For years I was in the habit of buying a lot when an item was on sale.
What is better than one cheap tube of toothpaste? Six cheap tubes of toothpaste!
Seven months ago, when we started our hardcore journey towards having less I took stock of all the extra consumables squirrelled away in our one precious hall closet. Toilet paper, tissues, soaps… if it was something we used with any regularity and I had found it on sale we most likely had a backup. Or five.
I committed to using up what we had before buying more. When the last package is open, then it goes on my shopping list. And you know what I discovered? There are sales all the time! There is plenty of time between opening a bottle of shampoo and finding the next one for a discount. In fact, I’ve stopped adding most items to my shopping list until they are half consumed to save the amount of time the next one is waiting around.
We’ve discovered and relished empty space in our house as the stockpile has dwindled, but this practice has also had a positive effect on our budget. I no longer walk out of the grocery store wondering why my receipt was $40 more than expected (because toilet paper was on sale!). Instead I can guesstimate the total much more closely because I know that one package of toilet paper will be ~$10 and that is all I will buy. Just one!
We have become avid meal planners which helped us use up our pantry stock and puts boundaries on what we buy in advance. If it won’t be used in the next week or two it can wait for another shopping trip. I would love to meal plan a month in advance so I can do only one trip for nonperishables and then supplement with fresh produce, meat, and bread as needed. For now, meal planning a week at a time has been a great step towards those bigger goals!
Do you stockpile? Do you find it helps your budget or hinders it? Do you have ample storage space or do you find stocking up steals space that could be better used or just left pleasantly empty?