Five Myths About Stockpiling

I began stockpiling food items and health and beauty items about two years ago. When people who don’t know me very well visit my home for the first time, they are often a bit overwhelmed by the year’s supply of diapers and wipes in my son’s closet, the year’s supply of deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, toothbrushes, and vitamins in our linen closet, and the large amounts of canned goods, water, and nonperishable items on shelving units in my garage. Through the years, I’ve gotten quite a few comments on my stockpile. The following are the five most common myths about stockpiling.

Stockpiling is too expensive

Quite often, when I show people my stockpile or tell them about it, they will say, “I would love to do that, but we just don’t have the money for it in our budget. We live month to month.” Most of the items in my stockpile have been free or close to free. Experienced stockpilers learn to wait for really good sales and then combine the sale prices with coupons. Also, in the long run you end up saving money because you can live off of the items in your stockpile until the next great sale comes along and you learn to only buy things when they are on sale. After awhile, you learn to understand the sales cycles, so you know exactly when you need to stock up on certain items and how much you need to stock up on so that you have enough to last until the next great sale. You also save money on gas because you are not making frequent trips to the store to buy things.

Stockpiling takes too much time

I love it when people say, “I would love to get a stockpile like yours, but I just don’t have the time for it.” I work full time and have two small children. I don’t have a lot of extra time, either. I create a master list of all of the deals that I want to take advantage of in a week, and go out and run my errands early on a Saturday morning to avoid the crowds and so that my husband can watch my kids. Having a stockpile actually helps me save time because I only make a shopping trip once a week and on some weeks, if there are not any good deals, I don’t have to shop at all.

Stockpiling takes up too much space

A frequent comment I hear from friends is “We just don’t have the space to stockpile.” Finding the space for your stockpile is a matter of prioritizing and creativity. Many people have junk sitting around in boxes and garages that is simply taking up space because they haven’t taken the time to go through it. If your boxes have been sitting around for several years, chances are that there’s nothing in there that you really need. Go through your boxes. Trash, donate, or sell the items you are not using. You can also be creative about finding space for your stockpile. We have items stash on top shelves in closets, under beds, and on shelving units in the garage.

Stockpiling is only for major disasters

Sometimes people are critical about my stockpile. They will make comments like, “Stockpiling is only for major disasters. I don’t anticipate a major disaster and if something did happen, I would just go somewhere else. If I had a stockpile, it would just go to waste.” These people often refer to the Y2K craze. We are beyond a time when stockpiling is just for major disasters. In a society where unemployment rates are climbing daily and where the cost of everything is on the rise, stockpiling is also very helpful in times of financial crisis. If you lose your job, you can live off of the items in your stockpile. If money becomes tight, you can turn to your stockpile and cut your grocery budget. My budget hasn’t been impacted much yet but the recent rise in prices because I have been living off prices from a few months and even a year or two ago in some cases.

Stockpiling causes items to go to waste

If you plan well, there is also no reason for items in your stockpile to go to waste. You should only stockpile items you use and you should use them! When you run out of toilet paper, pull a package of toilet paper from your stockpile and then replace it. If you find that you have an excess of something, there are plenty of places that will accept donations (food banks, shelters, etc.). This is also a great way to get extra tax deductions. You could also have a garage sale to sell excess items if you have a significant amount of extras.

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