Extreme Couponing: Stockpiling

Have you ever had that moment when you have dinner guests over and have prepared a meal but forgot an important condiment? (Hot dogs need Ketchup, right?) I know I have. Wouldn’t it be great to have a store that you can walk right into–without getting into the car? and not paying full price?

This is the idea behind a Stockpile. Maintaining a stock of items that you purchased at a rock bottom price (with coupons of course!)

An Example: Let’s say your favorite brand of toilet paper has gone on sale. You can snag this toilet paper cheaper than you have ever seen. On top of it, you have an awesome coupon that makes this a great price. Are you going to buy one? Of course not! In order to take advantage of this deal of course you plan to buy more than one. (as long as there are no advertised limits) Buying more than one will help you save money because you will not have to run to the store in the following weeks to purchase at the full price.

When I say buy more than one, I DO NOT mean:

Buying all of the stock (so no one else can take advantage of the deal)–this is also known as clearing the shelves

Only buy what you need to last your family 6-8 weeks. After this point–chances are there will be another sale on that particular product.

What are the benefits to stockpiling?

 :: Not running out of items you use.

:: Skipping the store some weeks.

:: Plenty of meal options.

:: Donating.


How do I recognize a stock-up price?

:: Pay attention to prices.

:: Build a price list. 

:: Purchase coupons off a clipping site to really stock up.

Get organized:

:: Where are you going to store everything?

:: What types of items are you looking to stockpile?

:: How long would you like your stockpile to last? 3 month supply? 6 months? 1 year?

How much should I stockpile for my family?

:: Become familiar with what items your family uses on a daily basis.

:: Track your families favorite items. How much do you go through per week?

:: From there, you can figure out how much you could stockpile for 3 mos, 6 mos, even a year.

 Figure out what you can spend:

:: Don’t buy too much too fast.

:: It takes time to build a stockpile. Be patient.

:: Figure out how much you can afford to spend on “stock up items” every week.

:: If you don’t use it (or all of it) one week, carry it over to the next week.

Pay attention to expiration dates:

:: Be careful not to overbuy for your stockpile. 

:: Always put new items BEHIND current ones.

:: Go through your stockpile every six months and note the expiration dates.

:: Donate!

Here are some examples of my “rock bottom” prices. I stock up for my family when I find items at these prices.


Chicken Breast Boneless/Skinless $1.70-$1.97 lb

Ground Turkey $2.50 20 oz. pkg.

Ground Beef $1.80 -$1.99 lb.

Hot Dogs .25

Chips: $1 a bag

Crackers: Free – .50/box

Yogurt .25 a cup

Cereal: Free -.50 box

Juice: $1 a bottle

Milk: This one is hard but I try not to pay more than $2.50/gallon

Canned Veggies: Free -.25

Salad Dressing: Free – .25


obviously these prices can not be achieved with out coupons and a sale.  So this is why we use coupons :)

žShampoo: Free
žDeodorant: Free
žBody Wash: Free
žToothpaste: Free
žRazors: Free -.50
žMake-up: Free
žBaby wipes: Free -.25 a tub
žDiapers:$3.50 a bag or less than .17 a diaper
žToilet Paper: .35 a roll
žPaper Towels: $2 for a 8 pk
žCleaning Supplies: Free -.50 a bottle
žDish Washing Detergent: Free-$1.00 a bottle

 New to Couponing? Make sure to read more of my Extreme Coupon Series!

 If you have any questions on this topic, please leave it in the comments below! Stay tuned tomorrow for more in-depth details about saving at the grocery stores!


  1. Carrie Hall via Facebook says

    I don’t think I’ll ever be a stockpiler because I don’t think it’s worth the effort to get more than the usual 2 max coupon (on line), or the one insert I get in the mail/newspaper.

  2. Carrie Hall via Facebook says

    And it really makes me mad when I get to the store & someone has cleared the shelf, which is usually the case. I have two small children & have to go to the store when time & circumstances allow.

  3. Marie Meza via Facebook says

    It really takes little effort to purchase more than 1 Sunday paper once a week. My space is very limited so my stock isn’t much of a pile, if u know what I mean. So, at most, I will buy 6 papers- just mosey down to the $ store and get them. But the concept of stockpiling on any scale just makes sense. I can get chicken breasts down to 99c/ lb a couple times a year but only a couple of times. It would make sense, to me, get at least a few months worth at that great price instead of paying 3-4 bucks a lb. Like the coupon diva Joyce says, I guess you just haven’t been broke enough. Lol!

  4. says

    I just started about 2 months ago and really have been able to stock up on razors, body wash, shampoo, body lotion, facial cleaners, etc. and the fact that I do not have to pay full price, well, it makes it worth while to set aside a few hours to shop! I do not clear the shelves. I too hate it when I go to the store for that great deal and no more!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Lenore says

    Thanks for giving us (your readers) your stock ups prices! I am really trying to get serious about building our stockpile and reducing our expenses, so to have a realistic idea of what someone else in my area spends is very helpful. Thanks for everything you do here on Southern Cali Saver :)

  6. Des says

    I usually get contact lens solution, liners, shave gel, shampoo & conditioner, body wash, and travel size items for FREE!

