I have talked about creating a stockpile to help ensure your family has the things they need should you face an unexpected layoff, a storm, or even as a way to help you save a little money on your monthly budget. One question many people ask when getting started with stockpiling is how much do you really need when stocking up on essentials? No one wants to buy and store 100 tubes of toothpaste when 3 is all you need. The answer to that question unfortunately isn’t one size fits all. Thankfully there is an easy way to figure out exactly what items and how much of each your family really needs.
Stocking Up On Essentials: Determine Your Families Needs
In just four simple steps you can easily determine how much you need to stock up on the various items your family uses on a regular basis. These essentials are items like the cereal you eat for breakfast everyday, the jarred pasta sauce you use and toiletries your family needs to stay healthy.
1. Usage Rates. This is simply how quickly you use each item. If you use one jar of pasta sauce a week then your usage rate for the month is 4 jars. If you go through 2 boxes of cereal each week then you will need 8 boxes to cover a months worth for that item.
2. Duration. After you have determined your usage rate you need to decided how often you want to replace the items you have used. Typically basic household and grocery items go on sale every 12 weeks. If you want to build your stockpile and save while doing it I suggest having enough items on hand to last between the sales cycles. You can do this slowly over time by picking up extra grocery items when they are on sale.
3. Expiration Dates. If the products your family uses have use by dates you need to think about them when building your stock pile that way you don’t get stuck with stuff that is going to expire before you have a chance to use is. There are items you can fudge with the expiration dates, and others that you can’t so it’s important to know the product you plan to store.
4. Storage Space. We are all limited on the amount of space we have. While some families have lots of extra room to store and stock up on essentials others do not. This means you need determine what is most important to keep on hand while keeping in mind the amount of space you have for your stockpile.
Have you created your own stockpile yet? If not stocking up on essentials is a great way to get started!
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