There are several reasons people choose to stockpile, but the one I'd like to focus on is taking advantage of the best price.
Sales, and coupons, have cycles. In the summer months when more people are out camping, grilling and picnicking items needed for these activities will be on sale. You'll also find coupons to pair with those sales.
Great! This means you can get all your BBQ sauce, ketchup and mustard super cheap in the summer months! But what happens when you start craving BBQ chicken in December? Do you go out and pay full price for BBQ sauce? Not if you have a stockpile.
Stockpiling requires some planning and thinking ahead. I'll give you some suggestions.
Learn the sales cycles
You can type sales cycles into Google and get all kinds of info but I'll give you basic list.
January will have sales for diet foods, yogurt and 100 calorie packs because people make New Year Resolutions to loose weight, chips, dips, cheese, and soda for those super bowl parties, chili soup and cold meds cause it's deary and cold, and household cleaning products.
February features sales for Chinese New Year - Asian foods, heart health month - low cholesterol, Valentine's Day - chocolate, steaks, 'romantic food', and since it's national canned food month, expect sales on those too.
March is frozen foods month so expect lots of good deals on frozen items. You'll also start to see spring cleaning products. Around St. Patrick's Day expect to see corned beef, and potatoes on sale.
Whichever month Easter falls in, March or April, you'll find deals on Ham, eggs, food coloring, holiday baking, and holiday foods like stuffing mix, rolls, and veggies.
April offers sales of organic foods around Earth Day and batteries around Daylight Savings Time
May has sales for Cinco de Mayo - taco kits, chips and salsa, Mother's day, - baking supplies, premade cakes and cookies, and the beginning of summer grilling season. BBQ sauce, mustard, ketchup, but also salad dressing, hot dogs, buns, ground beef, brats, and ribs. Also look for paper plates and plastic cutlery.
June continues he summer sales but it's also Dairy Month so look for good deals on cheese, yogurt and ice cream.
In July we still have those summer sales and now the back to school sales start. Look for deals on breakfast cereals and pop tarts as well as items for the lunch box.
August also has back to school foods on sale. School supplies and disinfectant wipes and tissues are on sale now too.
September is National Diabetes Awareness Month so look for low carb foods. Look also for canned tomatoes and pasta sauce deals.
October begins baking season. Look for great buys on candy, carmel, melting chocolate, cookie mix, popcorn, dried fruit, and pumpkins and apples.
November continues the baking sales but is the start of the holiday dinner foods sales. Look for deals on turkey and ham, side items, potatoes, gravy, butter, and rolls. It's also Peanut Month so look for great buys on peanut butter.
In December baking season climaxes, holiday foods, and party foods - deli trays, cheeses, crackers, go on sale.
Decide how much your family needs of the items you want to stockpile
My family doesn't eat a lot of cold breakfast cereal. If I stock up and buy 30 boxes we probably won't use it before it goes bad. Even if I only pay 10 cents a box, it's not a good deal if it spoils.
Set a price point
Decide what the best price is and what you'd be willing to pay as a stock up price. if BBQ sauce is on sale for $1.10 and I have a $0.50/1 coupons that will double I only pay $0.10 a bottle and I stock up. Mayo is on sale for $2.99. I have a $0.40/1 coupon that will double so my final price would be $2.09. That's not a comfortable stock up price for me. I'll wait for a better deal. If you already have a stockpile of items you use a lot it's easy to pass up an OK deal and wait for a great one.
Decide what you have room to store
Sure 15 free boxes of cereal is great, until you have to store them in the trunk of your car because there is no more room in the hose. Set aside a climate controlled area to store your stock. Also be conscious of freezer space. A lot of items can be stored in the freezer to increase their shelf life but if you have so much bread in the freezer you can't fit them items your family uses every day that's a problem.
Rotate your stock
This is extremely important! Spoiled food doesn't save you any money. So when you bring home 4 cans of kidney beans to add to your stock place them behind the beans already there. Always use older items first. First in, first out.
An organized stockpile is a happy stockpile
When you're organized it's easy to follow the first in, first out rule. You can see what you have plenty of and what you might think about restocking soon, You'll also notice if bugs or rodents find your stock, especially helpful if you're storing in the garage.
Be careful trying new things
If you find a great deal on a product you've never tried before consider just buying one, taking it home and trying it out before you commit to a large purchase. If you don't like it you'll be glad your didn't buy 15 jars of it.
A stockpile is a work in progress
No one starts out with a huge stock. Pick up 4 bottles of ketchup here, 2 bottles of juice there, a box of lasagna noodles and 5 cans of diced tomatoes another day. Slow and steady wins the race.
A stockpile is meant to be used. You need to use items from it as you go along to keep things from spoiling and to make room for future great deals. If you're just gathering items to gather that's more of a hoarding behavior.
I hope this post encourages you to start your own stockpile of the items and in the sizes that work best for you and your family.