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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stockpiling vs. Hoarding

I was visiting some blogs recently and saw stockpile pictures that made my chin hit the floor. There were people who had 50 bottles of shampoo, 100 boxes of mac 'n cheese, and more toothpaste than my family will use this century. It made me consider the concept of stockpiling from a different perspective.

I have been using coupons, pairing them with store ads, and CVSing for free and almost free items. I've accumulated a couple of nice stockpile areas in my home. (We have almost NO closets, so things are stashed wherever they'll fit without being in the way too much.) I don't have replacements at the ready for every item we use in our home, but we have a lot of personal care items now. It's nice to know that when we use up our daughter's current bottle of bubble bath, there are two more waiting for us in the kitchen cupboard.

Notice I said that there were two bottles of bubble bath.... not 20 bottles of bubble bath. I can't see the purpose in stockpiling more than we know we'll use in a reasonable amount of time. So I have adopted the save and give mindset. That's where this blog's name, Saving & Giving, came from. I began the blog not long after I viewed the stockpile photos. I decided there must be a way to make better use of the free and almost-free deals that seem to keep popping up.

I've decided to share the blessings. A few weeks ago, I read on a blog site that Johnson & Johnson's Buddies soaps were at Wal-Mart for under $1. I had several $1 off coupons for those soaps. However, I had just scored a great deal at CVS on body wash for my daughter. I have enough to last her for several months. But I also had the coupons, making the soaps free.

I decided to go ahead and buy all the soaps that I could with the coupons I had. I then put them in a bag at my house. Since then I've added things like facial wipes, dish soap, and other items that would be useful at our local battered women's shelter. Once this bag is full, I'll drop it off at the shelter's office. Hopefully the women who come there for refuge will enjoy using the things that I got for free, especially when they often arrive at the shelter with nothing but their clothes and their children.

I guess I could increase my stockpile when I find freebies. So what if I already have four bottles of shampoo for myself? Don't I need sixteen bottles? No! But there are ladies who do need those bottles of shampoo.

I've found that the stores offer sales on a rotating basis. If shampoo was on sale this week, it's going to be on sale again in a few months. If I can keep enough in my stockpile to last a few months, I can be assured that the items will be attainable at a decent price again before I run out. By remembering that sales aren't a one-time thing, I keep myself from hoarding things. I can gladly pass them along to others who need them even more than I do.

Maybe the people whose pictures I found had much larger families than mine. Maybe they have been through some trying times emotionally and/or financially. I don't know their stories. But I know that my family doesn't need more than we can reasonably stash away for the next few months. I know that God is our provider, not CVS. I appreciate CVS, but I know that it's God who helps me find the deals that I find. I also know that He smiles when I share those deals with His children who need them most.


The Taskers said...

Dear Saving & Giving,
I came across your Blog through other couponing blogs. I'm new to this couponing thing (I just moved here from Australia, where we don't have coupons) and I very quickly asked myself the same question you just addressed about hoarding vs. stockpiling. I completely agree with your "analysis" and have also decided that if I can get things for free, I will, but they will be donated to the food basket at church. I also don't see the point of stashing tens of bottles of things - especially items we don't actually use! I am brand loyal in some areas (i.e. shampoo) and will continue to buy my preferred hair products, even at full price, but if I can get a bottle of Pert Plus for free and donate it - great.

Another idea I had for using things like Johnson's Buddies soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc that you can get for free: Operation Christmas Child. It's a cause that sends shoe boxes of items overseas to kids at Christmas. You put together a shoe box that is gender and age specific (i.e. 5-year-old girl) and it's sent overseas. They always suggest you include some personal care items. So I figure if I can put a toothpaste, toothbrush, soap and a few other items in I got for free, it will free up a bit of money to buy a nicer toy or pieces of clothing.

Thank you for your perspective and Blog. God Bless.

My Penny Pile said...

Well put!!!! Refreshing! I may link back to this when I have time to do my post on stockpiling/giving.
The other commenter on this post mentioned Operation Christmas Child. I had planned on putting that in my post too was stoked to see someone else mentioning it.

Briana said...

I have given away so much stuff and still have a wonderful stockpile. We will eventually use everything I have .

I like being able to go into my closet anytime and pulling things out to donate! :)

Frugal Mommy said...

Thank you for stopping by my site that is how I found you by your comment. I completly agree. I used to stock pile not as much as you see others but I did. I now have a box of stock pile that will be dropped off at a shelter as a learning experience for my daughter (teaching her to help others). Thanks for the post. Glad I found your site!