What is my Stockpile Quantity?

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What is Your Stockpile Quantity?
stockpile quantity
stockpile quantity

What is your stockpile quantity?  Only you can answer that question.  It isn’t as easy as the Coupon Wizard waving their magic wand and magically producing a number for you.  You need to determine that number.  Sure, you can guess, but you are probably not going to be as accurate as you would like.  I have been in the couponing lifestyle long enough to know my stockpile quantity within +/- 1 unit over 16 weeks.  I know this because I keep track of my family’s consumption.  I keep a chart over each 16 week period so that I know where I need to buy less and where I need to buy more.  However, I don’t have to make adjustments very often.  We are going to be posting a copy of the chart that I use.  I recommend that you keep it on your refrigerator or your pantry door.  Each time that you use the last of a bottle or jar and take one out to replace it, put a hash mark on the chart next to that item.  When you run out of that item, make a note in the margin that reflects the week # that you ran out.  If you have some left over, make a note of that number in the margin next to those items.  This will really help you as you fine tune your shopping list.

How Much Should You Accumulate

With some items, it is OK to carry more than 12 weeks.  Canned soups, fruits and veggies are good examples of this.  You almost can’t have too much of those things.  They stay good for a very long time.  They can be bought at relatively low prices and almost everybody needs them.  Things such as salad dressing are another story.  You will really need to pay attention to get that number right.  Having too much pasta on hand isn’t a big deal.  Having too much salad dressing on hand and letting the date expire IS a big deal because it costs you money and it is wasteful.  Two things that you will learn to despise.

I know that some people are just not going to be able to pull the trigger and buy what they actually use.  They will get embarrassed or they won’t have budgeted the appropriate amount of money and subsequently have to cut their trip short.  Whatever the excuse, they aren’t living the couponing lifestyle, they are simply going shopping.  For those people that go to the store and need 16 boxes of cereal but only get 4 boxes for a really good price with coupons and pay a sale price for the other 12 are not living the couponing lifestyle.  They are simply using some coupons.

The Stockpile Quantity Chart

Stockpile Quantity ChartIn addition to having enough food in your house and saving the maximum amount of money possible, the stockpile quantity chart can also help you plan for the number of papers that you should buy.  If you are keeping the chart and you see that the Sunday insert is going to have $1/1 for pickles, $2/1 for Laundry Detergent and a BOGO coupon for Splenda, and all three of those items are on your stockpile list, you know you need to buy more papers.  If your stockpile for pickles is 6, splenda is 4 and laundry detergent is 2, it is probably OK to buy 6 papers.  If papers cost you $1.50 each, this would cost $9.00.  However, if you buy that many and have the correct coupons, you would save $6 on pickles, $12 on Splenda and $8 on detergent for a total of $26 in savings ($17 net if you take out the cost of the papers).  That math is not hard.  You spend 9 to save 17.

In some instances you may consider a coupon clipping service.  Most clipping services require that you buy a minimum of 10 of each coupon.  While it may be a little less expensive than the papers, you miss out on the quantities of the other coupons and you put yourself in a position where you are tempted to buy more than you actually need because you don’t want to waste the excess coupons you have to purchase to meet the minimums.  Papers and trades are the best way to fulfill smaller stockpile quantities.  I reserve the clipping services for larger stockpile items and good money-making deals that I can add to my order to offset prices on meat and produce (which rarely have coupons).

In a Nutshell…

I realize that this was a long post, but it’s an important one.  If you don’t know your stockpile quantity, the stockpile price is irrelevant.  If you are looking for a good practice exercise, when we post the chart, print out two copies.  On the first copy, write down the number of each item that you think you are going to use in the next 12 weeks.  On the other chart, use the method suggested above.  At the end of your first 12 weeks, pull them out, sit them side by side and compare the numbers to see how accurate you were.



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