Stockpile Sanity – When Enough Is Enough!
So, you've been couponing for awhile now and your cupboards are bursting with the spoils of your conquests. It's thrilling to score a deal and you've been grabbing them with enthusiasm. A growing stockpile means you've been doing your job as a couponer and providing for your family's needs at the lowest possible price. But, when do you say to your stockpile "enough is enough" and know when to cool it on the stash?
What you see above is a picture I took this afternoon of gum that I've gotten free or made money on within the last few weeks. Now, for someone who always has a stick of gum in their mouth, you may think this isn't a lot. For our family this is probably a year's worth of gum because we don't chew it very often. This product happens to have a long shelf life but do I really need a year's worth of something?
The beauty of couponing is that items go on sale in cycles. There are some items that go on sale almost constantly (toothpaste, toothbrushes, cereal) but most items go about 3 months in between stock up worthy sales. To keep yourself sane, only buy enough of one item to last you a couple or three months. This will keep your out-of-pocket expense down and save room in your cupboards. It also ensures that nothing will go bad before you can get around to using it and that you leave some on the shelf for other coupon-toting families!
After I had been shopping intentionally for awhile I found out about an opportunity to donate items to an outreach in town. I knew there were a few items I could spare from my stockpile so I threw open the closet door and started hunting. A handful of minutes later I stood in shock at the pile on the floor of toiletries that were excess past the point of stockpile. I knew that toothpaste went on sale all the time but for some reason I had almost a year's worth of it. I knew shampoo and conditioner came along every month or so but for some reason I had a year's worth of that, too! How many huge bottles of scented lotion does one person need? Especially since I'm the only girl in my house! The feminine product pile was the icing on the cake but I won't go into details there...
That day I gave away about half of what I had been squirreling away and realized that there were many products we would never use! They had been purchased because I got them free or almost free. Last month my husband and I talked and agreed to donate our entire stockpile to a local charity that was in need of toiletry items. I made sure to keep one month's worth of products on hand in order to give myself a little time to build it back up. The most frustrating thing about this stockpile clean-out was how many items we've opened, used a little of and then put back in the stockpile. It made for a good amount of items that were no longer donation-friendly!
Now here I am, one month later and my stockpile is doing great. I'm still in shock that it built back up so quickly but that's how great the coupon world is. There's always a deal around the corner.
So does this idea of excess past the point of stockpile strike a cord with you? I challenge you to take a second look at your stockpile and decide when enough is enough.