04 September 2015

How to Build Your Stockpile

"Stockpile -
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.


  1. Dear Cath, as you know I have been working pretty hard on building up my stockpile all year. As time goes by I seem to learn more and more methods to increase it. First was preserving free fruit and bargain fruit. Then there is buying up great deals, saving in one area in order to use the money on your stockpile and even selling unwanted items and using that money too. I am at a point where I think it's so important that I would honestly say that it is worth NOT going in a Holliday and instead getting a stockpile and an emergency fund. It is time to get back to important basics. I will greatly enjoy this series! Love Annabel.xxx

  2. I'm really forward to reading your posts on stockpiling, it's something I'm very keen to do at our house. There are so many amazing bloggers out there who have incredible pantries and freezers full of food, but it can be a bit intimidating knowing where to start!! Thanks, Jen

  3. Im looking forward to following your tips Cath, im a bit stumped on what to stockpile first, apart from toilet rolls lol

  4. We started our stockpile off with just two rule 1. max $10 per week (because that is all we could afford at the time) 2. the item must be at least 1/2 price. It was fun. Now we approach it differently buying up based on price


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