Do You Need a Huge Stockpile to Save Money?

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

The TV show Extreme Couponing has brought a lot of attention to the practice of saving money with coupons. Extreme couponers are known for having huge stockpiles and for getting hundreds of dollars in groceries for less than $10, due to strategies that help them save. But, do you need a huge stockpile to save money and live frugally?

Extreme Stockpiles

I agree that home food storage is important, and that having a little extra on hand is a good idea. I also agree that if you can buy a few things when they are on sale, you can save more money down the road. However, an extreme stockpile may not be the way to go — especially if you don’t have the room for a huge stockpile.

Some of the problems with these huge stockpiles include:

  • Lack of space: If you have a room you can devote to your stockpile, it might not be so bad. However, there are some extreme couponers with stockpiles spread throughout the house. If you don’t have the space for a stockpile, it doesn’t make sense to get too into extreme couponing.
  • Expiring products: In some cases, you might find that items in your stockpile expire before you can use them. This is especially true of food and medications. If you stockpile, you need to be able to rotate items effectively so that you can use them in a timely manner.
  • Costs money up front: Building a stockpile can result in spending a little bit more up front. While spending a little extra at first to save more over time can be beneficial, it isn’t always practical in your particular circumstances. Stockpiling doesn’t work as well if you have to put money on your credit card to build your stores.
  • Takes a lot of time: There are extreme couponing proponents that spend 15 – 20 hours a week — or more — to organize their coupons, look for deals and shop. The amount of time spent driving in traffic, visiting multiple stores, and looking for deals can really start to add up. Plus, you have to organize your stockpile when you bring the items home. The time-cost might be more than it is worth.

Alternative to Extreme Couponing

While extreme couponing can come with huge results, it takes a lot of time and effort to make it work. Instead of engaging in extreme couponing, you can use coupons to save a significant amount of money. You can also buy in bulk during sales. However, you don’t need to create a huge stockpile. If you pay attention, you will discover that sales come in cycles. My husband and I know that if we buy one big package of toilet paper, it will last us until the next sale — no reason to fill up the whole house with items.

Certain food items go on sale predictably at our grocery store. We buy bread, meat and other items when they are on sale, and freeze what we won’t use. By the time of the next sale, it’s about time to buy. We save 50% to 70% this way. It may not be the 90% that extreme couponing can provide you if you are willing to take the time and fill up your house, but it’s plenty of savings for us.

In some cases, balance makes a little more sense. After a certain amount of time, there are diminishing returns for the time and effort spent extreme couponing, since it takes away from time with your family.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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