Couponing 101: Building a Stockpile

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So, you’ve been on your couponing journey for quite some time now. You are no longer a novice; you are an experienced, deal-scoring, 90% savings-achieving, all-around pro now! You’ve conquered every single deal you’ve come across, and the gettin’ is good! But, with great couponing comes one big problem: where the heck are you supposed to put all this stuff? Luckily, there is an extremely simple solution: start a stockpile. 

Couponing 101: Building a Stockpile

What is a stockpile?

A stockpile is a collection of products you keep in your home, obtained through the process of couponing. Bascially: a storage solution for all of the sweet deals you’ve scored! Typically, this collection is kept in the basement, garage, or closet, and functions as pretty much a mini “store” that you can take items from without having to leave your house. Pretty cool, right?

Why start one?

Sooner or later, all extreme couponers find themselves in need of a practical storage solution for their products. Having a stockpile is simply the most organized way to display everything you have all nice and neat and keep all the nooks and crannies of your house clutter-free!

So, what’s in my stockpile?

My stockpile has served us extremely well the past couple years. One of the first things to mention is that it’s only one shelf. The reason for this is simple: one shelf has proved to be plenty for my little family of three (soon to be four). Although I could easily expand to two or more shelves if I wanted to, I find that it kind of keeps my couponing addiction under control, in a way; if I run out of space, I take a little break for awhile!

Although I’ve only recently began to actively stockpile again, and my collection isn’t nearly as massive as some of the other ones you may have seen, it has saved us so. much. money. I seriously haven’t had to buy shampoo in over two years (but I do anyway if it’s an awesome deal!). 

Stockpile 2

This top shelf alone holds over 60 hair care products, which is definitely one of my favorite items to stock up on. I regularly switch up which products I use, so it’s good to have a wide variety. There are also nearly 50 body washes and soaps here as well, which (I haven’t actually done the math on yet) will probably last us for… forever. 😉

Stockpile 5

Here we have all my personal care and health products, including over 20 deodorants and 84 razors. This is definitely the part of my stockpile that gets used the most, so it’s important to keep it up to date and well-stocked. You’ll notice that I don’t have a ton of toothpaste. Because we don’t go through very much, I tend to only stock up on what we’ll use for the year. There are, however, various uses for toothpaste besides just cleaning your teeth, though!

Stockpile 4

Cleaning products last a looooooong time in our house. I’m pretty sure we’ve been using the same bottle of Windex for the past, like, three years. So again, I have a somewhat limited stock on these types of items; only about 30 or so. One thing we do use quite often, though, are scented candles and melts. I hold about 20 of these kinds of products at all times, to ensure our house always smells fresh and clean and not of dog. 😉

Stockpile 3

And finally, we come to my favorite part of the stockpile: The Diaper Pile! This collection of nearly 1,500 diapers was pretty much established in just two or three shopping trips throughout my pregnancy, and I plan on doing one more decent sized trip before Baby comes.

My time to stock up on diapers and wipes is during Target’s huge baby sales that they have every few months. Usually they offer a gift card on a certain threshold purchase, so I throw as many coupons and discounts on top of that as I can to spend as little as possible. 

What you need to know:

It doesn’t happen overnight. Or in one giant haul. Or, really, in giant hauls at all for that matter. In the few years I’ve been couponing, I’ve actually come to find that the best way to stockpile products is through smaller trips that simply add up over time. 

When is the best time to stock up on..? Knowing the sale cycles throughout the year is essential. Knowing when certain products are going to be at their rock-bottom prices is going to score you the biggest savings. One of my favorite couponing sites, The Krazy Coupon Lady, has an awesome list of monthly sale cycles, found here!

Trips may be random, and that’s okay. Different products go on sale at different times throughout the year. To achieve the highest level of savings, it’s important to stock up on certain products when they’re at their rock-bottom price. If that involves purchasing large quantities of barbecue sauce, heartburn medication, and toothbrushes all at once, don’t worry about it! 

You shouldn’t buy an item just because it’s a good stock up price. If you see there’s an amazing deal on contact lens solution, but you don’t happen to wear contacts, don’t buy it. (Unless you’re planning on getting contacts at some point, of course.) My point ,though, is that buying products that you’re simply never going to use just because they’re a killer deal isn’t really going to save you any money. However, if a product is needed as part of a bigger deal to score you points, gift cards, or rewards that you can use on products you do use, then feel free to buy it!

Donate, donate, donate! To continue off my last point, if you ever purchase an item as part of a larger deal to score some form of store points, and have no intention of ever actually using it, donation is always a great option. There are always people in need who would be grateful. (Plus, there’s always your friends and family, too!)

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. When the savings start adding up, it’s only normal to start feeling the “coupon high”. Before long, you can (and will) get addicted. Because of this, many couponers will stock up on items pretty much non-stop throughout the year, only to find that they can’t actually use all the products they’ve purchased before their expiration date. Although food products are obviously the main culprit in this instance, there’s also toothpaste, deodorant, and some cleaning products to watch out for.

Getting Started

If you want to start a stockpile of your own, there’s only one real way to go about it: clip some coupons, score some deals, buy a shelf, and watch your collection start to grow. There’s really no extremely specific technique to it. My general rule of stocking up is to aim for a 75% savings or higher. 

If you’re new to the whole coupon scene, be sure to check out my Beginner’s Guide to Couponing for everything you need to know before you get started! Follow what you’ve read here, and you’ll be a stockpiling pro in no time!

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