I have to tell myself sometimes why we (or I) don’t/do something to remind myself and make sure my reasoning, logic, and mindset is still in the same place and I still believe in what I practice and say. We don’t stockpile much, if any. When we first started dating and got married, I got all crazy into the CVS/Walgreens/drug store ‘game’ and would ‘impress’ my husband with what all I could buy for nothing. Needless to say still here in 2012 I have a good amount of that stuff left in my bathroom cabinet that hasn’t been used. There lies problem #1. I would buy 8 boxes of cereal for free with the intention of eating it, but I think most of that even went to waste. We don’t stockpile b/c we aren’t good about keeping up with stuff. It’s not that we aren’t organized or just ‘don’t care’ about wastefulness, it’s that we were and are a small family and the need for months of supplies on end isn’t necessary when we have a discount retail store around the corner literally. In Oklahoma, our biggest threat is tornados and regardless of how massive a stockpile is, tornados don’t care. Now I do prepare a ‘safety kit’ (this is basically when it’s tornado season I get stuff together that we might need and have it ready). Now I do own a Mr. Buddy or some type of mini propane heater thing that cost $100+ a couple of winters ago when we had our son and already were scared of the crazy snowstorms Oklahoma has sporadically and I was in ‘freak out’ mode.
Side note: My ‘freak out’ mode is when a ‘disaster’ such as tornado watches/warnings, snowstorm warnings, flood warnings, ice warnings (you get the hint) are around and regardless of my reasoning or ‘planned attack’, I get freaked out and do crazy stuff. Now mind you this is all very STUPID things to do in these situations, but that’s another post. I’ve done some really REALLY STUPID things in freak out mode and it will mostly involve me and a vehicle and the media doesn’t help….but anyhow…
Back to stockpiling…while I LOVE to get a good deal and walk out making money from a store with coupons and sales, I don’t need the stuff. It’s more ‘stuff’ to fill spaces at my house and for me to stress about either using or cleaning up or going to waste. This is especially true of food. The stuff that I would love to stockpile (aka veggies and fruit) doesn’t stockpile. I don’t like canned veggies/fruit and stay away from that already so frozen stuff would go to waste. And when it comes down to it, if we had some of the big ol’ stockpiles, like the stuff in 5 gallon buckets that won’t expire for years, we don’t have the space, money to invest, or even mindset to want to deal with it. It’s almost fatalist in that if it gets THAT bad, then I’m pretty sure food is the last of our worries and last time I checked, although appealing, zombies won’t attack…well, not all at once anyhow at the beginning 😉
This leads to couponing which stockpiling and couponing go hand in hand. I use to coupon like nobody’s business. Yes it took time and was very stressful and filled up my entire Sunday trying to figure out the absolute best deal and which coupons and running to 5 stores, but I liked it at the time BEFORE KIDS. 🙂 Nowadays I would rather pay an extra few bucks each trip vs. taking that time away from my kids and adding on that stress again. Plus, currently my husband does the majority of our food shopping since he’s the cook. He goes to the store, gets the stuff ONLY on the list, and gets out. Nothing crazy, nothing extra, nothing that takes more than 20 mins to get in and out of the store. This I find saves us a LOT of money as I like to walk around, look around, see something cheap I want to try, then go looking at other things and end up spending more money than if I just let him go alone. It saves me time, saves me a ton of stress of buying newspapers, cutting coupons, finding the coupons, finding the deals, going to all the stores. If calculated out, I would probably lose money if I did coupon again just b/c of the cost of the newspapers (which isn’t much I know), but alongside the time I have to ‘work’ at figuring it out out. Plus the cost of buying stuff that is not on our list but we want to ‘try’ b/c it’s free or almost free. The majority of the items we buy don’t have coupons. Rarely is there a milk/bread coupon or fresh veggies/fruit coupons. If I find a coupon for something we already use in our lives, I will send it with him, but I don’t go out of the way to do this.
I know if we had a bigger family, different income, further from the store, these figures would change…but for us and our family, this works best right now in our lives. Maybe someday my kids will be interested and want to do this with me (if they want all the fancy drugstore cosmetics and shampoos, etc they will have to do it to get that stuff :), but this works for us.
What do you think? Have you tried it both ways with and without in your life? Which way works best for your family?