Stockpiling food and other non consumable grocery items is something I do at least a few times per year. It's usually in preparation for something like a no spend week, return from vacation or school holidays. VIP Members can watch an exclusive VIP only video HERE on my own stockpiling for the upcoming summer holidays.
Most recently I have been stockpiling in preparation for the January summer school holidays. If you watch me regularly on the This Mum At Home You Tube Channel you will know that during school holidays my kids eat so much more so I go through a lot more food. When it’s only 2 weeks at a time it isn’t too bad. I do spend a little more on groceries with my ‘extras budget’, but I accept it. When it comes to summer school holidays (nearly 8 weeks for us) I really don’t want to be going too much over my budget, so I start to stockpile around November to ensure I have extra food items and meals we eat regularly. That way when it comes to doing my monthly grocery shop for that month, I have items I can use to fill my normal meal planning plus a little extra to cover hungry tummies!
So what is stockpiling ?
Stockpiling is stocking up on items that can be used in the future when needed. This could be for a planned time such as a no spend week, special occasion, return from vacation or even school holidays. There are also times of emergency stockpiling is used for such as preparation for natural disasters or even job loss.
Items I like to stockpile are :
* Everyday Packaged Snacks - Muslie bars, rice cakes, dry/sweet biscuits, pop corn, potato curls (healthier kids chips) , saltanas, nuts
* Meats – Cheap main meal meats I know I can afford to buy extra of in my usual shopping such as mince, sausages, chicken breast and corned beef.
* Basic Staples - Flour, sugar, rice, coffee, veg/beef/chick stock, crushed tomatos, sauces, pasta, noodles, honey, vinegar, cooking oil, butter, cheese, toilet paper and any fruit and veg I use continuously that I can freeze.
* Freezer Meals - I freeze left overs or make a little extra in the weeks before hand to build up freezer meals . This is amazing as sometimes I have enough dinners for 1-2 weeks !
* Drinks - Juice boxes, our sugar free soft drinks , cordial and milk in the freezer.
* Non Consumable Items - These are items we use regularly that might be due to run out at the time I'm planning on doing a no spend week. Items I look at are toilet paper, laundry liquid, dish liquid/tablets, body wash, nappies, wipes, tooth paste, shampoo and conditioner.
Stockpiling For A 'No Spend Week'.
A no spend week is when I plan on not spending any money at all for 1 week on unnecessary items. This is casual shopping, outings, coffee, clothing ect when it comes to bills I do not pay anything that's not necessary as I do usually put money into a bills account weekly to try and be ahead. I also pay a little each week on our rent so I do not need to pay rent fir that week (you should not do that or miss your mortgage payment unless you are ahead) Things I do pay on a no spend week are anything that is a need to pay . Those things are school fees, daycare, petrol and any required bills.
In regards to groceries some people still do groceries but spend less than their usual budget. For me I only spend my weekly 'extras budget' and that's usually only on fresh fruit and vegetables or items that we absolutely need and can't be out of eg nappies ! Others will spend half their normal weekly grocery budget. Either way you save money you would normally spend. As long as it's something then your achieving! So stockpiling for a no spend week is usually having enough groceries (consumable and non consumable) for the entire week we will need . Learn more about a ‘No Spend Week’ here.
Stockpiling for school holidays
If your a regular viewer on the This Mum At Home You Tube channel then you will know from my current grocery haul videos that I'm currently stockpiling for the summer school holidays here. My main reason for doing this is I usually spend a little more in the school holidays on groceries due to both kids being home. They just eat more and use more! So to help combat that I'm stockpiling items now I know we will go through faster than during school times. Those items are things like popcorn, dry biscuits, muslie bars , flour, sugar, sauces etc I'm also stocking up on some freezer meals when I do my bulk cooking after grocery shopping and buying a few extra cheap meats such as sausages, mince & chicken breast.
My goal for stockpiling for the school holidays is having extra money for our family to do extra activities together during that time instead of having to do extra groceries!
Stockpiling For Vacation Returns
When ever we return from vacation the last thing I want to be doing is a mad dash to the grocery store or spending money when we have just spent money away. I particularly prefer to do a proper meal plan before any grocery shopping to ensure I stay within my usual budget, but have enough food on return with all meals and snacks pre planned out.
So having things on hand for the first few days on return while we all settle back in is a must! Having fruit and vegetables that will stay well in the fridge and freezer without going bad is something I plan carefully for this time. For example I do not keep our usual strawberries and blueberries in the fridge while we are away as they just do not last, however apples stay great in our fridge for a 2-3 weeks! Frozen vegetables are always great to have in the stockpile as they last any amount of time we are away and are there for main meals on return without me having to go to the supermarket! For the pantry items I have stockpiled are items just to fill little snacking tummies until I go grocery shopping.
The main objective for stockpiling for vacation return is to just have enough on hand to get through the days after while we settle in. It’s such a stress reliever after travelling, so I make sure I do these for after every family vacation.
So How Do You Start Your Own Stockpiling?
Stockpiling is really such an easy thing to start. It’s best to obviously start well in advance from the time you think you will need it to ensure you have enough put away for the time and so you’re not over spending. I usually allow up to $20 within my grocery budget to buy extra things or if I have extra $$$ at anytime I may use some of that. Its important for me to not spend money I do not have otherwise for me personally it is defeating the purpose of why I stockpile.
To get started –1. Go through your food storage areas and your regular meal planning sheets. Make a list of …
- Items you use regularly. That’s food, drinks and non consumables.
- Things that would be costly for you to buy that you may need during your chosen time eg toiletries.
- Meals you would want to eat and freeze up in preparation.
- Any other special favorites eg treats for school holidays.
2. Think about what kind of storage you have. Do you have freezer storage you can use? If you do not have room in a pantry is their somewhere else you can store your items eg in storage tubs in a spare room ?
3. Decide what items you would like to start stockpiling and plan out a budget and specific time you will be purchasing eg I usually try and work within my usual grocery budget or use any ‘extra cash’ that may pop up.
4. Start buying, storing and do not touch until your needed purpose!
So if you are looking for ways to save money and stress give stockpiling a go. This along with 'Meal Planning' has done wonders for my family and I. I no longer spend hours shopping, preparing food and unnecessary over spending. I now have more time to spend with my family enjoying quality time together in life.