12 Jul

Written by Kayleigh on July 12, 2016


A big part of couponing and saving money on your weekly shop is having a stockpile. Whether it’s a few bits in a cupboard to a few shelves bursting with items, every little helps to reduce your weekly shopping bill.

My family find my stockpile funny, referring to it as a doomsday plan. They are always saying if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse they are coming straight to me. They may joke about it but it’s come in handy for them a number of times, especially when they’ve needed something from the pile.

It may sound strange the fact that you have to spend money getting your stockpile together in the first place, so how can it actually save you money, but stockpiling isn’t something you do overnight.

The trick to it is finding items that are reduced to clear or buying items using coupons to get them at a fraction of their original price. Start by making a list of all the non-perishable items that you use and when you find an item from your list reduced, stock up and tick it off.

Before you start amassing your goodies you need to find somewhere to store your stockpile. If you don’t have a lot of space, dedicate a cupboard or if you’re like me and have a bit of space in a utility room, then shelves are the way to go. I found that plastic storage shelves work great. I picked mine up from Halfords. I chose a set of four-tier shelves that were £10 each and it turned out that the day I ordered them there was a 10% offer on, so I got two units for £18 instead of £20. It was a small saving but every little counts.

stockpile 1

When you find an item you regularly use that is marked as reduced to clear then stock up. If I come across an item, instead of buying one or two I’ll buy ten. The fact they are reduced means that even though you are buying a lot you are probably paying the same amount as getting one or two, and now that I have a lot of that item I can take it off my list.

You can stockpile anything from washing powder, washing up liquid, toiletries, pasta and sauces and cereals – anything that you can keep on your shelves that won’t go off. Over the last six months my stockpile has really grown and if I’m honest I love opening the door to my utility room and seeing all my shelves bursting with items, and I love it even more when I know that I paid at least 70% less than the original costs.

When I’m looking for reduced to clear items I regularly check my local stores including Boots, Superdrug, Wilkinson’s and B&M Bargains. Most have a clearance stand somewhere in the store and that’s usually the first place I head for. It can be very hit and miss – I can go for a week or two and not find anything from my list but then on a good trip I can find bags full of items to add to my stockpile.

I do try and stick to a few self-imposed rules when I’m bargain hunting to stop myself from getting carried away – it’s very easy to do when you find items very cheap. I will only buy items that I know my family will use as I know if it’s not it’s just going to sit on my shelves gathering dust.

Don’t buy an item unless it’s less than half of the original price, usually £1 or less. I won’t normally pay anymore than £1 for a reduced to clear item purely because if the item was just on sale in the store, it would usually be priced with half off, so you’re not getting it any cheaper as a reduced to clear item. I’ll always stick to preferably less than half off as I know I’m getting it at reduced to clear prices and not sale prices.

Make sure to stock up. If I find an item less than half off that we use I’ll buy a number of them. I know that sounds greedy but every one item I buy means more time that I don’t have to add that item back onto my weekly shop. An example of this happened just recently. Asda have had a lot of items reduced lately due to a rebranding – they had shower gels reduced from 75p to 20p. I didn’t find these but my mum did and she picked up 32 of them. That sounds like a lot but between the six of us, my family and my parents included, we go through a lot of shower gel. I now have enough on my shelf that I don’t have to buy any for a year or more and something that would of cost £24 over the next year or so only cost £6.40.

B&M Bargains is a little bit different than the other stores – they don’t have a clearance section but what they do is reduce an item down to 10p when they are no longer stocking it. This is when you can pick up the bigger bargains. I recently picked up six boxes of cereal for 10p a box, originally £1 each. The dates on them were brilliant too. Have a wander around and see what you can find for 10p.

Once you start it won’t take long for your stockpile to grow. I started just over a year ago with one cupboard, which then grew to two shelving units and it’s now grown to five shelving units each full of items that my family use.

stockpile 2

Another thing that’s important if you have a stockpile is stock rotation. Having a stockpile is a lot like having a grocery store and stock rotation is important to ensure you are using items in order from the oldest to the newest. I have my shelves set out like a store – each item is stacked together starting with the oldest item at the front going to the newest at the back. That way when I take one off the shelf I can bring the next one forward. Any new ones I buy will go at the back. This allows me to keep up with expiry dates so items get used when they need to.

It’s important to keep it as organised as you can as it can be easy to lose track of what you have got, meaning items can sometimes slip under your radar and sit on your shelves a lot longer than they need to.

Stockpiling is a lot of fun and it makes me proud when I look at my shelves knowing I’ve saved so much money on everyday items and my family is stocked up for at least a year. Have a go, see what you can do and before you know it you will be stockpiling like a pro.

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