To stockpile or not to stockpile? that is the question

Hello Dear Reader,

I have read a lot about households that stockpile food, drinks, cleaning products, and gifts and can see that it works amazingly well for them. Some families are so passionate about stockpiling that it has become an art and a full time occupation. There seems to be lots of reasons why stockpiling occurs, out of necessity, being frugal, using coupons and being prepared. I can see the benefit and admire the work it takes to buy and upkeep a stockpile, I can also see the advantage of not having to go to the supermarket every week.

Photo credit - closetsamples.com
Often passionate stockpilers also grow a lot of their own produce and have learnt the art of preserving, again I can see the benefit of this and wish wholeheartedly that one day we will be able to grown, use and preserve all our own fruits and vegetables.

I use a different tactic and that is, I use every last bit of everything before I buy it again. We are lucky that we have all 3 major supermarkets within 2 km of our home, we also have weekend markets in easy reach if that is what we want to do. We only buy enough of anything for the week ahead and if we run out of anything we can either just pick up that one item on the way home from work or make do. With less food in the house, absolutely everything is used up and there is no waste, ever. We eat with the seasons and get a lot of variety that way.

I think my current way of shopping/eating came about from seeing so much excess food and waste due to out of date foods from my in-laws. When my husbands Grandmother was living next door with her son and daughter in law, Gran did most of the cooking. Gran would do a menu and shopping list for the week and not bother to check the pantry, fridges and freezers before buying more. Lets just say their pantry, fridges and freezers were full to overflowing. After we lost both Gran and my Father in law, I started to go through their pantry and fridges and freezers. There was so much food that had expired and so much frozen meat and food, mostly unidentifiable, that we had to throw out. It made me quite angry and upset at the waste and I swore that would never happen at our place.

We also try and eat food that is not over processed and limit bought sweets to a minimum. Any other sweet baked goods are made from scratch and we only eat dessert on special occasions.


The only items we buy in bulk is bread flour (10 kilos for $19.95) and Basmati rice (5 kilos for between $6.99 and $9.99, on special) and I guess you could include dried chickpeas (1 kilo of $5.99) everything else is bought in the most economical size and is used up completely before it is purchased again. We did join Costco when it first opened but soon realised it wasn't for us, the price per kilo is more than what we pay at local supermarkets and we really don't need huge quantities of anything. Again buying in bulk is great for some large families and I can see that it would work for them.

So, at this stage in my life I don't feel stockpiling or buying in large quantities is for me.

My humble pantry, I can see exactly what I have and how much of it as it is all stored in glass jars

Brandy from "The Prudent Homemaker" has a fantastic pantry, its on steroids, it is amazing, however, she does have a large family and she grows a lot of fruit and vegetables herself and is an avid canner. Check out her post for "A well stocked pantry"

What about you and your family? Do you stockpile? What is the reason you stockpile? Or are you like me and go the "less is more" route?

8 comments

  1. We stockpile, and can but live 54km from a grocery store. I buy only specials at lowest price. However I also feed 8 people.

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  2. The only food that I stockpile are mainly canned goods. I write the date on the cans and rotate old cans to the front of the pantry. Its just me and hubby now that our girls are grown and have left so its no good buying anything in bulk.
    I do stockpile my favourite brands of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, deodorant, liquid soap, toothbrushes and paste, shaving cream, tissues & toilet paper. I can get all of these at half price when on sale at my local Woolworths so whenever they are on sale, I stock up. I'm saving huge amounts. Not having to go down the laundry and bathroom aisles, I'm also saving by not impulse buying. This week, I need nothing but fresh fruit, veg and meat and dairy.

    Cheers - Joolz xx

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  3. I started stockpiling because I have and still do live in areas where natural disasters can and do happen, so its smart to do that for our family. However I see your point, recently I have been using up what we have, as we may be moving. I will always try to have a small stockpile, I prefer to shop from my pantry instead of the stores, but I still get fresh milk and bread and I always look at the weekly specials. We have dogs and chickens, so waste isn't too much of a problem, but it does happen and I do get angry at myself for overlooking an item. You have a great system, thanks for sharing. Guida

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  4. I made your nut and seed crackers yesterday. They are so tasty. I used a pizza tray for half of the mixture and scored thin wedges with a pizza cutter. Thankyou for the recipe, its brilliant.

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    Replies
    1. I just love this recipe, it always amazes me that the mixture holds together without a "binder" like egg, milk or flour. So tasty, so heathy!

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  5. Hi Fiona!

    I used to stockpile a lot more when the children were little and we lived in the country. Shopping was done twice per month. Now we live in the city and the nearest grocery store is within walking distance. When we moved, we used everything up prior to moving and now that we are in town, in a smaller house and closer to stores I no longer stockpile. I have quite a bit of staples and plenty of freezer items along with my creative cooking and a smaller family I just use what's there. When I run out of an item, I put it on the list. Getting to the store is so much easier and I can get the freshest items plus I work right across the street from a major grocery chain so I can walk there during lunch and breaks. There is no need for me to stockpile anymore. I don't love grocery shopping either so if hubby has time he will go otherwise I go when necessary. I like it when hubby goes because then we get surprises! He always looks for deals but he gets things that are different from what I would get and that is nice too. He might buy a meat and then suggest something we could make from it.

    Alice

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  6. We go shopping on a Friday, so Friday morning I check the fridge and the supermarket specials and plan menus for 3 or 4 days. The rest of the week we are using things up, or eating from the freezer or store cupboard. Like you I hate wasted food. This week we planned pork fillet, prawns and aubergines - all on special. But at the store they also had BBQ sausages on special, so we bought some for the freezer as next weekend there will be 6 of us (not the usual 2). Like Joolz above I also buy extra toiletries and cleaning products when they are on special.

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  7. Other than living in a very isolated location I don't really see the point in stockpiling very large quantities of food. I think I do mostly as you do. I buy meat on a weekly or fortnightly basis and what I need for the week. I do have a bit of a stockpile going in that I would have a few weeks worth of staples at hand but nothing massive. It takes a lot of effort and diligence to make sure food stuffs are stored properly to avoid wevels, proper rotation, freezer burn etc when large amounts of food are involved. I do however take advantage of specials when things I use regularly are half price especially the higher ticket items. We only drink a certain type of coffee which is $10 a jar so when it is on special for $6 0r $7 we will buy as much as we can afford that week hopefully to last until it comes on at sale again.

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