  7. Ronni says

    I also pay attention to Expiration dates while in the store….you don’t want to buy anything that will be expiring in a month!

  8. Cecia says

    Thanks soooooo much for all of this information! Living in Cali its so freakn hard to save in my grocery trips! … My ONE question is how in the heck do you ever find diaper deals for $3.50 a pack??? This would help me out a ton!

  9. Rita says

    It is so nice to have your site, since you are in So Cal…I am in Orange County and it helps me alot. I have 5 Grandchildren, ages 14 to 4, to feed and the couponing helps soooo much. I lost my job in December, so things have been really tight. If it weren’t for coupons I am not sure what we would do. Stockpiling is a hard thing to do here, but we are starting to build a little. Again thank you so much for your website and the help.

  10. Millie says

    I only get one set of inserts now. Is there any way that I can stockpile that way? Or the only way will be to get multiple papers? I guess I’m a little frustrated bc I’ve been trying to do this for a couple of months now but I don’t feel like I’m saving anything. Help!

    • Debbie says

      Buy a newspaper from a different county that your convenient store might carry. I live in Riverside county and when I purchase my newspapers at 7 Eleven, I buy our Press Enterprise and LA Times. I’ve noticed LA usually has anywhere from 1-2 inserts more than the PE.

    • Kara says

      Shelby, the best price I see eggs for in So Cal is .99 for a 12 pk (non-organic). You will see this price occasionally at Ralphs or Vons. That is my stock up price. Hope that helps!

      • Debbie says

        Walgreens has been carrying their eggs for .99 also. This week they’re $1.29, but I’m pretty sure they will have the sale again soon since they’ve been doing this a few sales a month.

  11. Si'i says

    @Cecia – I didn’t think it was possible either until I did it at Rite Aid for the first time for $3 with a good sale, a Rite Aid Video Values coupon and a manufacturer coupon. Recently, I got a pack of Huggies slip-on diapers for .74 only after buying this week’s Dove 4/$15 deal at Walgreen’s. I spent $6.66 oop for a shampoo, conditioner and 2 hair treatments (with coupons & $2RR fr last week). I received a $5RR and applied that to my next transaction of 1 pack of size 5 Huggies slip-on diapers & 5 Royal gelatin boxes with walgreens in-ad coupons and manufacturer coupons. It’s possible. I found drugstores are my way to cheaper diapers and wipes.

  12. Sarah says

    Yeah whenever I need expensive stuff like diapers and formula I try to earn RR at Walgreens off of items I have couopns for hopefully making themm free or dirt cheap then use my RR on the items that cost a lot like formula 😉

  13. Luz Cordero says

    Are the coupons you are using the ones offered in the sunday paper and store coupons? or do you also find them online?

  14. Jenn M says

    I am new to couponing and it’s not that easy, I want to learn how to stock pile but also learn EVERYTHING their is to know about coupons, Where else can I get more inserts? I live in orange county and the sunday paper is like $12/8 weeks, would I call them and would they deliver more than one paper? Would it be worth it to pay that much? Also, my biggest question of all; is I have seen on coupons that 4 is the limit per transaction/trip, how do people stock up on several things of one item if their is a limit of 4???PLEASE HELP ME!!! :)
    Thanks in advance!

  15. Michelle says

    With current store policies of only doubling 1 and the high prices lately are these still your stock pile prices? I have only been doing this a couple months but paper towels 2 bucks for an 8 pack I havent been able to get that kind of a deal yet on sale and with coupons. Tp I have gotten 20 cents a roll. Can’t get good razors free so far either. Canned veges 49 cents is lowest ive gotten. lowest ive gotten cereal is 1 dollar a box. From my last couple months the only thing that came up at stockpile prices is chicken breast. Are these acheaviable do you think eventually I will get this good. I hope so thanks for the site too I use it everyday.

    • Josie says

      They are still my stock up prices :) The longer you coupon the more you will see these deals..it doesn’t happen all the time that is why we stockpile. I have plenty of free razors to prove that it is possible! Don’t give up! I’m right here with you feeling the strict store coupon policies and less freebies :)

  16. Michelle says

    Thanks for the encouragement I am getting better, I like the venus gillete razors and shick hydros do you get those types free. I have learned you can’t be brand specific too much with the couponing but I like these better then disposables. Disposables tend to cut me. BTW I prefer coffee mate over International delight as well but a deal is a deal.

