What is the Zero to Stockpile Challenge?
The Zero to Stockpile Challenge is a way to show you, as a new couponer, how important the stockpile is to your savings. It takes you through a process, step by step, to show you exactly how to save money on your groceries.
Remember the saying, good things don’t happen overnight? Well, that saying is true even for saving money on your groceries.
Why Do I Need a Stockpile?
Stockpile, noun: a large supply of food gathered and held in reserve for use during a shortage or during a period of higher prices.
Stockpiling, verb: to accumulate for future use; put or store in a stockpile.
In my opinion, the power of the stockpile, is one of the hardest concepts for newbies to understand. So many times, through social media and even through our website here on LRWC, you see shopping trips of, sometimes, unusual items making you scratch your head wondering, what are they eating if that is all they bought this week.
I get it! One week I would buy 4 bottles of shampoo, a box of toothpaste, 2 packs of toilet paper for next to nothing. Maybe stopping at the farmers market for some produce along the way. And that’s it. But, what am I eating is always a hot question. You certainly can’t eat shampoo, toilet paper and toothpaste. Nor can you survive on just some produce.
That is where the stockpile comes in. But, how did I get to that point? The point of being able to live on food I already have while buying only the free and cheap items that are available each week.
As I said, it’ doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. A process that takes about three months.
During that three month process, you will be building up a stockpile for your pantry and your freezer by buying the items, when they are priced at the lowest price you have seen, and then stocking up on them.
You will notice, along that three month period, that your price point for each in your stockpile will gradually decrease. You’ll be able to control how much you want to spend on those items once you are in the drivers seat. To get yourself in the drivers seat, you need to build up a stockpile.
How Do I Know When to Buy Something for My Stockpile?
Ask yourself three questions:
- Is this something I need for my family?
- Am I getting a good deal on it? For instance, is it on sale, are there coupons that will help lower the price even more?
- If I already have it in my stockpile, do I need to buy more of it to get my family through about 3 months or the next great sale?
If you answered yes to all three questions, then go for it. Buy it and add it to your growing stockpile.
What Type of Items Should I Put in My Stockpile?
That is a good question and is unique to each family as it depends on what you use and what your family likes. The list is long but here are some basic items:
- Condiments (BBQ Sauce, steak sauce, mustard, ketchup, mayo)
- Rice & Pasta
- Snacks (crackers, nachos, salsa, popcorn)
- Canned goods (tomatoes, sauce, soups, vegetables)
- Cleaning supplies (cleaners, garbage bags, laundry)
- Drinks (water, soda, iced tea, coffee, tea, juice)
- Dairy (butter, creamers)
- Meats & Fish (keep frozen)
- Breads (keep frozen)
- Health & Beauty Products (band aids, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, soap, etc)
How Long Will It Take To See Big Savings?
Start your stockpile slowly only looking for those items that are cheap or free. Continue doing your regular grocery shopping during that time. Within 4 weeks of starting to build your stockpile, you will start to see your grocery bill go down as you trim out some of the items that are already sitting in your stockpile. Within 8 weeks, your grocery shopping will really start to turn over to just those free items and filling in your stockpile. By about 12 weeks, you should have a good solid stockpile that allows you to only pick up the free and cheap items and any produce or meat items you don’t already have packed in your freezer.
Follow the Process!
I encourage you to follow my journey that I took last year. You can see how I donated my entire stockpile in 2018, emptied out my full size freezer and purged all my coupons starting completely fresh, like a new couponer. You can see, step by step, how to start from Zero to Stockpile!