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A Guide To Stockpiling For Beginners

Are you looking to learn the tips and tricks of stockpiling for beginners?

There’s a whole host of different reasons you might want to start a stockpile.

Personally, we stockpile products so that we have some basic supplies during a personal financial crisis (loss of earnings due to us both being self-employed for example).

However, we have friends who stockpile for example due to weather conditions and political climates.

Whatever the reason, I believe that not only does stockpiling provide you with some stability in a crisis it also saves you money in the long run. Let me explain…

Benefits Of Stockpiling

Here are just a few of the benefits of stockpiling in my opinion;

Stockpiling Saves You Money

As you’ll only be stockpiling on products when the prices are reduced compared to average.

You’ll actually be saving money when you come to use those items as you won’t be buying them at full price.

Stockpiling Provides You With Convenience

When you’re left one ingredient short for a meal or craving a particular snack your stockpile may just hold the answer.

Otherwise, you can use your stockpile as your very own convenience store prior to going food shopping.

This ensures you’re maximising your savings and rotating your stock (more on that later in the article)

Stockpiling Gives You Stability & Peace Of Mind

When the news comes that you may need a stockpile, you’ll benefit from already having one in place.

No need to worry on a night about whether you’ll have enough food, or whether you’ll be able to afford things.

Your stockpile has provided you with a base so that you’ll simply only have to top-up based on the conditions you’re facing.

How To Start A Stockpile

In this section of the article, we’ll be discussing how to start a stockpile.

Creating a great stockpile is about more than just buying extra items at a discounted price. It’s about planning, preparation and organisation.

Creating Space For Your Stockpile

Stockpile preparation starts with creating space for your stockpile. Keeping a stockpile organised moving forward is going to be essential so you’re going to want to ensure the storage location is easy to get to.

You’ll also want to make sure the storage location is suitable for the items you plan to stockpile. Stockpiling can be more than just food, it can be non-perishable items such as toilet rolls, deodorant, even Christmas cards. If you can use it, you can stockpile it.

So ensure the area is dry, free from debris, and of the correct temperature for the items. We have a large storage area in our bathroom where we stockpile the majority of our bathroom supplies such as soaps, shampoos, conditioners etc.

Then we use under the bed (we have a divan with pull out draws) for stockpiling first aid supplies and medication such as pain relief, bandages, plasters etc.

Then we use some fantastic racking in the cellar to store non-perishable food items such as cans and drinks.

If you have a limited amount of space or want to ensure your items keep dry, out of reach and / or away from debris, then I’d recommend storing the stockpiled items in an airtight container such as a Really Useful Box.

It’s important if you do have multiple storage locations for your stockpile that you know where everything is. Again, this will make it easier to track and keep an inventory of in the long run.

Know Your Prices, Sales & Plan Accordingly

Products generally go on sale in cycles.

For instance, in late December you’ll start to see reductions on Christmas items. In January, party food, fireworks etc.

So, when considering what to stockpile when, it’s important we consider these sales cycles. The key to saving money with a stockpile is buying items you’ll use, in advance, so you’re never paying ‘full price’.

I’ve created this handy spreadsheet that you can use as a reference to check whether or not you’re getting a good deal. It’s up to you to decide from there whether or not you should stock up.

There’s no hard and fast percentage I stick to. Instead, it’s a formula I do in my head based on;

How much of a particular item I use on a daily / monthly / weekly basis.
Whether or not I have a full stockpile of that item.
The expiration date of the item
My stockpile budget left for that month.

Decide On A Stockpiling Budget

Speaking of stockpiling budgets, it’s important you have one. Remember, one of the benefits of having a stockpile is that it’s designed to save you money.

Therefore getting into debt to create a stockpile defeats the object, and by not spending within your means to create a stockpile, you’ll be doing just that.

There’s no correct answer as to what your stockpiling budget should be. Instead, I’d urge you to look at your own budget, what you currently spend on groceries and what you think you could afford to spend on stockpiling.

That may be just £5.00 a month to start off with, and that’s ok. Because a year later you’ll have spent £60 and have a fantastic stockpile you’re able to show for it.

Best Items For Stockpiling

Again deciding on the best items to stockpile is personal, and will depend on your family dynamic. However, some ideas to get you starter are;

  • Toilet rolls
  • Bleach
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body Wash
  • Tinned Beans
  • Tinned Tomatoes
  • Tinned Corned Beef
  • Dry Pasta
  • Passata
  • Dried Pulses (chickpeas, black-eyed peas etc.)
  • Tinned Tuna
  • Dried Oats
  • Cooking Oils
  • Tinned Soups
  • Coffee
  • Tea Bags
  • UTH Milk
  • Tampons
  • Band-Aids
  • Bandages
  • Batteries
  • Herbs and Spices
  • Nappies / Diapers
  • Wet Wipes
  • Water Filters / Bottled Water
  • Sodas
  • Concentrated Juices
  • Jams, Pickles and Other Preserves
  • Packets of Rice (Couscous, Brown Rice, White Rice etc.)

How To Manage A Stockpile

The second section of this stockpiling for beginners article is titled, how to manage a stockpile. It’s designed to help you track, monitor, rotate and improve your stockpile over time.

This is essential to maintaining a stockpile that does everything we highlighted at the start of this article (save you money, provide you with stability should you require it and give you a level of convenience)

Track Expiration Dates

You are not saving money if you buy an item that you don’t use prior to it expiring. Therefore it’s essential that you track your expiration dates.

You’ll want to rotate your stockpile into your general cupboards leaving plenty of time for the item to be used up prior to it expiring.

Then you’ll want to rotate the stockpiled items that you’ve put into the kitchen with fresh items with a new longer expiration date.

Keep An Inventory Of What You Have

Alongside tracking your expiration dates you’ll also want to keep an inventory of what you have.

This will prevent you from overstocking on items. Leaving you with no space or budget to buy the essential items you need to stockpile.

As well as provide you with an instant assessment of what you still need to ‘complete’ your stockpile.

While you can keep an inventory and a record of expiration dates of items from your stockpile digitally, I find it much quicker and easier to do it on a small piece of paper attached to a clipboard that’s kept in an essential stockpile location.

That concludes my guide to stockpiling for beginners. As always I’d love to know if you have any hints and tips for those looking to build a stockpile in the comments below.

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