I got the idea from the folks over at Hot Coupon World; it was a reminder of something I had read in The Tightwad Gazette. (LOVE that book!) In The Tightwad Gazette, the author frequently shares that she & her husband wait for an item to hit the lowest possible price, and then they stock up on the item. She gives ideas for finding unused space to store bulk purchases of great deals. (She asks readers if they'd consider renting out the space under their bed for $75 a month, and then asserts that this is what she saves by storing peanut butter under her bed.) In my head, I had limited that strategy to food: we have a chest freezer where I store meat, bread, frozen veggies and cheese that I find on sale. I had also started bulk-buying canned goods when I found a good price. The folks at HCW expanded my thinking to health & beauty items. If a buyer is careful, she can find most health & beauty products for nearly free.
It's hard to see in my picture, but I have a little box of toothbrushes (about 6 months worth) and toothpaste, contact lens solution, mouthwash, about 4 spare deodorants, two free light bulbs, hair styling products, shampoo & conditioner, 4 jars of salsa, and some canned green beans from my mom's garden. Keep in mind that I had only started stockpiling about 3 weeks before Cory's job loss, and I haven't added to it for 2 weeks. In fact, I've used some things. I'm stockpiling on a couple of small shelves in our basement. I can't store dry goods down there (like cereal or flour), because I don't want to tempt any mice or bugs (ew ew ew) to move in. So this is what I have, so far.
When I practice stockpiling, I get to pick the price I'm willing to pay for an item. When it hits that price, I stock up. It puts me in control of my budget. I don't have to buy more than I know I'll use. An added bonus is that I can use my stockpile to help others - if I've got a lot of a certain product, and I know our parish food pantry is running low, I can help out. What a blessing that can be! (I haven't exactly gotten to that, yet. Job loss and all.)
Again, it's about thrift. It's about thinking ahead. And thankfully, it's about saving your resources for a rainy day!