Stockpiling: The Benefits, Burden, and Blessings

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



If you’ve tuned in to any episodes of TLC’s Extreme Couponing, then you’ve seen the overwhelming stockpiles the shoppers have built!  Certainly in comparison, theirs puts my meager stockpiles, if you could call it that, to shame!

Coupon Queen Laci stockpilingThank you, Coupon Queen Laci

The benefits of couponing are maximized when one learns to stockpile, without a doubt.  Buying items at their lowest sales price, and stocking up on said item, certainly saves money in the long run.  It is an amazing way to ensure that you are not overpaying for items; nor that you’ll have to run out and pay too much for an item, simply because you didn’t have it in stock when it’s needed.

Obviously, non-perishable items are super-easy on which to stock up.  Creating a seemingly endless supply of toilet paper, toothpaste and toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products, cleaning materials, and Spam (because would you really know if meat in a can has gone bad?) is the way to go, and a great way to start a stockpile.  But with careful planning and attention to detail, you can expand your stockpile to edibles, including frozen foods and pantry items.

Over time, and with a bit of effort put forth, your stockpile can offer a sense of security.  Living paycheck to paycheck can be tough; and in this economy, the uncertainty of one’s job security these days is rather stressful.  But knowing that you can still feed and care for your family with the material you’ve accumulated in your stockpile offers a sense of security that cannot be shaken!

Tammilee's Tips stockpilingKudos, Tammilee’s Tips
on a  stock well-piled! 

The burden of stockpiling may be quite apparent: it requires time, effort, and -most importantly- space.  My meager stockpile consists only of items that can fit in their designated spaces: toothpaste, shampoo, razor blades, feminine hygiene products, etc. must be able to fit in my bathroom cabinets.  Pantry items must be able to fit in the pantry.  Laundry items must be able to fit in -you guessed it!- the laundry room.

Stockpiling becomes a burden and a bit of a nuisance when it takes over other areas of your home.  Again, on Extreme Couponing, I’ve seen TP stockpiled under a child’s bed, nightstands crammed full of items, garages converted to stockpile rooms, and so forth.  To me, the insurance and security that comes from a stockpile can be undercut when it prevents you and your family from using and enjoying the space in your house in its intended fashion.  Stockpiling should not CONSUME your home.

Further, I have witnessed a few frugal blogger friends display fits of anxiety when their stockpiles drop to levels they deem unacceptable.  I’m sorry, but ten 12-packs of toilet paper seem to be pretty darn impressive for a family of four!  You “only” have 20 bottles of laundry detergent left, and declare it a crisis?  (Honey, go read about how to stretch your laundry detergent!!)  Stockpiling should offer a sense of security, not an added dimension of stress and anxiety to our already stressful lives!

In my humble opinion, if you become anxious because a group of items in your stockpile is running low, you need to re-prioritize.  Sales will always cycle back, and that item(s) in question can be replenished over time.

Finally, the burden continues with feeling compelled to buy multiple copies of the paper, just for the coupons.  If you have a large family, I can see the justification in this; however, for the typical family of -say- four, why on earth would you want to spend hours upon hours sorting, organizing, clipping, and storing coupons?  Are you really, truly saving that much?


Klippin Krazy stockpiling
Ingenious re-purposing,
Klippin Krazy!
We have a regular subscription to the AJC, and my parents save their Sunday coupons for me. Lately, I’ve been investing in the purchase of a Sunday paper on Saturday, but that’s in my attempt to get the deals to you sooner.  Furthermore, I’ve been extremely fortunate enough to get a slightly varied, condensed copy of the Smart Source coupons in the mail on Tuesdays.  And when I see my dear sweet MIL, I end up with an additional set of coupons, usually at least two weeks’ worth.  Therefore, I have more than enough sets of coupons each week, anywhere between two and five.   This is more than enough for my family of three (soon to be four).  I have a small network of friends with whom I can tap, should I see a good coupon that fits my family’s needs; and I’m happy to offer them ones for them in exchange.

