Saturday, January 9, 2010

Stockpiling 101: How does it save you money?

I've been asked many times, "What is a stockpile, and why on earth do you do it?!"  And I have to admit, the first time I heard someone mention stockpiling I immediately thought they must be part of a radical group.  You know, someone who thinks the world is ending, or that WWIII is just around the corner?  I envisioned a basement full of ammunition, generators, and vats of canned food!

In actuality, stockpiling is just stocking up on items you and your family uses when that item hits it's 'rock-bottom-price', enough to last you until the next sale at least.

After couponing for a while, you'll find that most items go on sale in cycles.  Every three months or so is the norm, but others may go on sale once a month, or once a year. Take ketchup for example.  You're lucky to find a good sale, along with a coupon matchup, maybe once or twice a year.  Baking staples you generally have to wait until just before the holidays to find a sale and coupon out at the same time.

Some people think that if you coupon, you can't be brand specific.  That's not true.  We only eat Heinz Ketchup, my son will only eat Eggo Waffles, my husband will only use VO5 Shampoo and Conditioner.  I have no problem stockpiling specific brands.

Ok - so why stockpile?  Note - math alert! Remember back in school when you couldn't figure out why you had to learn math?  Now is one of those times you'll need it!

Take my son's waffles.  He eats 4 a day.  There's 12 in a pack.  That's 3 day's worth.  They go on sale with a good coupon matchup, maybe, every 3 or 4 months.  Now, he's here half the time, so for a month, I'll need 4 x 16 (figuring half of 31 days in a month).  That's 64 waffles, or a little more than 5 boxes.  Rounding up, that's 6 boxes a month, for at least 3 months - that means when there is a good coupon out, and a sale, I need to buy 18-20 boxes!  Oh my! Why would I want to do that?!

Let's look at the math some more :-)

Waffles are normally $2.25 a box
If we use about 2 boxes a week, that would cost me $4.50 a week.

When waffles are on sale, they usually go down to $2.00 a box.
That would be $4.00 a week, a savings of 50 cents.  eh..not very good.

The coupon that usually comes out is 75c off one box, and my grocery store doubles coupons.  So that $1.50 off
If I used two coupons and bought 2 coupons the week that they're on sale, it would cost me $1.00 for that week. Wow, that's a nice savings of $3.50

But if I get 20 of that 75c coupon and use them when the waffles are $2.00 a box,  I would pay $10.00 for 20 boxes.

Even more math - If I paid $2.00 a box for 20 boxes that would be $40.00, and if I bought the same 20 boxes paying full price, it would be $45.00

So by stockpiling 20 boxes every time they go on sale, I'm saving $35.00!  See how all those little cents add up to big savings when you stockpile!?

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