Aug 29

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What is a Food Stockpile? Isn’t it Hoarding?

What is a Food Stockpile?


A stockpile is defined by the dictionary as “a supply stored for future use, usually carefully accrued and maintained.” I would say this is pretty accurate! One of the best ways to save your family BIG is to have a food stockpile! Before we talk about all the benefits of stockpiling, let’s discuss what it’s not. A lot of folks will not understand that you’re either gathering these items to save major dollars for your family or to donate. They might think you’re a hoarder. Hoarding is a compulsive accumulation of possessions that are usually worthless along with the inability to discard anything, including trash. Hoarding serves no purpose and doesn’t benefit a family. Stockpiling does! I must also add however that I try to be a very practical person – just because I could get 1,000 bags of salad croutons for free does not mean I will. There are limits to good things too!


How Does a Food Stockpile Help Your Family?

By stockpiling, you’ll eliminate wasteful trips to the store because you won’t run out of an item you need. You’ll also cut down your spending drastically because you’ll be buying these items when prices are low instead of paying full price any time you need them. A great example is ketchup. We use a lot in our house because it’s the only condiment Jorryn likes and he likes on lots of stuff. (Eww.) Now, you’ll see ketchup for super cheap or free during the summer but we use it all year round. Should I get it for free during the summer but pay full price the other nine months? Nope! I will get enough during the summer season to last until the next summer season. I never run out and I never pay full price again. When you stockpile you are accumulating groceries, personal care, and household items at great sale prices that you have paired with your coupons. The items you stockpile will last you until the next sale or season.

There are a few things you should remember when starting your stockpile. Your first concern may be “I don’t have space!” Think of creative spots you can store the items you need. Would you rather have a closet full of items that you don’t need (old sports equipment, clothes that don’t fit) or would you like a few cases of items you will use to and can save lots of money on? Be conscious of where you store your items however as cool, dry places will serve you best. (Next to the furnace or oven won’t be a good place!) Be mindful of expiration dates and never purchase something about to expire to add to your stockpile. You should consume those right away! If you come across a dusty, bulging, or dented can, pass on it! This isn’t something you want to add to your stockpile. When I purchase new items for my stockpile, my newest items go in the back and I push the older items to the front to make sure that’s what I grab the next time I’m using it.

How Can You Build a Food Stockpile?

The first couple of months of building your stockpile you may see no savings or even a slight increase in your spending. This is totally normal! I was a little miffed when I first stated building our stockpile that I was spending more money yet using tons of coupons and combining items with the sales. I quickly realized though how much more I was actually getting for that money. The increase in spending only lasted the first couple of months and then as we started to USE the stockpile instead of paying full price for an item we needed, I started seeing drastic savings that has continued to grow. Most weeks I add a handful of items to our stockpile depending what is on sale at that time. If I have a week that I really need to stretch our grocery budget, I go shopping in my stockpile! Stockpiles also act as insurance against disaster in your family. If you have an unexpected job layoff or illness, your stockpile can help stretch your family during a financially tight time.

What questions do you have about stockpiling? If you already stockpile, what items did you start with? Where do you store your items?




Food stockpile.


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