Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘stockpiling’ tag

June 13th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Beginners Guide to Couponing – Creating and Maintaining your Stockpile

Creating your Stockpile

If you have watched Extreme Couponing a stockpile seems so overwhelming and ridiculous. This show demonstrates the extreme part of stockpiling. Realistically, having a stockpile means you have extra on hand of stuff. This helps you not have to run to the store every time you run out, plus, if you get that item for a terrific price its cheaper on your pocketbook.

It will take a while to create your stockpile because you always want to buy things when you get a good price. Sales typically cycle about every 12 weeks (some less, some more) and as you get a feel for couponing you will get a feel for the length of a typical items cycle. To maximize the benefit you want to shop for the items at the sale time and then buy enough to last you through to the next sale.

This doesn’t just work for frozen and canned items, but also perishable items. When red and yellow peppers are on sale at my local grocery store I buy tons of them. I then chop them up and freeze them to use in a variety of recipes.  I also have stockpiles of cheese, bread, buns, and yogurt in my freezer. I also stock up on holiday candy and freeze it. For instance, at Christmas I buy M&M’s© and separate out the red and green. I then use the red ones in Valentine’s cookies and the green in St. Patrick Day cookies.

Maintaining and Controlling your Stockpile

A key part of having a stockpile is maintaining and controlling it. Otherwise you will be throwing out a lot of expired products. Find an area in your home to store your items. This may be in several spots. I use my basement for my chest freezer and shelves for extra food and my bathroom closet houses my extra bathroom and toiletry items.

As you are creating your stockpile, always ask yourself how many of that item your family will use within 6 months and don’t buy anymore of that item after what you need. I often pick up some extras though to donate at various times through the year. Also be sure to put the newer items in the back and older up front so you don’t have any items expire on you. I have collected some general time frames for items I use. The amount of time it can be kept might surprise you!

Check out this list:

Brown sugar
Indefinite shelf life, stored in a moistureproof container in a cool, dry place.

Coffee, canned ground
Unopened: 2 years
Opened: 1 month refrigerated

Coffee, gourmet
Beans: 3 weeks in paper bag, longer in vacuum-seal bag (after this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume)
Ground: 1 week in sealed container

Coffee, instant
Unopened: Up to 2 years
Opened: Up to 1 month

Diet soda (and soft drinks in plastic bottles)
Unopened: 3 months from “best by” date.
Opened: Doesn’t spoil, but taste is affected.

Dried pasta
12 months

Frozen dinners
Unopened: 12 to 18 months

Frozen vegetables
Unopened: 18 to 24 months
Opened: 1 month

Honey
Indefinite shelf life

Juice, bottled (apple or cranberry)
Unopened: 8 months from production date
Opened: 7 to 10 days

Ketchup
Unopened: 1 year (after this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume)
Opened or used: 4 to 6 months (after this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume)

Maple syrup, real or imitation
1 year

Maraschino cherries
Unopened: 3 to 4 years
Opened: 2 weeks at room temperature; 6 months refrigerated

Marshmallows
Unopened: 40 weeks
Opened: 3 months

Mayonnaise
Unopened: Indefinitely
Opened: 2 to 3 months from “purchase by” date (after this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume)

Mustard
2 years (after this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume)

Olives, jarred (green with pimento)
Unopened: 3 years
Opened: 3 months

Olive oil
2 years from manufacture date (after this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume)

Peanuts
Unopened: 1 to 2 years unless frozen or refrigerated
Opened: 1 to 2 weeks in airtight container

Peanut butter, natural
9 months

Peanut butter, processed (Jif)
Unopened: 2 years
Opened: 6 months; refrigerate after 3 months

Pickles
Unopened: 18 months
Opened: No conclusive data. Discard if slippery or excessively soft.

Protein bars (PowerBars)
Unopened: 10 to 12 months. Check “best by” date on the package.

Rice, white
2 years from date on box or date of purchase

Salad dressing, bottled
Unopened: 12 months after “best by” date
Opened: 9 months refrigerated

Soda, regular
Unopened: In cans or glass bottles, 9 months from “best by” date
Opened: Doesn’t spoil, but taste is affected

Steak sauce
33 months (after this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume)

Tabasco
5 years, stored in a cool, dry place

Tea bags (Lipton)
Use within 2 years of opening the package

Tuna, canned
Unopened: 1 year from purchase date
Opened: 3 to 4 days, not stored in can

Soy sauce, bottled
Unopened: 2 years
Opened: 3 months (after this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume)

Vinegar
42 months

Worcestershire sauce
Unopened: 5 to 10 years (after this time, color or flavor may be affected, but product is still generally safe to consume)
Opened: 2 years

So, start stockpiling a little at a time!  I hope you have had fun learning about Couponing! Feel free to post any coupons in the comments.

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

 

Pin It