Stockpiling with a Small Pantry

by Beth Montgomery on February 26, 2010 · 4 comments

in Tips & Basics

A while ago I read a blog post about a woman who turned her entire garage into a pantry.   It looked like a grocery store with aisles upon aisle of food.   While that would be my dream, it’s not my reality. In fact, I’m fairly certain if I pulled the cars out of the garage and started building a shrine to my stockpile, my husband would laugh me out and   probably lock me out of the garage for my own good.

The truth…

My pantry is about 1/4 the size of a coat closet.   It’s tiny!   Sure, I get creative and store impressive amount of toilet paper under beds, but in the end my home just has no storage room at all.

Couponing is all about stockpiling though!   It’s about buying when items are cheap and buying a lot.   Not all of us are lucky enough to have the huge pantries.   We live in small homes or a home without storage.   We live in apartments or townhouses.   But, that doesn’t mean we can’t save money.

You don’t have to stockpile enough food to get you through a year or two.   You only need enough to get you to the next great sale.
Okay, I probably have enough toothpaste and Buddy Bars to get me through a year… okay, maybe two… okay, three. But that’s where it ends.   Most stores are on a 6 week sale cycle, meaning good sales come around every 6 weeks.   Think about it.   You only need to stockpile about 6 weeks of food, so you can replenish when the next great sale comes around.   That’s a lot less food than a year’s supply.

Sure, that’s not true for all sales.   Some foods like fruit are seasonal, while other foods like hot dogs and soda go on sale for the lowest prices during holidays where we typically grill out.   You know to grab a few turkeys 1-2 weeks before Thanksgiving and ham around Christmas.   But, if you eat what’s in season and keep a 6 week stockpile, you’ll be set to save money without adding on to your home.   Tracking your local store’s sales with a grocery price book will help you figure out how much you need on hand to get you through to the next sale.

Get Creative
You don’t have to store things where they should go.   If you have a walk-in closet, put up a few shelves to hold all your CVS and other pharmacy steals.   I have some products stuffed in odd, but logical (to me) places.   Just don’t be surprised if you come over and find an alarming amount of paper towels in the coat closet.   There are hangers there too, so just hang up your coat and ignore them.   Good sales and desperate times… that’s all I’m saying.

Condense & Compact
You’ll also see me ripping open packages when I get home and combining them.   I’ll pour two boxes of cereal into our nifty cereal holder, combine bags of frozen chicken (since they are only half full anyway), or whatever else I can do to save some room.   Not all food can be broken into early, but the ones we devour quickly or have long shelf lives usually can.

How do you stockpile without storage room?
Come on! I know you don’t all have lavishly large pantries and spacious cupboards!

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1 dar February 26, 2010 at 9:37 PM

I store canned goods, toilet paper, and paper towels under our bed I just use box lids from cases of printer paper (i just went to a printing store and asked if i could have some of the boxes). I am lucky to have a small laundry room in my apartment that has two shelves above the washer and dryer on these I store stockpiled detergent and cleaners. I use the ‘shoe bags’ you hang on back of doors to store small items. For instance I’ll take fruit snacks out of the box and tuck them in to the pockets. There is one on the bathroom door for toothpaste, soap, etc. We had some ‘extra’ room in our closet, so I put in a small shelf to store other items such as cereal. We have our stockpile tucked into every available space I can find that is not terribly noticeable.

2 Beth Montgomery February 26, 2010 at 10:15 PM

The shoe bag is a good idea! I may steal that one. I always need more room :) Thanks!

3 Cindy August 11, 2010 at 6:40 PM

hi Beth my local library is trying to a couponing group started and i was wondering do you have information written down as a guide for us to use as instuctions or is it just your online course you offer

4 Beth August 11, 2010 at 10:38 PM

Cindy, I have the online course. I also do private classes, like coupon parties for groups and in that provide a workbook. The workbook, however, is more of a supplement to the class and doesn’t really give you much without the class. It’s for note taking and adds extra information, but doesn’t give you the “meat”. Unfortunately, at this time, that’s all I have. Couponing is a lot. There is so much information and it depends on your city/store/etc… that it’s hard to consolidate it into an instruction sheet. If you get me more info about what information you’re hunting for, maybe I can put something together for everyone or find something to help you out.

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