I’ve written about the many benefits of having a stockpile before but recently? With this new COVID-19 pandemic? I have truly experienced the value of having a stockpile. If you don’t have a stockpile? I am sure many of you are wishing you did – or that your stockpile was better stocked. So, let’s think about how you can start building a stockpile today.
When this COVID-19 virus started, it suddenly became hard to find certain items at the grocery store. Many people were complaining about the lack of toilet paper, when I didn’t think twice about it because I knew I had several packages in my closet from the last sale. Diapers and wipes? Having had one or two babies in diapers for the past six years, I always have diapers on hand.
The same was true of canned foods, flour, frozen vegetables and meat. I didn’t worry because my pantry and freezer were well prepared, thanks to my regular habit of stockpiling.
Before I go any further, I want to clarify that I am not advocating or encouraging the panic buying that some have been doing. A stockpile is not meant to be a hoarding reaction to the recent circumstances. Still, I wanted to write about stockpiles yet again because I want others to have the same calmness and confidence that comes from building a proactive stockpile.
I am not prone to overacting but this pandemic has shown me that everyone can and should have a stockpile of some sort. How your stockpile looks depends on you and your family.
Having a stockpile is a practical way to be prepared for whatever may come. If money is suddenly tight, you know you have food to eat. If items at the grocery store are severely limited, you know you already have a variety of things at home. If you can’t leave your home, you know you aren’t dependent on the getting to the grocery store to feed your family.
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How to Build a Stockpile
If you are ready to start building a stockpile, there are two simple rules you need to remember.
- Start today. There is no reason to delay any longer.
- Plan ahead. Buy more than what you just need right now. Buy 1 for now and 2 for later.
Yes, money may be tight. Yes, items on the shelf may be limited. But if we have learned anything from this current COVID-19 pandemic, it is to be proactive. Don’t wait for things to get worse. It is never a bad time to start building a stockpile. Let’s flip that around. Today is a great day to build a stockpile!
It may be a bit harder to find the items you are seeking right now. If you are shopping and see the store has a full shelf of applesauce, go ahead and buy several jars. No, you don’t have to clear the shelf (and you shouldn’t), but you also shouldn’t buy just one either. Buy 1 for now and 2 for later. That’s a good basic rule of stockpiling to follow.
How to Build a Stockpile on a Budget
It’s also important to know that you can build a stockpile on a budget. Spend an extra $5 or $10 this week. If you have more money, you can spend more, but you can also do it frugally.
To build a stockpile on a budget, simple add the sale items you use to your stockpile each week. For example, if peanut butter is on sale for $1 this week and your kids regularly eat peanut butter sandwiches, don’t just buy 1 jar. Buy 3 or 4 jars. You will now have extra on hand plus you won’t have to pay full price next time you run out.
Watch for sales and stock up on the things you regularly use. This is the best way to build a stockpile on a budget.
I realize that right now, many people are worried. Here in Indiana, our schools are closed through at least May 4, our churches are limited to 10 or less in attendance, and we are now under a mandatory 2 week stay at home order. A time like this might also mean you free up some money to spend more on groceries right now to make your stockpile happen more quickly. We have spent more than I budgeted this month, for that very reason, as I have been restocking some areas of my pantry that were low.
If there is one thing I have learned from watching this Corona virus unfold, as people hurry to fill their pantries, it is this. You never want to get down to your last package of anything. Truly. It’s that simple.
I’m not advocating massive shelves full of food and toiletries that can last you for the next year. Instead, I am encouraging you to think about building a stockpile of food and toiletries that last you for a month or more. I would encourage you to stockpile 2 months or more of non-perishables, once you have time and money. Like with the items, you decide what kind of a stockpile makes you feel comfortable. I view my stockpile as a practical emergency fund – of household supplies. I want you to have that emergency fund too.
What to Include in Your Stockpile
Start by thinking of what you use regularly. Think about what your family regularly eats and all the products you regularly use. This is how you make your stockpile list.
Here are some items on my stockpile list that I try to always have in my pantry.
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Soap – dish, hand and laundry
- Toilet paper
- Tissues and paper towels
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Pasta and pasta sauce
- Flour and sugar
- Diapers and wipes
- Shelf stable juice
- Dried oats
If you have an extra freezer, you can take stockpiling a step further. Here are some items I stockpile in my freezer.
- Shredded cheese
- Frozen juice concentrate
- Frozen vegetables
- French fries and hash browns
Your stockpile list may look totally different than mine – and that is exactly how it should be! Focus on buying extra of the items your family uses on a regular basis.
Your Stockpile Action Plan
Don’t make it harder than it needs to be!
The next time you go shopping, find 2 or 3 items that are on sale that you regularly use. Instead of buying just 1 of the items, buy 2 or 3 extra (as your budget allows).
How can you start building a stockpile today? Let me recap with an action plan for you.
- Make your list.
- Shop the sales.
- Buy 1 for now and 2 for later.
- Repeat as necessary.
Want more information on learning about stockpiles? You’re in luck, because I’ve written quite a few other articles about stockpiles in the past.
Here are 7 articles that walk you through step by step how to build a stockpile.
- How to Start Building a Stockpile
- 10 Items to Stockpile in a Pantry
- Free Printable Stock-Up Price List
- The Best Coupon Apps to Use – to Help You Build Your Stockpile on a Budget
- How to Stockpile Diapers
- How to Build a Stockpile that Saves Your Family Money
- Everything You Need to Know about How to Stockpile
Have more questions about how stockpiles? Ask in the comments! Do you already have a stockpile? What do you always keep in your stockpile?