A supply stored for future use, usually carefully accrued and maintained"
I've had a lot of questions about my stockpile: how big it is, how long it took to get to this stage, what I stockpile, where I store it, where I buy the groceries, how much do I pay for them, how do I use them all - so many good questions, especially if you are new to living the Cheapskates way and/or just starting a grocery stockpile.
Over the next few weeks I'll cover the different steps to establishing a stockpile that will save you money, time and energy, but more importantly that you will use. There's no point in having a pantry full of groceries if you never use them.
When you first start to live the Cheapskates way you are very conscious of where you spend your money, especially when it is in the supermarket. Convenience packets and mixes are swapped for raw ingredients and basic pantry items in an effort to get the most from your grocery money.
Indeed many new Cheapskaters find that in the beginning they are spending more on groceries each week than they were in their spendthrifting days. This isn't unusual and is to be expected; after all many households are building a pantry from scratch as well as learning to cook this way.
It won't be long before spending will swing around and you'll be spending less, keeping a better stocked pantry and eating better than ever before. You'll also start accumulating some of your more frequently used items to use in the future. This is the start of your pantry stockpile.
Building a stockpile takes time. While it would be fun to go to the supermarket and load those trolleys with six months' worth of groceries, it's just not practical. Cost is of course a big factor, but more than that you need to have a plan, somewhere to store everything and ways to use it all up.
Start off with adding one or two extra basics to your list next time you shop. It might be an extra packet of pasta or sugar or another box of cereal. Continue in this way until you have your stockpile. Aim to have a stockpile that will let you skip grocery shopping for a week. Then aim for a fortnight, a month and build up to three months.
The thing to remember is that not everyone cooks or eats the same foods, so not everyone will stockpile the same foods, or even the same quantities.
Your stockpile, like your Emergency Fund, will be unique to you and your situation. Build it up until you are comfortable.
Then you can shop at home first, and use supermarkets to replace your stockpile items.
Next week I'll share some practical tips that will help you get your stockpile started.