Saving Money With Stockpiling – How To Shop For Free In Your Home!

Saving Money with Stockpiling

Are you looking for ways to save money on your grocery bills?

Saving Money with Stockpiling

Do you use coupons, avoid eating out, turn off lights in rooms that are not occupied?

It can be difficult to save money when the money saving tasks seem like work.

What if there was a way to significantly reduce your grocery bill without much effort? Would you be interested?

The number one way that we save money on groceries is by stockpiling.

What is stockpiling?

Stockpiling is when you store large quantities of certain items to use as you need them. In this case, we are talking about groceries. Saving money by stockpiling groceries is very easy. You simply stock up on items that are on sale to avoid paying full price down the line.

Benefits Of Creating a Grocery Stockpile

  • You will save money by stocking up on items when they are on sale, instead of purchasing one or two items at a time when they are full price, just because you need them.
  • Last minute grocery store trips will be a thing of the past. When you have a grocery stockpile, you don’t need to run to the store to grab a much needed dinner item. Just go to your stockpile and pick one up for “free”.
  • When you are short on cash one month, you can create an “eat from the pantry” menu, using items that you already have on hand in your stockpile.
  • You can help others in need. If you use coupons, it’s often that you will be able to stockpile things at a very deep discount (sometimes you will even be able to get things for free). Donate extra stockpile items to other families that need help with their grocery bill.

How To Create a Grocery Stockpile

1. Decide where to store everything.
The very first thing you need to do when creating a grocery stockpile is to figure out where you are going to put everything. If you live in a small apartment or condo, it may be out of the question to have a very large stockpile. It may be best to just have a small one instead.

There are many stockpile storage ideas. Choose the one that works best for you. When organizing your stockpile, it’s a good idea to keep like items together so that they are easy to find when you go “shopping” for things.

Canada Stockpile Picture
2. Figure out how much to stockpile.
Remember that every family is different. What works for one family, won’t necessarily work for another. 3-6 months worth of product is an ideal stockpile storage amount. However, some people (myself included) prefer to have a stockpile of at least one year’s worth for certain items.

Determine how quickly your family goes through all of the items that you plan to stockpile.

For example, let’s say you want to stockpile laundry detergent. When you open a new bottle or box, write down the date on the bottom of it. When it’s empty, check the date on the bottom and you will see how long it took you to go through that item.

We’ll assume that it took you 1 month. If you want your stockpile to last 6 months, you will need to have 6 bottles/boxes on hand at all times.

3. Create a stock-up budget.
Don’t stockpile too much when you first start building your stockpile. I know it can be tempting to want that stockpile to be nice and big right away, but that’s near impossible (unless you want to spend loads of cash).

It took me well over a year to accumulate a year’s worth of supplies in our stockpile.

Go over your grocery budget and work out how much of that budget you can allocate to stocking up. Try to set aside $10-$20 (or more, if you can afford it) per week for stocking up on sale items.

Stick to your budget. Don’t spend more than you can afford, just because something is a good deal. There will be more great deals in the future. Only spend what you have set aside for stockpiling.

Canada Free Stuff Deals
4. Stock up when items are on sale.
Watch your store flyers and look for items that are on sale at your rock bottom price. The best sales are usually on the front page of a sale flyer, so look there first and see if anything catches your eye. Pick up as many of those items as you can and put them into your stockpile.

If you use coupons, your savings will be even greater. Sometimes when you match a sale item with a coupon, you will be able to get things for free!

Keep track of expiration dates. It’s a good idea to have a stockpile inventory, making note of when certain items expire. Always add new items to the back of your stockpile so that the oldest items get used up first.

Know how long to stockpile.
When you are creating your grocery stockpile, there are two important things that you need to know:

  1. How long to store certain items in your stockpile.
  2. Food items you can & can not freeze.

Creating a grocery stockpile was absolutely one of the best things I have ever done for my family.

It has saved us so much money over the last few years – I don’t see us ever not having one!

Do you have a grocery stockpile? How long did it take you to build?

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  1. teachermum says:

    I’ve just spent two hours in the basement organizing mine!

    Coming up on 25 years of marriage and I have always had a stockpile. I have never done a one or two week shop and have always sale shopped. We have a 5′ crawlspace (don’t get me started on how much more basement we would have with 3 more cinderblocks of height!) For the most part I only buy things on sale and have always bought lots. I just don’t like running out of things! ie if something is half its normal price, I can’t fathom not picking up 12-24 of them.

    Couponing is a fairly new thing for me-I have always used them occasionally, but usually when I needed something that was not on sale… now I know better. Most things I buy for food staples don’t have coupons anyhow but I now have a health and beauty stockpile that I never did and ziplocks to last quite some time. I always had extras of those on hand, but not like now-nice to not have to worry about that stuff as it is expensive!

