Stockpiling groceries is a big part of how I keep my family’s grocery bill under control. When products that we use go on sale, I try to buy enough to get us to the next sale. If I come across a really good deal – i.e. a clearance, closeout or something that’s free or close-to-free after coupon – I’ll buy more. I have a price that I’m willing to pay for everything that we buy, and I aim to never go over that price. By staying ahead of our needs, I rarely have to.
So how big is my stockpile, and where do I keep it?
I keep just the things that we’re currently using in the pantry:
My stockpile of groceries, cleaners and paper products occupies three shelving units and a chest freezer in the basement:
And toiletries, like toothpaste, soap and razors fill a rack on the inside of the linen closet door:
Between these three spots, it’s like having a convenience store in our home that stocks just the stuff that we use, and only at our prices. I love knowing that our basic needs are covered, and that I don’t have to run to the store every time we finish something off.
Staying Organized and Avoiding Waste
I try to keep my stockpile neat and to visit it often, so I stay on top of what I have, what I need to buy, and – just as important – what I don’t need to buy. Everything is arranged by date, with the stuff that needs to be used first towards the front of the shelves.
For products like toothpaste, where the date can be difficult to read, I write them on the box with a permanent marker.
To avoid problems with pantry moths, all grains go in the freezer for 24 hours before being stored on shelves. This kills any larvae that may be present (gross, but a reality of our food system). When I have the space, I just leave my flour in the freezer. It helps to maintain the nutritional value, and greatly extends the life of whole grains.
Because dried beans are another food item that can develop bug infestations, I store my beans in sealed glass containers. This ensures that if I do have a problem, it won’t spread to other areas of my stockpile.
I’ve never had any kind of infestation in my pantry or stockpile, and I think it’s because I store things properly, and because I avoid buying more than we can use in a reasonable amount of time.
Are you a stockpiler? I’d love to hear how you organize your stockpile.