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Stockpiling Groceries: How to Find Storage Space

Updated on August 29, 2011

Stockpiling Saves Big

One tried and true method of saving money on groceries is to stockpile. Many of us were introduced to this concept during the Y2K craze when everyone thought that a little ol' computer code was going to cause the end of the world as we know it. But where to put all that food? I'll answer that in a moment, but first...

What is Stockpiling?

Stockpiling simply refers to stocking up on sale items that your family often eats. For example, if your family eats Ragu spaghetti sauce once a week in your (almost) homemade spaghetti, then when you found the spaghetti sauce on sale at .86 cents a can, you would buy 1 or 2 cases (12-24 bottles) instead of the 4 cans you need to get to the next payday.

Stockpiling increases your savings on groceries by "extending the sale." Stockpiling, within reason, of course, can also help you to be more prepared for natural disasters (think snowstorms and hurricanes), and unnatural disasters, like a job loss.

Most of us don't have the luxury of a country kitchen with extra cabinets or a cool basement storage area. Here are some of my suggestions on making room for your extra food.

Where to Put It

If bending is not an issue for you, you could store your extra food under a bed. Bed risers placed under the foot of a bed frame can raise the bed by 6 inches, allowing for ample storage space. Consider placing canned goods stored in this manner in a drawer on caster wheels. Those canned items get heavy, and you want them easily accessible.

Does your place include a coat closet? Coats could be moved to a space in the garage (either in boxes or a hanging wardrobe). Or you could move out your coats and possibly redistribute them to bedrooms, keeping canned goods in the closet instead.

Do you have a tall dresser you could squeeze in somewhere? I had a friend who had six kids. She doubled her storage by using old fancy dressers in unusual ways to decorate her home. She stored all kinds of stuff in them. If the canned goods were too heavy for you in a dresser, you could move the cans into your pantry and use the dresser for lighter stuff.

Have you taken things out of their packaging? It is shocking how much food you can compress into your actual pantry space by taking mixes out of their boxes and storing in plastic shoe-size containers, etc. I keep my most frequently used spices, cooking sprays, and a bottle of olive oil on a Lazy Susan on my counter-top next to my stove. I like spices, so I have more to store, but this frees up some space, too.

Another idea is to take some bi-fold doors and turn them into a corner-closet hideaway for some of your food. You can get bi-fold doors at Habitat for Humanity resale shops for well below the usual cost. You could put this in a bedroom if an area is not available in the kitchen or nearby.

Do you have a laundry area? Could you squeeze an extra wire shelf in there? I would use a space like that to store any pots and pans that I used only occasionally and to store anything that wouldn't be bothered by the humidity caused by the washer and dryer. This might enable you to re-purpose some of the other cabinets in your kitchen for food storage.

If storing food is an important priority, is there something taking up space elsewhere that you no longer need? Maybe you could find ways to re-purpose other areas of closets or former video or craft storage?

To many of us, stockpiling food seems like a quaint and outrageous method of cost savings. But as the cost of food skyrockets, more and more people will be considering this method of grocery shopping. Good luck, and don't forget where you put it!


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