Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stockpiling Mistakes

Stockpiling or building a usable food storage is important for me and my family. However, in my ten years of marriage and avidly doing this, I have found there are many mistakes you don't want to make!

1. Take note of certain items go on sale and plan accordingly.

In the past I have gotten really excited about great sales, only to find later on lots of what I had purchased was stale. So now I try to only buy as much as I know we will eat before the next sale hits. For example, Albertson's has a really good Quaker sale twice a year. That's when I stock up on my oatmeal. I buy enough to last us until the next sale, unless the expiration date is over a year away.

2. Only buy what you know your family will use.

It can be tempting to buy everything you see on sale, clearance, or free after rebate. But for me, I only have so much room in my house and I can only afford space for the items I know I will use. It is good to get those items for donations and charities though, I am just talking about storing them for my family. I have learned over the years certain things we just don't use so matter the price, and I leave them for others to get.

3. Try a new food item first before adding it to your stockpile.

I only made this mistake once, but I know people who do it all the time. I don't see the point in buying 20 boxes of a new kind of granola bar if we won't eat it. Buy one box on the sale, try it first, then go back for more if you like it.

4. Don't stockpile items too close to the expiration date.

Watch those expiration dates! Many times at cheap sales I have noticed in the store the expiration date is only a month away. No use buying 20 boxes to last a few months! No one likes stale food. Even deodorant and toothpaste lose their effectiveness after the expiration date. I personally stockpile items with an expiration date of at least 6 months in advance. I know approximately how much we use of everything we use so that helps.

5. Remember there is always another sale.

I have also learned not to go too crazy at sales. There will always be another sale! If you buy a ton of cereal at one sale you won't have much of a variety. Not that I don't stockpile a lot of cereal, because I do. I have just found we like variety so I try to balance it out between sales.

6. Don't let your food or other items go to waste.

Organize your stockpile or food storage. Know where everything is, and try to rotate it. My house is fairly small, but I know where every tube of toothpaste and every jar of salsa is. If you do find an item that is close to the expiration date or even past, don't throw it out! I use some canned food items at my local library to pay fines. Or donate food and hygiene items to the food bank. Many items will stay good for a small time after the expiration date, but some do go stale.

Here is agreat article I have in my file about food storage mistakes to avoid:

The Seven Major Mistakes of Food Storage by Vicki Tate

What mistakes or pitfalls have you noticed that need to be avoided in food storage or stockpiling?


amanda said...

Did you see inside the Honey Bunches of Oats post cereal box there are coupons for $1.25 off that cereal plus just bunches!! Do you know how often or if they will run the post sale again??? Have they done it in the past? Still new to all of this.

Marne said...

You may have got lucky Amanda! So far I haven't found any coupons in my boxes. Hang onto them though, another sale might come up. PYP lets us know in advance, so if I hear of anything I will definately post about it!

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