Friends, I’m pleased to introduce you to Casey of www.walletwhisperer.com. Casey and I connected over a the common bond of being money-saving bloggers. She is the author of this fabulous post about great stockpile hacks for small spaces. If you’d like to connect with Casey check out her website or her facebook page. And now, I give you Casey…
Stockpile Hacks for Small Spaces by Casey Lyn
Last week I only spent $18 on groceries, and still cooked delicious meals (no ramen or peanut butter involved). How did I do it? By utilizing my stockpile! Overall, the actual cost was slightly higher since I used items I had previously purchased. However, it felt really amazing to be able to only have to go to the grocery store once, and barely spend any money!
I have been stockpiling for many years, and found that it is one of the most effective ways to save money on groceries. I have some extra space now, but up until recently I was crammed into a tiny apartment.
Yes, I was still able to build a decent stockpile, even though space was tight.
I found that it is possible to have a nice stockpile of items, even when space is tight. It just takes creativity and a little bit of ingenuity! Below are some “hacks” that are useful when building a stockpile, even when space is limited.
Hack #1: Clean Out Your Closet
It’s time to declutter. If you are serious about stockpiling to save money, get rid of everything don’t use. Sell secondhand items and make a small profit, consider it seed money for your stockpile!
After you done cleaning out your closet, clean your fridge (and pantry too). Throw away food that has expired, and donate food you won’t eat.
Once you have weeded out everything you no longer use, you should have more space. Organize the extra space to create even more room.
I recommend that you go through your items (especially the fridge and pantry) once a month to ensure you are only keeping what you use.
Hack #2: Start Small
I know you dream about having a huge stockpile like the ones shown on TV, but it takes time to build. If you want to have an effective stockpile you need to start small. There are three important things to consider before starting a stockpile: needs, prices, and quantity.
What do you need?
Make a list of five to ten items you shop for most frequently. Focus on items that are non-perishable, or household goods.
Here is an example of my list: toilet paper, paper towels, body wash, toothpaste, mouth wash, laundry detergent, ketchup, mustard, canned tomatoes, and salad dressing.
Once you know what items you should stock up on, start looking for deals. In order to know if you are getting a good deal, you need to figure out the lowest possible price.
What is the best price?
Figuring out the lowest price is fairly easy. While you are shopping write down the prices of items you shop for most frequently. You can keep a physical notebook, but I find it’s easier to use a note taking app on my phone. You will eventually memorize these prices.
Once you understand general retail prices, figure out what is on sale by looking at weekly ads.
Sometimes items that are on sale are not a good deal. For instance, store A has ketchup on sale for $0.99, but store B has the same ketchup at regular retail price for $0.89. The sale price is not a good deal, so don’t buy it.
If you find a good deal, you can use coupons to reduce the price even more. When using coupons make sure you follow the rules printed on the coupon, and understand the store’s coupon policies.
How much should you buy?
Once you find a good deal on an item that you will use, buy it. Actually, buy three! Only purchase what you will use in a reasonable amount of time, with the space you have. Start small by only purchasing 3 or 4 items of that particular deal. For instance, if I know ketchup is normally $0.89, and I see it on sale for $0.69, I may buy 3 ketchups.
Only buy items that will fit in the space you have. Clutter is not peaceful, and can interrupt your life.
If you are frustrated because you just don’t have the space you need, create space!
Hack # 3: Creative Storage Solutions
There are several creative ways you can create extra room, simply by utilizing the space you have more effectively.
Ottomans, trunks, armoires, desks, dressers, night stands, and under the bed are great place to store extra items. I had an extra drawer in my desk, that I would keep deodorant in.
I also had an “over the toilet” cupboard where I kept extra shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, and other hygiene items.
Use your furniture to store items. If you don’t have furniture that can fit extra items consider investing in functional furniture pieces. I recommend shopping for furniture at thrift stores, garage sales, or online local classified websites (such as Craigslist). Remember, your goal is to save money, so don’t overspend on overpriced furniture.
I love totes. Especially the ones that are designed to fit underneath the bed. At one point I had an entire tote filled with ketchup and mustard under my bed. It was out of the way, and allowed me to stockpile effectively in a small space.
If you purchase totes, make sure you are getting a good deal. I discovered, that after Christmas is a good time to purchase totes. Often stores will market red and green totes for the holidays. At the end of the holiday season, they may put the item on clearance. I have also been able to find totes for low prices during the spring.
Another option is to build or buy shelving. I frequently find plastic shelving units for under $5 at garage sales. You can also build your own shelves in closets, above the washer and dryer, or in an extra nook.
If you have a garage, or outdoor storage closet, use this space for your stockpile. Many items are sensitive to temperature, but some items are not. Toilet paper, paper towels, cotton swabs, and toothbrushes are perfectly fine even in extreme weather conditions (as long as they don’t get wet).
Yes, there was a time in which I kept toilet paper in the trunk of my car. It didn’t weigh a lot, so it didn’t affect my gas mileage. I don’t recommend this to be a permanent place for your stockpile, but it is a temporary solution.
Anyone Can Stockpile!
By cleaning out your closet, starting small, and discovering creative storage solutions, stockpiling is possible, even in tight spaces. It takes time and practice to build a good stockpile, but it is worth it. I have saved thousands of dollars over the years, and you can too!
What interesting places have you stored things in?