I digress.  I call in to question the benefits of BUYING multiple copies of the paper, just for the sake of having multiple coupons.  I’m speaking mostly about paying money for ten or more copies — at what point do the coupons pay for themselves??  Additionally, many coupons are also available in print form these days; that’s FREE, as long as you have access to a printer. AND you can typically get TWO copies of each printable coupon.  Why take on the burden of paying money, all with the chance (not guarantee) of saving more money than you’ve invested.


Freetail Therapy stockpiling
Thanks, Freetail Therapy!!

The blessings of a well-fed stockpile can be counted in the securities it may provide, in knowing that, even if you find yourself without an income, or on a drastically reduced income, you can still provide for your family with little to no impact on your day-to-day living.  (…and isn’t that the purpose behind stockpiling….?)  All those hours of carefully planning shopping trips, matching coupons, and vigilantly watching sales cycles pay off.

But beyond your own life, charitable donations you can make with any extras you may have on hand within your stockpile are assuredly a blessing in itself.  Whether you share a few items with a neighbor in need, or sizable donations to a homeless shelter or other charity in need, you need not look further than your well-endowed stockpile.  Being able to share your fantastic savings with those in need ensures that others can help meet their basic needs, while you reep karmic the benefits of paying it forward.

All in all, I think we must each strike a balance between letting our stockpile(s) consume us and overtake our lives, with the pragmatic benefits of stretching your dollar while also being able to extend a helping hand to those in need.

***I share with you my thoughts and observations on stockpiling, but please heed this disclaimer: I am not bashing nor ridiculing those who create big stockpiles.  I have made some great blogger friends over the last few months, who have been gracious enough to share their stockpile pics with me (and thus, with you) and they’re pictured here — check them each out; they’re great ladies with great blogs.***

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

What I Love About this Town…

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



I feel truly blessed to live in a town where my daughter can spot geese at the pool, at the mall, and -well- just about any where.  Yes, they’re mean little boogers up close, but from a distance, they are a creature of awe.

She also gets a glimpse of deer in our backyard from time to time, and in many surprising spots.  There are horses down the street in a private backyard, as well as “in town” in Dunwoody.  Finally, we’ve spotted about a dozen ducks recently at our dear ol’ Dagwoods.  After all, what’s better to watch whilst eating one’s pizza?

Yes, we live in a heavily populated, concrete-laden pocket of Atlanta; but we are still privy to select reminders that nature is still all around us, without having to take a drive out to “the country.”

What signs of nature do YOU see near you?  :o)

Happy Wednesday, y’all!


Keep on saving!  :o)
–Barbara
**This post may contain affiliate links.**
Follow Me on Pinterest

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

A bargain I just couldn’t pass up!!

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Perhaps by now, it’s well-known that my three favorite “C” words are Carol (daughter’s name), Coupons (duh), and CLEARANCE (double-duh)!  

Coupled with my strange obsession with boxes and various storage containers, this deal at my local Kroger immediately coaxed me over. I snagged 10 storage boxes (shoe box size) for a TOTAL of $2.50!!

What will I do with all of these boxes?  I don’t know yet, but for a quarter a piece, I simply couldn’t resist indulging in my OCD-driven obsession with all things organization.  :o)

READERS RESPOND: What sort of items do YOU find irresistible when the price is right?

Follow Me on Pinterest

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Not-So-Extreme Couponing: Learning to Let Go (Sorta)

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Any good couponer has experienced that invigorating coupon high, but what happens when you find yourself going to extremes, all in the name of saving a few bucks?  There’s been quite a buzz in the blogosphere created in recent months thanks largely in part to TLC’s Extreme Couponing.  Many viewers are left with the impression that couponing creates, or encourages hoarding, shelf-clearing of sale items, and downright obsessive behavior.*  


Admittedly, I’ve found myself in situations where I was running out to buy something, all in the name of a “good deal”, only to later be ridden with buyers remorse, often thinking, “I didn’t even reallyneed that product!”  I’ve spoken to many of you, my dear readers, and quite a few of you admit to being new to couponing, so please bear my cautionary tale.  Just like any thing else, couponing CAN become addicting, and it, too, may spiral out of control.