    Funny, I just had a conversation with a friend this morning about this topic! She used to work as a cashier at Price Chopper (ours recently closed). She absolutely hated customers coming in and stocking up on things…and our PC ALWAYS had limits on items and usually ran out if you didn’t get there on Friday! If there was a limit of 3, she would call people on going out to the car and coming back in for more. (yes, really!) Customers would argue with her about not being able to buy more. When Haiti was hit by the earthquake they didn’t get their normal load of water so had a 1 per family limit. One lady went ballistic that she couldn’t buy 3–friend suggested she turn her tap on…perhaps they diverted the water to Haiti? (yes, really!) But, she does a shop every 2 weeks, buying mostly the same things and has no idea why people would stockpile…I tried to explain, but I wonder if she saved her receipts for a month and I wrote down what I paid for such things if she would get it then! She says she has no room, but I know her house and know where she could fit a shelf or two-she simply doesn’t think that way.

    I’ve never done the calculations, but I would imagine I would spend at least 50% more if I didn’t sale shop/stockpile and eat produce that is the cheapest. Might I add that I wish something besides broccoli would be on sale really cheap for a little while-we would like a bit of a change around here!!!! But this week oranges, pears, apples, asparagus, cucs, tomatoes are on sale so that is what we will be eating for the next week or two.

  2. Carrie says:

    I have enjoyed having a good stock pile and really as of today – i only really need to buy milk, fruit and veggies i have everything else. I know i go back only 5 years ago i must have thought i was rich – paying full price for stuff and getting the 10x airmiles instead of 10% off. Now i still spend the same amount but the amount i get has doubled – I now did to figur out how to stop and just look at my stock pile.

  3. Katie says:

    Great to see! I would love to have a big stockpile, but we live in a 2 bedroom apartment and with the hubs, myself and 2 kids, space is limited! We’ve managed to “stockpile” toothpaste, deodorant, fabric softener, and cereal so far. I’m always finding deals for cereal, and we eat a lot of it.. so I probably have a couple months worth in my pantry right now. Those free cereal coupons definitely helped with that!

    I’ve only been at this a month, but I love seeing how much we saved, and knowing that we don’t have to run out to buy groceries all the time. In the last month, we saved about 45-50% off retail total on our grocery/household purchases! I just cant believe the amount of money we “wasted” before!

    I’ve always been a horrible budgeter, but I think keeping track of our purchases like this is going to help me create a budget for the future and stick with it!

  4. krista says:

    The only thing I don’t like about so many of the stock piles I see on extreme couponing is that much of it is crap food. So many coupons are for instant, overly processed, undernourishing “food”. I see the sense, and use coupons for non perishables eg, toilet paper, but to stock pile canned soups, instant mashed potatoes or sugary cereals is not healthy for anyone in the household!

    Show me more coupons for real food like fresh produce then I’d be totally sold!

  5. luv2shop says:

    Another great post, Mrs. January! You really do know all the ins and outs of saving money! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I do have a question though, as I am also one of the new ‘couponers’ starting out. You mention that you are able to get more copies of the coupons from your friends, family and the delivery man. So what kind of advice would you have for those who don’t have these “connections” to build a stockpile? Based upon my limited reading thus far, it seems like without coupons, it’s hard to achieve rock bottom prices, and in the normal circumstances, we only get one copy of each coupon (unless they’re printables but then there are sometimes some issues with printable coupons at stores)?

  6. I have a stockpile of toilet paper and tissue paper so far ๐Ÿ˜‰ And some ziplock bags thanks to you.

    My friends came over to my new house and saw my stockpile of toilet paper and tissue paper and they immediately claimed I was extreme couponing.

    They haven’t seen anything yet! lol…

  7. Mrs January says:

    Nikki – I’m excited to see how your stockpile turns out. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Erin – It is definetely amazing when you see the savings.

    Cara – That’s our motto as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

    teachermum – Some people really just don’t understand the concept of stockpiling. Many consider it to be hoarding and others who may be interested just think it would take too much time. If only they would try it for awhilw. Then they would see how easy it actually is!

    Carrie – Glad you are enjoying stockpiling. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Katie – Keeping track of your purchases is definetely helpful, and I hope you keep it up! Congrats on your great savings this month.

    krista – Yes, it is often easy to get free “bad” foods. I try to avoid that stuff, but when it is free, I will pick it up anyway and donate it. People who can’t afford groceries would rather eat processed foods instead of nothing at all.

    luv2shop – Connections are everything when it comes to obtaining coupons. Even if you can obly getr 1 or 2 extra copies of a coupon, that’s better than 1. ๐Ÿ™‚

    youngandthrifty – Haha, I whip out my coupon binder in the stores and people ask me if I’m “one of THOSE people”. Geez, just because I use coupons, doesn’t mean I’m crazy!

