As winter approaches, I like to keep a stock of certain things that we use often in the house, so that if the weather should get particularly bad, I know that I have a stock of items that I can use and make meals from, without having to leave the house.
I’ve written before about how to start a stockpile, and for the most part, this is how I work when buying items for our stockpile. Now, we don’t have anything like some of the people on Extreme Couponing, but we do buy things in bulk if they’re a particularly good offer. Couponing doesn’t work in the UK the same as it seems to do in the US, nor are items reduced by a lot, but it does make sense to stock up when your favourite items are reduced or on offer. One item of food I do this with is tinned tomatoes; we do buy slightly more expensive tinned tomatoes rather than the basics range, but I stock up when they’re on offer, so that the price is reduced.
When you start your stockpile, it is essential that you know what is in it! If it’s big enough, I’d suggest writing down what is in your stockpile; a spreadsheet would work well so that you could see just how many items of which type you have, plus you can then update/amend easily. This means that your stockpile is organised and you know what is in it, plus you can stock up as and when you need to. It will also prevent you from overbuying items that you don’t actually need to stock up on.
When you’re organising your stockpile, keep like items together. So, keep all tinned goods in the same cupboard if possible, over multiple shelves if necessary. That way, when you’re searching for an item to use, you know that it’ll be in a specific place. This also makes it easy to store, as with tinned goods, they can be stacked on top of each other, so less space is needed. It also makes sense to keep your stockpile accessible, so that you can easily find and use items quickly, to save time.
Keep rotating your stock to ensure nothing goes past it’s use by date. This is really important; there is no point having a lovely organised stockpile if half the items in it are not used before they go out of date. My grandparents are guilty of this; I was looking for something in one of their cupboards a while ago, and they had some tinned goods that had gone out of date 5 years before. They were towards the back of their cupboard, and they had just forgotten about them! I’m sure some hardened frugal people would have still used them, but I think that’s pushing it slightly 😉 and although the tins weren’t expensive, it’s a waste because it just ended up in the bin.
Be savvy with storage options. Some items are in packaging that is bulky and takes up a lot of space. It can pay to have some storage boxes that are more compact that the packaging in the original item. We’ve got something similar to this that has oats in, plus some smaller ones for dried goods, such as rice and pasta. You could even get these and label them, just like everyone seems to on Pinterest! Lots of manufactured packaging is bulky and unnecessary, so these are definitely a space saving item and worth it in the long run.
These are just some ideas to help organise your stockpile, which I hope is helpful.
How to you organise your stockpile? Any tips for others? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!