Stockpiling Vs. Hoarding – Is There A Difference?

Stockpiling vs. Hoarding – Is There a Difference?

Stockpile vs Hoarding

To people who don’t use coupons, or who are just starting out using them – seeing photos of stockpiles like these can be overwhelming. They may even think of it as hoarding which is so wrong. Hoarding is when you collect items that just lie around and really serve no purpose. A grocery stockpile is when you have lots of items that your family uses on a daily basis.

Why should you start a stockpile?
Easy – it’s cheaper than paying full price.

Sure, it takes some time and dedication to grow a large stockpile (it took me well over a year to grow mine to it’s current size), but it is worth it. When you see an item on sale that your family uses alot of, like cereal for example, STOCK UP!

Say it is normally $3.99 a box and it is on sale for $2. That’s 50% savings right there! If you have coupons for the cereal, even better – if not, this is still a decent savings for you. How many boxes do you eat per month? 4? Why not buy a 3 month supply? That’s 12 boxes for $24, compared to the usual price of $48.

If you can afford to stock up on even more than that – do it! Just make sure the item doesn’t go bad before you eat it up.

Many people think that those who have stockpiles are couponers hoarding all of the good deals. Which, you know what, this is probably true (in some cases). However, sometimes good deals don’t come along very often and you should stock up while you can.

I remember one time I bought over 30 boxes of Electrasol in one trip (I left plenty on the shelves for other customers).

The boxes were FREE after coupons and these things don’t go bad – so why not stock up while I can? I’d never seen dishwasher tabs FREE before. Good thing I stocked up too – I haven’t seen them so cheap since, and this was over a year ago. We go through about 1 box every month, so we won’t have to buy dishwasher tabs for over 2 years!

This is what I call stockpiling – NOT hoarding. I am USING the items, not just storing them so that they can collect dust in my basement.

What’s the difference between stockpiling and hoarding?
Stockpiling means you are buying things in advance for future use.

Hoarding means you cannot get rid of something, even if you know you will never use it.

I really do believe that hoarding and stockpiling are two HUGELY different things. I mean, have you SEEN the inside of a hoarders home? I have, and trust me – it looks nothing like my stockpile. NOT. AT. ALL.

Our stockpile is pretty massive, I’ll admit it – but we will use everything. Honest! If something is nearing expiration and we don’t think we will use it, I will donate it. I also give away stuff all the time to family when they come to visit.

If I can get items that we WON’T use for free, I will get those too because I can always give them away.

I’m sick to death of people comparing stockpiles to hoarding. They are not the same thing.

It’s okay to stock up on items you know your family will use. It’s okay to buy 20 bottles of shampoo if you know your family will use it all up before it expires (yes, shampoo expires!). It’s okay to buy 10 jars of peanut butter if you know your family will eat it all before it goes bad.

It’s okay to stock up on items, in order to save money. It’s not okay to buy items that you do not need (unless you plan on donating them). It’s not okay to clear shelves so that other people can not get in on the same deal.

Just use some common sense when you stockpile and you’ll be a-ok.

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  1. Emilie says:

    The tv show Hoarders seems to make people yell “Hoarder” at anything now. How is your stockpile any different that what is already at the store? It gets used. Win-win !

  2. cheryl says:

    I couldn’t agree more .. especially when it comes to food. I can’t believe it when people don’t even look at what is on sale let alone use coupons .. it’s crazy! I do the same with people I know .. give away shampoo, body wash etc.

  3. ~Carla~ says:

    This is awesome! 🙂 Do you mind if I ask if you have a certain amount of $$ set aside in your budget for stockpiling? Also, what are your favourite Canadian ways/sites to find coupons?

    Great post, thank-you! I’m green with envy! A stockpile like this is my goal!! 🙂

  4. admin says:

    thanks carla! i personally do not have a certain amount every month for stockpile items, i just try to stay within my grocery budget.

    my favourite site for canadian coupons is 😉

  5. Rebecca McLaughlin says:

    Hi, just started stockpiling,and I do also as you have done. I give also to family. If I have something I don’t think my own family will use before more of the item will go on sale,toothpaste and toothpaste always go on sale here for free with coupons. I did admitidly ,clear a shelf of dial handsoap,but it was towards the end of the sale week and I figured,everyone had already bought their share. Plus I was afraid the sale would be ending the next day on Sunday. Turns out the shelves were completely restocked the next day and the sale was going to be for the next week to! I started buying my coupons on ebay and I was so excited to not just buy 1-4 of the item,but to be able to “cash” in on great deals. There are not alot of us extreme couponers here in my small town so it all works out in the end. I also only buy extra coupons for items I know my family will use,wouldn’t do me any good to get a bunch of say free raisins or head/shoulders shampoo unless I had a family member or friend that just loved the stuff and I planned to use my time to buy and stock up on the item for them,has to be a pretty good friend or close family member,I’m just trying to help my family as I’m a stay at home mom with a railroader husband and 2 teenage sons!

  6. Nancy says:

    Love your website…. I check it each day! I am having a hard time locati g your freezer inventory list to print …. pls help. Keep up the great work. 🙂

  7. […] time to stock up on essentials like toilet paper, dish soap and garbage bags. Cassie Howard, of, recommends buying at least a three-month supply when a product is at its lowest […]

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