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Stockpiling 101 – Inventory Your Stockpile

Do you inventory your stockpile? I know that it may not come as a surprise to some of you, but I do keep an inventory of my stockpile. When I first started stockpiling I “thought” I had a fairly good idea of what was in it.

Inventory Your Stockpile

I did for the first several months.  I would come home from a coupon run and realize that I already had more than enough of an item in my current stockpile or items of similar expiration date.

Inventory Your Stockpile

I began using an excel file to inventory my stockpile.  It is categorized in the same manner as my coupon binder.  Under each category I include the name, amount and expiration date of every item in my stockpile.

In terms of expiration dates it is important that you use your stockpile before it expires.  If not, you have wasted your time, energy and money that you have invested into building it.  I recommend that you use FIFO (First In, First Out). This is a method used by grocery stores and in the food service industry. When I began stockpiling, we started using FIFO in order to maintain freshness and to be certain that we did not waste our money. It is easy to do, when you replace stock move what is in the back to the front based on expiration dates.  Stock your new inventory in the back and that way it rotates and is used before it expires.

A helpful tip:  When shopping be sure to check expiration dates. It is not a great deal if you purchase multiple items of expired or near expiration food. I always double check every item expiration date before putting it in my cart to be sure I am really getting a great deal.  You can read more about food expiration dates and what the lingo means.

I also frequently check expiration dates of my stockpile (on an excel spreadsheet) and if I notice something is nearing expiration then I am able to include this ingredient in my menu planning. In my opinion menu planning and frugal living go hand in hand.

If you are interested to know more about how long and item can be stored or about shelf life of food. I suggest educating yourself on food storage and time guidelines.

If you use Excel and would like my spreadsheet you can download my Stockpile Inventory for free!

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  1. I use a document with the items down the left colume followed by groups of 5 boxes across to the right margin. When I purchase something, I put a / in the box. When I use something, I put a \ in the box turning it into an X. During the year I can glance through my pages and know exactly how much I have on hand and how mych to add to my stockpile. At the end of the year I know exactly how much I have used so I can adjust the quantity if need be. I use FIFO and rotate stock so expiration isn’t a problem for me.

  2. This is a great post. When I first started couponing I ran into the problem of things expiring before I could use them. It still happens on occasion because I don’t have a computerized inventory; however, that sounds like a good plan for 2013!

    I also love the first in, first out policy… I am pretty sure this is how my husband organizes our stockpile (yes, he loves to organize)… but I will double check to be certain!

  3. While I don’t use an excel spreadsheet, I do make sure to follow the FIFO rule and also check expiration dates. I also don’t want to over buy because then I end up throwing things out.

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