Learn How to Stockpile like a smart girl with one super simple hack anyone can use. Never ever run out of coffee or toilet paper again! –
I frantically sift through the items in my pantry. Onions are sizzling, Spaghettis gurgling in boiling water. My eyes glaze over the shelves faster and faster. It must be there.
The little red-and-white can I yearn for is not there. I just ran out of tomato paste and dinner is at stake.
How could that happen to me? Didn’t I get a new can when tomato paste was running low?
Lab’s Best Practice Storage
I never really bothered how to stockpile.
In my former workspace, a research lab, we had staff responsible for supplies. They were highly organized and made sure we never ran out of something. Whatever you needed you would find it in the stocks.
That was important to make sure we could get our work done and not pause until rubber gloves were reordered and shipped. You will not find many laboratory materials at Aldi’s next door.
Storage Hack for Toddler Moms
I look at my toddler in her comfy clothes drawing at the kitchen table to the sound of boiling noodles. I sigh at the idea of getting her and me dressed for a walk to the supermarket. Then the discussions with her about what she is allowed to get and what not. Navigating the critical spots where they offer shopping cart cars. Standing in the line at the cash desks, sweating, watching the cashier and the toddler at the same time.
Time for a change in my stockpiling.
How To Stockpile: The Basic Rule of Storage Keeping
From now on there would be a strict rule in my home about how to stockpile like a boss. There would always be one in stock! This is how the lab pros did it.
When something drops below the stockpiling limit they would order it right away before supplies ran out.
In my home, one item is usually sufficient.
It is so easy and sanity-saving. One item is in use, another one waiting in the stock. When the one in use gets used up I just grab the one from the storage. Then, this is crucial, I write down the item on my shopping list. Next time I go shopping I get fresh stuff and it goes into the stock.
One in use. One in stock.
Repeat after me: I have one in use, one in stock. When I take one out of the storage, I will get it replaced next time I shop.
Make sure that any time you take something out of your stock you put it on your shopping list right away.
It works for most things.
… Until it doesn’t.
The Butter Issue When Not Stockpiling
I remember longing for homemade Shortbread cookies and not finding Dutch butter at the stores in Morocco. Empty shelves for three weeks.
I do love butter and not having it was hard. Next time the Dutch butter was in stock I purchased a big batch for my freezer.
Every morning I eat butter and on the weekend I would bake with butter. A package of butter might last a week. So, if it can take 3 weeks for it to become available again, I needed at least 3 packages in my freezer. Easy maths for stockpiling.
Any time I found myself with less than 3 packages I would re-stock. That is how to stockpile. I can make sure I do have butter. All. The. Time.
Exception in Stockpiling: Frequently used items
Sometimes one item will not last until your next shopping trip. Then you will want 2 or more in stock. Enough to last until you run errands the next time. Determine your stockpiling limit. For example, write the date when you opened something on the package. Check how long it took until it was empty.
If you want some “visual support”, check out the free pantry and freezer inventory and shopping list printables by Scattered Squirrel or these freezer inventory printables by One Mama’s Daily Drama.
Exceptions in Stockpiling: Sales
There is another exception. Coffee on sale. I only buy coffee when it is on sale because then you get it for 30% less. I certainly don’t want to miss this deal. We drink a lot of coffee and the coffee is on sale once in about two or three months. I make sure that the coffee is stocked up to 10 packages at sales time. That way, we don’t run out of coffee before the next sale.
So, for coffee goes, one in use, 1-10 in stock. Stock up to 10 when there is a sale.
Set up a stocking rule for items that you want to buy only when they are on sale. Estimate or track how many items you use in one month.
Then, track how often it is on sale. If it is on sale once in three months and you need 2 packages a month, then you should stock up to at least 6 packages.
Follow this easy rule on how to stockpile like you mean it. You will never run out of anything any longer. There will always be a little red-white can in your stock.
For now, we will have Spaghetti Aglio e olio for dinner. But from now on, I will be prepared with this simple hack for keeping a storage.