Today we’re going to talk about why and how you should stock up on everyday essentials in your home. Now, this may sound strange coming from someone working to simplify her home and life but stick with me for a minute.
Picture this. You’ve just finished the water show that is bath time, and it’s time to get your almost, but not-quite-yet, nighttime potty trained kid in pajamas and bed.
You go to grab a Pull-Up, but the drawer is empty. You rush to the closet, but there’s not a Pull-Up to be found.
It’s bedtime. Your kid is starting to hit that “if she’s not asleep in the next 15 minutes, we’re all going to be up until midnight” danger zone.
What do you do?
Do you send your husband to the store? Do you just resign yourself to the fact that you’re going to spend tomorrow washing bedding and pajamas? Or maybe you try to convince your kid that hasn’t worn an actual diaper in over a year to “just for tonight” put on her little sister’s diaper.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you always have a stockpile of the essentials you use every day right in your home?
That’s what I’m going to help you with today.
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The Difference Between a Simple Stockpile and Hoarding
Due to recent events, hoarding has become a hot-button topic. What I’m not talking about when I refer to “stockpiling” is grabbing every available roll of toilet paper on the store shelves. I’m also not talking about stocking up in excess during a time of need and taking more than your family needs while depriving others.
Hoarding is having closets (or even rooms) full of items that you will never be able to use in their entirety or before they expire. Hoarding tends to be impulsive.
A stockpile should serve your family’s needs for 3-6 months of everyday living. Stockpiling is usually well thought out, and there is a plan involved.
Why Should You Stock Up?
Peace of Mind
Having a simple stockpile in your home can really be a blessing. For example, let’s just say that your whole family ends up with the stomach flu. I can’t imagine you will want to put on real clothes, get in your car, and run to the store for more toilet paper and Clorox wipes. Am I right?
How nice would it be to know that all you have to do is open up your closet door, and you have plenty of those essential items to get you through your family’s sickness?
Fewer “Emergency” Trips to the Store
Here’s another example for you. It’s “that time of the month,” and you forgot that you used up all of your supplies last month. So now you have to make an emergency trip to Target to restock.
If you’re anything like me, the odds that you leave the store with only feminine hygiene products is slim.
You’re going to have those feminine hygiene products, a pint of ice cream, a frozen pizza (because who wants to cook dinner when they have cramps?), a few outfits that the kids really “need,” and the entire Hearth & Hand line.
Imagine how much money you would have saved if you already had a few months’ worth of feminine hygiene products stocked up at home!
Stocking Up Before Baby
Before the twins were born, we decided to stock up on as many essentials as possible beforehand. I knew we’d be busy, and it wouldn’t be easy to get to the store frequently to pick up the items we typically need at home.
So in all of my nesting glory, I sat down and made a spreadsheet of everything we might possibly need and how much of it we’d use over the next several months. And then, I started comparing the prices of those items. I figured out what would be cheapest to buy in bulk and which stores had frequent sales on things we used.
That stockpile was such a lifesaver! We actually ended up using it before the girls were born because Dillon put me on house/chair arrest for most of the last couple of months of my pregnancy. Knowing that we already had our essentials and things we would need with all three girls was incredible!
What Are Everyday Essentials?
So now that you’re convinced that you need to stock up on essential items in your home let’s talk about what exactly you might need.
Think about the items you use on a regular or semi-regular basis. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- dishwashing detergent
- dish soap
- Ziploc bags
- aluminum foil
- paper plates
- plastic utensils
- paper towels
- laundry detergent
- stain remover
- dryer sheets
We don’t use dryer sheets in our house anymore. Instead, we use these. I love them, and they’ve saved us some money too!
- feminine hygiene products
- toilet paper
- shaving cream
- diaper rash cream
- diaper pail refill bags
- Clorox wipes
- cleaning supplies
- air filters
- pain reliever (adults)
- pain reliever (kids)
- allergy medicine
- cough drops
Where Should You Keep Your Stockpile?
Now that you have a good idea of what you want to stock up on, it’s time to figure out where to keep all of your everyday essentials. I have a few ideas for you.
Closets and Drawers Around the House
Do you have an empty shelf in a closet or drawer in the bathroom? Those are great places to keep items you’ve stocked up on!
In our home, we have a shelf in the bathroom closet set aside to hold our bathroom and health essentials. We keep things like toilet paper, Kleenex, and cleaning supplies in hallway closets (one on each floor of the house). You can also find kitchen staples on the top shelf of the pantry.
Tubs in the Garage or Attic
You may not have any extra space in closets or drawers in your house, so why not utilize an unused corner of the garage or attic? Do keep in mind that whatever you put in the garage or attic must be able to hold up to the changes in temperature and possibly humidity.
Large packages of toilet paper or paper towels that are wrapped in plastic will be just fine on a shelf. For smaller items, consider keeping them in a large, plastic tub. I’d recommend clear tubs so you can see what’s inside.
Under the Bed
If all else fails, store your smaller everyday essentials under your bed. These tubs have plenty of storage for small items, and they’re out of the way.
How Should You Build Your Stockpile?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Amazon Prime has been a lifesaver for us when it comes to shopping without having to leave the house! Plus, they have everything.
But one feature of Amazon that I didn’t think much of until we started stocking up on essentials was subscriptions, including Amazon Family. It’s sure nice to have a “set it and forget it” option when it comes to baby essentials and even household goods.
When I can get out of the house without a herd of children, I enjoy going to Target. One thing I really love about Target is finding deals on Target Circle!
Sometimes I check the deals before heading to the store, and other times I plan a Target run just because something I need has an offer.
And the great thing is that the offers tend to cycle through every month or two, so you can keep an eye out for the items you need to restock and save some money while you’re at it!
You can also check out the dollar store in your area for good deals on some of your everyday essentials. I like Dollar Tree.
Before you stock up on everything for a dollar, be sure to check prices and sizes at other stores to make sure you’re getting the best deal!
Check Local Ads
Grocery stores typically don’t have the best prices on household goods but be sure to check the local ads in the newspaper or mail to see what kinds of sales they are running.
Sometimes you can find your everyday essentials seriously on sale. You just have to keep an eye out for them.
Coupons are not my area of expertise, but I know many people save tons of money with them.
Use coupons found in your local newspaper, weekly ads in the mail, or even online (Crystal at Money Saving Mom always has info on great deals!).
The trick with coupons and your stockpile is making sure that you only buy things you actually need and will use. And only for the next 6-12 months.
You’re not simplifying anything if you buy 17 bars of soap, but you only use body wash in the shower. You’re just taking up space and spending money you didn’t need to. Take into account what you actually need and have room for.
My favorite way to use coupons is in conjunction with Target Circle. I can save the coupons that I know I will use on the app and grab those items on my next shopping trip.
Now It’s Your Turn
I’m not kidding when I tell you that having our everyday essentials stocked up has actually simplified our lives. I don’t have to worry that we’re going to run out of something important, and it’s saved us money since we’re making fewer “emergency” runs to the store.
Your stockpile can start small (only one of the above categories) or only contain three months’ worth of essentials. Maybe you want to jump in and create a stockpile for a whole year. Perhaps you’re getting ready to have a baby (or two), and you’d like to have as much on hand as possible before you’re in the newborn stage.
So tell me, what are your thoughts on all of this? Have you ever considered creating a simple stockpile? Does it seem overwhelming? Or crazy? Let me know in the comment section!