walmart on the Human Rights website.

    Take care

  13. Sally says:

    6 months? the campbells soup I just bought is good till 2010

  14. Alex says:

    Six months is a good guideline. Consider what a website said below:

    vegetables can be stored in a cool, dry area below 85°F (optimum 50°F to 70°F) for up to one year. After one year, canned vegetables may still be consumed. However, overall quality and nutritional value may have diminished. Discard badly dented, swollen, and/or rusty cans.

    Now when you take into consideration that these products make a giant pit stop at retailers DC’s (distribution centres) and then go to the store. These same canned goods can sit for some time. Skids of products are often lost or not rotated in the DC’s. This can happen at store level also. Soup may be on sale with skids of the same sku (stock keeping unit). Often they are racked on shelving in the back rooms and may stay on the third level racking for months. Perishables are treated very differently because they will spoil.
    Considering all of these factors, and the fact that manufacturers don’t have to put any readable dates on their products, it is better to limit canned goods home storage.
    Food for thought.

  15. mememe says:

    Oh my word not again wit Alex bashing Walmart!! LOL

  16. Sally says:

    Guess I should throw out my vintage beans from 1985 🙁

    It was a good year.

  17. Quite impressive. I’ll look into doing that myself. (I work at a Costco reseller, so bulk foods/etc aren’t hard to come by… and I get a discount! Huzzah!)

  18. Darla says:

    Do you have any tips for stockpiling in a freezer? I just bought a chest freezer and I would love any tips you have about that. I intend to post a list of how long certain items are good when frozen up on the wall above the freezer. I’m working on a Squidoo page on Stockpiling, and I would love to use this photo if you would allow me. I would credit you for it and link you. I have you linked on the page already.

  19. mrsjanuary says:

    Darla, I do have some tips and I was planning on posting it soon so keep your eyes peeled! I will also be posting how long certain items stay good (freezer, fridge and cupboard).


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