Two and a half years ago, when my daughter was born, I became obsessed with maintaining a good diaper stockpile.  As you may know by now, I’ve learned to find ways to get some cheap diapers.  But over two years ago, when I was beginning to dive deeper in to the depths of couponing, I would go out and willy-nilly buy in to the diaper deal of the week.  I hadn’t yet come to realize that the boxes are seldom the better deal, and my gripping  -yet highly unrealistic- fear of running out of diapers was beginning to take over, so I wanted to be well-stocked.  I would schlep my sweet little girl here, there, and everywhere, all in the name of stocking up.  Loaded with gift cards and coupons in hand, I even found myself buying the big ol’ boxes of Huggies, Pampers, and store brand from Babies R Us.  (Note: they are NEVER, EVER a cheap deal.)

When I decided I was stocked well-enough with the current size diaper, I would start on the next size.  Keep in mind, my petite skinyata spent over a year wearing her six month clothes, so we were able to really take advantage of a large stock pile of size 2s, and then size 3s for quite some time.  But even though the logical part of me knew we were well-stocked, I couldn’t pass up good diaper deals.  Period.

Suffice it to say, I took a long, hard look in the mirror one day, and decided enough was enough.  There will always be good diaper deals.  I don’t need to use every single Huggies or Pampers coupon in my possession.  (Enter the Coupon Fairy!)  And while it’s fine to stock up on the next size, I can do so in moderation, without dragging my daughter here, there, and everywhere, soley to satisfy my crazy, unrealistic fear of running out of diapers.

Now that we’ve successfully crossed potty training off our list (yahoo!), I look at my collection of size 4 diapers, and am grateful in the knowledge that Baby Boy will be well-stocked already; but not without the burden of stockpiling.  

I digress.

Diapers are just one example of how I personally went over board (um, perhaps extreme, even) in my couponing endeavors.  It is easy to do, particularly as a SAHM, eager to just get out of the house.  It’s also easy to talk yourself in to believing that you did, indeed, need to rush out of the house right then and there to save a buck on ice cream, or a quarter on gum, or get that free deodorant (even if you already possessed a dozen other free sticks).

What’s not so easy, but must be done, is taking a step back and realizing that a good deal will always come back around.  As a couponer, one must take on the responsibility of keeping oneself in check, to keep from going to extremes.  


I share my cautionary tale with you, so that you may benefit from my wackiness.  Do you have a wacky couponing cautionary tale you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear it!


*I’m pulling all of these impressions from various blogs’ comments, Facebook comments, and Tweets I’ve read on the matter — that’s just a representative sample of the opinions expressed about the show.
Keep on saving!  :o)

–Barbara
**This post may contain affiliate links.**
Follow Me on Pinterest

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Why You Haven’t Seen Much from AFM Lately…..

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



 
Why haven’t you seen many posts lately from Atlanta’s Frugal Mom?  
 
It’s simple: I’ve been busy playing with a red-headed monkey at the park,
enjoying this awesome weather!  
 
Spring seems to have (almost) sprung — hooray!!
Happy Friday, y’all!  :o)

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it.**

Follow Me on Pinterest

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Keeping Up with Everything

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Lately I’ve felt like I’ve misplaced my mind.  Call it Mommy Brain, Bird-Brain-Barbara-ness, or plain ol’ senility.  (…and, no, it’s NOT preggo brain!)  In any case, I feel like my home and blog(s) are suffering for it.  So, thank you all, dear readers, for your patience — I know the blog’s been a bit neglected as I’m spinning a few other plates at the moment.  I’m trying to (re)organize my life, to make room for a slightly more regimented schedule.  In the meantime, please bear with me.


And just so y’all know: one of my goals with my scheduling is to make the blog more organized, and to thus create a more regular set of posts (Publix, the drug stores, My Dearly Beloved Target, coupons.com, etc.) so that y’all may better utilize AFM for all your shopping needs.

….but first, does anyone know where I misplaced my mind?  I swear it was right *here* a second ago, when I sat down to type this post….  *sigh*

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it.**
Follow Me on Pinterest

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Merry ChristmasY’all!