  8. Jessica says:

    Thank You so much Cassie.
    I am getting new at this couponing thing and I am loving it. I dont ahve much of a stock pile but it is getting there. Gotta get a [pantry thats for sure. I have like 8 boxes of those light bulbs and some of the gillete stuff and stuff like that. Cant wait to build it up more and more. Thanks for everything that you do!!!

  9. teachermum says:


    Most of what I regularly by for our family does NOT have a coupon, so don’t let that discourage you. I usually have my mum save coupons and sometimes my sister and sister in law. I have asked at church for inserts to shop for our foodbank, but the response has been less than stellar! So…that is 4 at best!

    Spend the time over the next several months paying attention to the products you normally buy and how cheaply they go on sale. Eventually you will develop your own sense of “rock-bottom” prices for these items. Should coupons come along for them-great, save them for when it is on sale for a stellar deal, but, for the most part, you can still save a considerable amount by just knowing your prices and buying several when a product is at its cheapest. For example, we like Hunts Thick and Rich Spaghetti Sauce. Normally it is $1.79 or $1.89 but I have set my limit at .99. I have never seen it cheaper except for once in the past many years–for .89. I have also never had coupons for it so when it is .99 I buy 2 dozen. Just recently I did trip over a coupon, buy a Hunts spaghetti sauce and get a tomato paste free. So…when it was on for .99, I picked up 19 sauce and 19 paste as that is how many coupons I had (from tearpads at several stores).

    Trust me, once you swing over to shopping this way (basically sale shopping, especially the front page loss-leaders) you will be amazed at how much less you spend, as you rarely buy anything for full price.


  10. Mrs January says:

    Jessica – Good luck with your stockpile! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Ashley says:

    @Krista: It’s true, there are a lot of coupons out there for unhealthy foods, and overly processed foods. However, there are some good coupons out there for healthier foods like the $1 berries & bananas, salad & dressing coupons (all from cereal boxes), orange juice, bread, soy milk, etc. They are out there, just not as easy to come by as the processed food coupons.

  12. Noella says:


    I don’t get many either, I’m new to couponing, or returning to couponing. But here is what I have started doing. I order all the internet ones, both in my name and dh name, which gets delivered to his parents. So 2 copies of online. I don’t have a lot of friends around, so there is no more to do. I am contemplating having some sent to my mom and having her send them to me once a week, she lives several hours away.

    I do a weekly coupon “shop” at the local stores. Sobeys and Shoppers Drug Mart seem to have the most tear pads out. At RCSS, I look at the wall for any Manufacturers coupons as they are good everywhere. I never take more than I plan to use. This is where I get the most coupons.

    I also watch for packages. For example, with 4 kids, I use alot of breakfast cereal. Special K was on sale, but sadly I had no coupons yet, but each on had a free product coupon for items we use. They had boxes with no coupons, so why get the ones with no coupons. So we’ll have free eggos, free yogurt from those boxes. A box of cheerios will get the kids a free tub of ice cream, especially appreciated with summer coming.

    Sign up for memberships on various product sites. Many will send out coupons. When you try a new product, send out an email, it doesn’t cost anything, but often they will be happy to give you coupons, not always.

    OH, the inserts. I missed one as I didn’t get the paper that is usually delivered, but I’ll be more diligent now. I mark the dates(Cassie provided them) as to when coupon inserts will be delivered. If I buy the paper and the coupon insert is great, I have no problem buying 3 or 4 copies of the paper. So that helps. Spending $4 to save 60 is worth it.

    You can also trade! I don’t need diaper coupons, but they are hard to find, so if I see them I take a few, and I’m able to trade them for what I DO use, and the mom I’m trading with is able to get the diaper ones she can use. Win Win. Even if it is 1 diaper coupon, one wipes, and a formula coupon, it works ๐Ÿ™‚ to get some I will use.

  13. Noella says:

    Cassie! I LOVE this post ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ve inspired me to get my pantry cleaned up. It was built for me with stockpiling in mind, yet I haven’t done much of it cause it’s over SO… guess what I’m doing today?

    Need to get a ladder in the house though as it goes right to the ceiling and is 24 inches deep ๐Ÿ™‚ That is storage for seasonal appliances/dishes. And items I don’t want the teens to

  14. SavingMentor says:

    Great post! It will definitely encourage a lot more people to get into stockpiling.

    When we moved into our house I put up several walls worth of pine shelving to hold my stockpile. My parents always joke when they come over that they can go downstairs and shop for free in my store – and sometimes they do go home with a thing or two ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Mrs January says:

    Noella – I’m glad you love the post! Have fun organizing your stockpile! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    SavingMentor – Haha, my parents (and friends) do the same thing. They joke about our basement being a store that they can shop at for free. ๐Ÿ˜›

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