How to Start a Stockpile

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A stockpile can save you time and money and help you be prepared for emergencies and the unexpected. The good news is starting a stockpile is easier than you might think. Even if you’re starting from scratch, you can build a supply with minimal effort. Let’s take a closer look.

Create a Place for Your Stockpile

First things first. It would help if you had an area to keep your stockpile. Suppose you have a pantry that’s excellent for canned and dry goods. You can also use your cabinets for a smaller stock.

If you have the money to spend, you can purchase pantry shelving to give you more space. You can even use shelves found in home improvement stores that are meant for garages.

If you’re building a stockpile of health and beauty supplies or cleaning supplies (and you should!), you can use storage bins in your linen closet to keep health and beauty products organized or one of the shelving systems in your laundry room cleaning and paper supplies.

Make a list of the Items You Use

Go through your home and make a list of the items you and your family use. For example, under the bathroom section, you might write down body wash, deodorant, shaving cream, etc. In the kitchen section, you might write down canned soup, cheese crackers, hamburger, chicken breast, etc.

You can organize the list with sections, such as cleaning, dry and canned goods, etc. If you want to be organized, you can type this into a document to print off and then laminate it. You can then use a dry erase marker to mark the items as you stock up and wipe off the mark when you need to restock.

Clip Coupons

The next step is to clip coupons. Start buying a Sunday paper (you can get Sunday papers for $1 at some Dollar Tree stores) and cut the coupons for products your family uses. If you love using coupons, ask friends for their inserts. Or visit your local library if they have a section for people to put their unwanted coupons. You can also print coupons online, find tear pads in-store, and peelies on packages.

Check Sales

Go through your weekly sales ads for any local grocery stores and look for the items on your list. If you can match any of these items to the coupons you clipped, even better. Be sure to pay close attention to limits.

Also, be sure to compare prices. Stores usually have the same sales, and sometimes one store is going to have better prices than others. You may have to visit different stores to get the best prices on everything you need.


As you shop, look for other items that may not be listed in the paper. You can bring your list with you and mark off items as you go. Don’t feel like you have to buy everything on your list. Stock up on a few things each time.

Learn Sales Cycles

As you shop more and more, you’ll find that certain items go on sale at a particular time. For example, cereal might go on sale every three weeks. Once you learn these cycles, you’ll be able to refill your stockpile whenever something is on sale.

If you haven’t yet, you can check out my Best Time To Buy Calendar here to help you know when the best timing is to buy a particular item.

There you have it. It’s not hard to get your stockpile started. It does take a bit of work, but it can save you time and money in the long run.

Looking for a place in NY to donate some of your stockpiles? Here is a list of Food Banks in our area that happily accepts donations!

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