This may sound slightly crazy to some, but I can’t believe how excited I am to have found a little space to start my own little food stockpile! Although the creation of another shelf did not work out, I reworked my available space and managed to find room for everything that needed to be moved. I motivated myself to weed out a few items that I didn’t use, putting them aside to be donated when the second hand store and I have a similar schedule going on, and that also got me to go through a few clothes that I don’t use, AND attack that pile of shoes on my porch. The pile has been cut in half, and all those one-time-wear, high school dance shoes will be donated as well, giving me more room and making someone else happy. And so, without further ado, I give you my small, but largely appreciated stockpile cubby!
Located above my stove, it’s out of the way, but still accessable. I’m planning on finding a pair of pantry freestanding organizers to maximize the vertical height, and these are only the first of my extra items. Listening to the detailed advice of Rhonda’s many stockpile posts I will keep this separate from my pantry (opened and in-use items), will only put things that we actually eat and use here, and be sure to rotate and inspect dates on a regular basis.
So what’s the point of a stockpile? Contrary to what some people think, a stockpile is not a thing of hording. Rather, it’s a way of saving money, time, and always making sure that you’re ready for problems. Think about it. If you go grocery shopping and find out that cans of diced tomatoes are on sale at 50 cents off. Buying two cans saves you a whole dollar. But how much are you really going to use this week? And how much extra space do you have? Normally, I’d buy one or two, make one of that week’s meals around it, and maybe have one can for another time. But with this extra stockpile area, I can buy six cans, saving $3 from a normal purchase, and have space to put the extras. Now you don’t have to buy them for a little while. That means a savings each week by not buying them, and being able to make a meal from what you have on hand. The more things you do that with, the more you save, and the less you have to buy each week. Once it’s at its full potential, I’m hoping I can cut my grocery bill down, possibly only having to buy the perishable items we use each week. That saves money and time. Then, as things get used up, I can replace them. It sounds odd thinking that by buying more, you spend less, but it’s true because you are spending less on each item. Besides, with extra on hand, you will always be ready for life’s curves, whether it be a layoff, an extra unexpected dinner guest, or a weekend snow storm that keeps you from doing your normal weekly grocery shopping.
So what’s my goal with this stockpile? Well, with the predictions on the economy, we don’t know what the next day will bring us. Mainly, I’ve been seeing more 4-day work weeks at my husband’s job. That means 8-hours less on that week’s paycheck. If this becomes a regular thing, then things are going to have to be adjusted and changed around. Being able to spend a little more right now, while we can, enables us to have a little more later when we might really need it. That’s my main goal with the stockpile- to be prepared for the unexpected. But as a side goal, I’m hoping that the extra money I save on groceries can be put aside and used to put that much extra on our current debts. I’m really going to try to put every little extra dollar into our credit cards right now. I want to cut down those balances. And of course, because I put $100 on both each month, the faster they are paid off, the fasted that $200 a month can be put elsewhere. So really, my stockpile has a huge purpose.
What about you? Do you have a stockpile? Are you looking to start one? What do you put in yours, and what are your goals? Please share, I’d love to hear!