Where Did My Stockpile Go?

We got an email from a reader asking the following:

I thought I was starting to build up a stockpile that was reasonable for my family but it has already started to disappear and I am not able to replace it fast enough. Realistically how long should it take to build a stockpile? And any advice on how to get it to last from sale to sale?

I’m sure she’s not the only one with those questions! 

If you’re wondering how much of something to buy, did you see the video tutorial on how much Post cereal to buy?  The general rule there for figuring out how much of something you need for a certain period of time can be used for anything you are wanting to stock up on.   Just do the math!   

I have noticed with my own kids that if they know where the good stuff is (fruit snacks, etc.), it will not last.  Last time I bought fruit snacks, I put them high on a closet shelf and shut the door.  They don’t see them, so they don’t ask for them constantly.  That way, I can distribute them at a reasonable pace and they will last as long as I had planned.  I have also hidden things in the garage from my husband if I buy them for something specific (a trip or party) so he doesn’t eat them not knowing they are to be saved, or giving into temptation thinking I can just get more! (love you honey, but am I right or am I right?!)

This is just my way of helping my food last, what works for you?


  • Monica

    If you are still in stockpile building mode you will feel like you are running out. It takes about 3-6 of dedicated couponing to build a reliable stockpile that you can shop from. After that you go to maintenance mode and coupon less and buy less, except for on those super fab sales!

  • Tiffany

    I’ve been amazed at how fast I go through certain items in my stockpile, and have had to throw out/give away others that we didnt get too fast enough or I found out we do not like. Its a learning process for sure (I’ve only been doing this for about 6 months).

  • Ann Wilson

    I write dates in black sharpie of when we can use things like paper towels and fruit snacks, for example if I buy enough for 2 boxes a month then I will write ‘March’ on 2 boxes, and that is all we can use for that month… I feel like that helps us to actually save and not just USE more.

  • heatherf

    Thats a really good idea about portioning it out like writing March on the box. I know with the fruit snacks seems like we’ve been eating a ton just cause we have them. I’m lucky to have an extra bedroom as storage downstairs So the one thing I started doing it just bringing up less in our one cubboard. And even if go through one box I’ll try to wait a day or so before grabbing another. When I first started I found I wasted a few things of bbq sauce and salad dressing buying too many with a close expiration date but then I never seem to get enough mayo still need to learn to buy more when its on sale. 🙂
    Its definately just a process you have to figure out for your own family. When I first started I woulda thought 20 boxes of cereal was way more than enough now I know better.

  • It was a lot easier for me to keep my stockpile longer when I didn’t have any kids. Or even when they were younger. I have 4 kids, 3 of whom eat A LOT. Especially my boys. They never get full. And I know it will only get worse as they get older. So with items like pasta, oatmeal and such I am constantly adding to my stockpile since we go through a lot of it. Cereal too! Although in an attempt to make the cereal last too I set up a flexible schedule with my kids. Go to my blog to read about it:


  • Making a list of your top 20-50 pantry (and personal care) items will help you stay focused as well. See our post all about “Becoming the Master of your Stockpile”. I do like the sharpie idea as well! Thanks for sharing Ann!

  • Oh, um… this silly thing won’t let me paste! Just go see “Stockpiling 101” found in the drop down on the Menu Bar Label: Learn to be a FruGAL! 🙂

  • Jennifer

    oooh, I like the sharpie idea too!

  • Katie

    I just had to give up on stockpiling fruit snacks, granola bars, cookies, etc. I did hide them from my family. But I still know where they are. And I wish I had willpower…. It’s much easier to stockpile something like oatmeal. I’m really never tempted to go snack on that.

    • Sara

      I have the same willpower issue, in that I have none! Maybe we should get our husband’s to hide the snack foods from us 😉

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