F.A.Q: Organizing Your Stockpile

Today’s frequently asked question is from reader Siri.  She is having trouble keeping track of her stockpile items.  Her question is this:

My question is with stockpiling. How do you keep track of everything you have? I have 3 small kids (ages 1, 3, and 5) and I purchase snacky things like graham crackers and goldfish crackers in bulk. I recently found some in my pantry storage area that said “best if used by” and the date was a few months ago. I know they probably had a year’s advance on them when I bought them. How do you keep track of what you’ve got so that it doesn’t go bad?

How do you organize your stockpile so you are sure to use items before they expire?  Do you rotate, label?  Any great tips for Siri?

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  • Chris

    I actually have a list of the maximum number of items I want, for our basics. It’s 3 pages long. I tape it to the inside of my cleaning closet. I don’t mark it everytime I use something, just go back and check once a month or so. It also helps because sometimes there are some good deals, but I already have more than I have room for. We don’t have a lot of storage space in our house. Like right now, I already have like 15 bottles of mouthwash, but the Rite Aid deal was too good to pass up, so now I have 4 more!

  • I have a full pantry in my cellar, and when I purchase new items they get put away on the shelves down there. I check the dates on my packaged goods right away, and put the ones that expire sooner towards the front. Then when we need an item in the kitchen I grab from the front of the row in the pantry and that is the box that should be used up first.

    Before I go to the grocery store, I check my pantry and see what is getting low and what I already have way too much of so that I don’t buy more. If we are getting to the point where there are too many packages and we won’t reasonably use them up before they expire, they get given to family or donated to the church food pantry.

  • jessica

    i think one of the best things to do is just to make sure that the best by dates aren’t close when you buy them. i’ve gotten goldfish and cereal when i was stocking up that i later realized were a month away from their date when i bought them. take a look before you buy.

  • Anya

    I do the same thing as Jessica. I only buy what I can use in the given period of time.I also reference my stockpile when it is time to go shopping. I love finding that I don’t need to buy somethings because I had stocked up and forgot about them. 😉
    And for deep freeze items, I have a dry erase board stuck to the freezer so I don’t “loose” anything in there.

  • Sandy Treece

    I love that idea Anya…I’m heading to the store right now so I’m gonna pick up a dry erase board.

  • I am still very new to couponing, I have not gotten as far as to be able to stock pile. I get to that point I plain to have a black magic marker and write on the box the experation date, and maybe the date I bought the product. I would like to also say Thank you to all that answer questions, It is helping me understand the whole process alot better. Thanks again and I hope this response helps.