  17. Beth Welsh says


    Eggs is a tricky thing because you just can’t freeze them reasonably and, while they do last longer than most refrigerator items, they can’t last forever. In my house, I bake too much and make omelets and pancakes so often that I can’t keep them in the house, so I know a couple of hard and fast rules. First thing, the next time you’ve bought the 18 egg carton, don’t recycle the carton. It’s easier to keep many eggs in a limited space if you have a couple of those, even if you end up buying by the dozen. Second, Trader Joes has decent eggs at 1.49 a dozen every day and each egg has an expiration stamped on it. So if you can’t do better with sales, coupons, or by going to Costco, you can always go there. Third, Costco is the best place, bar-none, for eggs, and, if you happen to catch them on sale, they’re really good. Now I’m talking about buying the flats of eggs — flimsy layer separations are the down side to this purchase, which is why I told you to save the cartons. I buy the big flats and put them in cartons that fit better in my fridge without having the eight-year-old drop an egg on his head daily. If you don’t make pancakes or waffles from scratch nearly every day, that number might be hard to go through. However, our local Costco has started selling Norco 18 count eggs at 1.99. This is a far better deal than even Trader Joes, but it doesn’t beat an Easter Sale or the the big pack.

    • michelle says

      I use Coupon Dede – http://www.couponsthingsbydede.com/Default.asp. Buying multiple papers is a great option if you can score them for less than the Sunday rate. But, the clipping services have the same coupons offered in the inserts. I buy one paper on Sunday and if I see a great sale price in the new Tues/Sat ads I order just those coupons from Dede early enough for them to arrive before the sale is over. Best one for me so far is Sunny D. Stater Bros had it for .99 and I bought 10 coupons for .55 of 2 Sunny D. My kids love Sunny D so it was an excellent deal. Watch the expiration dates thought because they sneak up fast.

  18. Lilian says

    I’m trying to start a stock pile but the stores I’ve gone to don’t double and Im having a very hard time starting. This blog is helping tons but I can’t seem to get my prices down by much. I’d appreciate if someone commented any prefered stores where they shop at and get awesome deals like the ones posted.

  19. Angela says

    Great basic tip to keep in mind: Now that Dollar Tree will accept 4 coupons per person, sometimes it works really well to keep an eye out for their current items. Lysol Toilet Boil Cleaner can be down to 0.50 a bottle. Palmolive I get 4/$1 for the 14 oz. and sometimes Dawn also. Mean Green is a good degreaser that sometimes has $1 coupons in SS inserts. Softsoap is always sold in two sizes- the 5 oz pump and the 11 oz refill bottles. I always use the 0.35 coupons on the refill bottles if I need soap. Sometimes they have Dial. Speed Stick or Brut Coupons are great too. Aleve, Motrin, Benadryl, Colgate, etc. and many other things with higher values can still save you a bunch if you are in need. Definitely a Diamond in the Rough to keep eyes open.

    And Walgreens Cottonelle, Quilted Northern, VIVA, Scott, and Angel Soft all every once in a while have really good matchups. Cottonelle I found out every other month has a Cat that prints for $2 OYNO that does NOT roll. If you stack an Instant Monthly Savings Booklet Coupon for $1-1.50 off with an ad coupon of $1 off and you have a 0.75-1.50 off, you can snag these deals using the Rapid Rewards and Bonus Points you accumulate from other purchases. I have been able to really hold a stock on TP for at least 6 months at a time by using the Rewards this way. It gets me a price as low as 5 cents-20 cents a roll if the matchups come up at the right time. Spring Cleaning sales are not always the cheapest. I can’t wait for June- end of college- cleaning sales skyrocket for two weeks and lots of things go on clearance and get cheap. End of Summer is good for that “bearing down for the winter” thinking so the stores like to get rid of overstock cleaners.

    Best tip ever that Josie said last year, remember to ask your stores for rainchecks if they offer them. You might be lucky enough to order them for next store delivery and or a random trip could get you exactly what you wanted for the price you wanted it at. Rain checks are great for those Early Sunday Edition insert previews just in case the store is out of stock. You can use the upcoming insert to a bigger benefit if you keep a close eye out for it. At first it is tedious but it becomes a force of habit after a bit.

    Stockpiling isn’t about hoarding like some extremers do. It’s about getting what you know you will use in a given amount of time and refusing to pay full price for it if you don’t have to.

    And I found myself telling a friend, look if someone wants to be “not so smart” with their money that is their choice, but when I can finally afford to take kids to Disneyland for birthdays because I spent money smart, then that is my prerogative and my family will never suffer or starve because of it. That’s what it comes down to for some families, so people like Josie really bring a community together that can understand that basic principle. Saving allows more family time.

  20. Sandy says

    Hi! Does anyone have any suggestions on stockpiling with limited space… suggestions or advise on how to store things. What items should def. NOT be stored outside… we all know it gets super hot here. I’ve put shampoos, condi., dish soap and things like that in the garage but what about shave creams, toothpaste and mouthwash? Any quick tips would be helpful.

    • Jacqui says

      Unless you have a temperature controlled garage, I would not recommend storing shaving cream outside. The heat can cause the cans to explode!

      I don’t see any reason why toothpaste and mouthwash couldn’t be stored in the garage as well, but read the labels and if it says not too let it get too, then I suggest inside.

      Medication should stay inside, as heat can damage their effectiveness. Unless you are storing food in something that will prevent bugs, like food grade buckets, I don’t recommend keeping it in the garage either.

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