Part 1 is here.
I’ll tell you why it is, for me, and for friends and acquaintances I’ve observed. Once you have a stockpile, the mindset is that you need to keep it ramped up. There’s this constant scouting and push-push-push to get more of those items every time they’re really cheap, or free (or close to free…I don’t have the best luck with totally free). This push sends us back to the store 2, 3, 4+ times a week and inevitably, we buy more than planned on all those extra trips. This is WHY stores and manufacturers do coupons and weekly specials in the first place…to keep you coming back. They also do it to instill the thrill of the hunt, and to take advantage of our competetive sides (“I saved 40% on my Fry’s bill, what about you? No way, how did you save 45%? I hate you!”)
Yet, if you really watch the sales and coupon cycles, these items are on ad + coupons at least once every month or two. So why buy 20 toothpastes in April when they’re going to be that cheap (or close to that cheap) again in June, when you’ve only used 2 tubes?
Stockpiling, for many of us, is simply clutter. I don’t want my precious storage space bombarded with enough of anything to last a year! I’m tired of over-flowing pantries and packed cabinets…I want my life to be simple.
I’ve spent the last 6 years decluttering and downsizing and simplifying. It’s not easy, and it’s an ongoing battle. I was horrified when I realized that my innocent (and minor by some peoples’ standards) stockpiling was slowly taking over and undoing years of progress in creating my perfect zen environment. I don’t have room for our overflowing arts/crafts supplies, but I deal with it because I love having that stuff and enjoying it with my children. But my 20 deodorants aren’t giving me any more joy than 4 deodorants would be!
Organizing and keeping track of this stuff is overwhelming to me. It creates constant mental clutter as well. (“Wow…these shampoos are only 49 cents if I buy 12 and use my coupons and the sale…but I have some at home already…how many? 10? 20? Oh well, we can always use more.”)
What about building shelves? Creating storage? I met a lady recently who told me she spent $600 outfitting her garage with shelving for her stockpile. Yay, we’re in Phoenix, so now she spent $600 to have two years worth of food and toiletries exposed to heat 6 months out of the year. Yeah, great idea. So what if she only paid 25 cents a can for all that food?
And really, I have no interest in using products that have been sitting in my too-warm pantry for two years, when I could have just bought those things as I went along, usually for as good of a price (or damned close to it) as my stock-up price?
Another downfall of stockpiling is waste. Most coupon’ing fans won’t admit it, but we all have waste. And when you buy 12 packages of polish sausage and you forget to move them to the freezer before you expire, then you have waste. We’re human…we make mistakes. It’s easy to lose a lot of money by overlooking something simple, like whether or not you really *can* use 12 tubs of sour cream in three weeks!
After a lot of thought and research and soul-searching, I’ve concluded that I will wait to buy until we’re out (or close to out) and then I will buy no more than we can use in a month or so’s time. I might end up paying a dollar more here or 20 cents more there, but what I save in sanity will make this completely worthwhile.