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



This is my first post on my NEW Netbook, a gift from Hubs this Christmas.  Truly, I am blessed; without reading this blog somehow knew this was on My List.  ;o)

I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of my readers, many of you from it fledgling days. I’m hoping for bigger and better things in 2011 — both blogwise, and in my personal life.  (Yes, I’ll keep you posted on both acconts.)  I hope you all had a wonderful, peaceful Christmas, enjoyed the SNOW falling today (how rare is that in the ATL?!!), and have a new year full of wonder and amazement.
I’ve been rather quite on the postings lately because we’ve been rather busy with  the holidays.  And we’ve all been battling a miserable, nasty cold -which included a trip to the pediatrician yesterday morning for the Tot, to assure that the nasty cough wasn’t anything more than a nasty cough.  Now Hubs is fighting a fever and just generally feeling rundown.  Hopefully, all will be well very soon…
In the meantime, perhaps with my New Toy, I’ll be able to post a little more efficiently, and bring you more and better deals in a more timely fashion.  This is the first time I’ve been able to blog from the comfort of our den, as opposed to the computer room upstairs. How cool is that!?!
Thanks again for sticking with Atlanta’s Frugal Mom.  God bless you all!  :o)
P.S.  I never *did* get the Turbie Twist this year — perhaps it’ll roll over to next year’s list.  Or perhaps Santa didn’t see it at the bottom of his bag.  In any case, with or without it, I am tremendously blessed.
**This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it.**
Follow Me on Pinterest

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Fraggle Rock on HUB

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



…and for purely nostalgic reasons, I share with you that Fraggle Rock has returned to TV, courtesy of Hub Network!  For more information, and a cute cast of characters, check out Hub’s website.  You can look to see if your cable provider brings you the hub, with their channel locator.  :o)


…and for even LESS reason, sing along with me to their theme song!  ;o)

Oh, and before I forget, did you know there’s a Muppet Wiki!??  God, I love the internet!

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it.**
Follow Me on Pinterest

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

My Wish List

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Is it sad that the TurbieTwist is the top item on my rather meager Xmas list?


…aside, of course, from a laptop. But that belongs on a different list. You know, the one that includes a pony, that *winning* lottery ticket, a butler, a maid, a poolboy (pool optional), a summer home in Hawaii, and perhaps a unicorn (but that might be pushing it).



P.S. The Turbie Twist is available at CVS for $4.99; a double pack is $7.99! 😉


**This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it.**

Follow Me on Pinterest

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Moments of Doubt

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



I often question if I am absolutely off my rocker, creating and trying to maintain this here blog…  I wonder how many people are actually reading what I post.  Moreover, I wonder more seriously how many people actually CARE about what I’m writing about.  I share this, not to drum up sympathy, but to really get a gage on how worthwhile this whole blogging thing proves to be.  I’m juggling a few other (less-populated) blogs.  Oh, and a part-time job, and motherhood, and a somewhat slightly visible life outside of the aforementioned.  



After having the blog up for almost three months (gasp!  where does the time go!?), I have accumulated almost one hundred “fans” on Facebook, and am slowly growing a smaller following on Twitter.  But reader feedback is still scarce.  Seriously, seriously scarce.


So, is it worth my time to pour over these blog pages daily, hour upon hour, for -hmm- perhaps a handful of people to read?  I don’t know.


What I know is I’ve gotten two much-needed compliments within the last twenty-four hours about AFM.  (Y’all know who you are — bless you!)  Those compliments came at a time when I was truly wondering if I should just throw in the towel…  After all, a mom-blog about saving money?  That’s certainly far from original.  However, if I know that my readers are coming away with something worthwhile from reading my blog, then, by all means, I shall blog away.


{Feel free to shower me with your thoughts and feelings about the blog at this point.  Compliments, critiques, rude remarks, and general nonsensical babble are all welcome. It may help save Atlanta’s Frugal Mom, in more ways than you could ever imagine!}


**This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it.**

Follow Me on Pinterest

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Atlanta's Frugal Mom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. In other words, if you click through to Amazon from some of the books or products I recommend and make a purchase, I get a small percentage in exchange for your purchase. It's a small way you can support AFM.