Reader Mail: Husband Questions Her Stockpiling

It's time again to answer some questions from readers like you who are learning to be Super-Couponers:

Q: "I have been following your method for about a month now and I'm having a lot of fun with this! But I am having trouble getting my husband to understand why I just bought 6 bottles of lotion at one time. I paid 49 cents each after coupons and I thought that was a good deal. But he thinks it's silly to buy more than we need. Help!"

A: It sounds like you're hitting a little stockpile resistance at home. Don't worry. It's temporary. Sometimes it's difficult to wrap our brains around buying more than we need for immediate use. As shoppers, we are conditioned to buy based on needs versus buying strictly based on price.

But to understand why stockpiling groceries works so well, it's important to note why prices fluctuate so widely. Grocery stores operate on a pricing cycle that typically lasts 12 weeks. During that time, the price of every item in the store will rise and fall according to various sale. But the price of any given item will only be at its absolute lowest price just once during the 12-week period. So, if you're not buying your items when their price is at that lowest point you're paying more, needlessly. If we can buy a sufficient amount of a nonperishable item to last 12 weeks, we don't have to go to the store and get stuck paying full price for something when we "need" it. And that's the difference between needs-based shopping and price-based shopping. If we purchase our items when the price hits that low and store them at home, we can "shop at home" for that item when we actually do need it.

Your lotion is a great example of a good item to stockpile. It's easy to store and doesn't hit an expiration date for a very long time. You paid less than 50 cents a bottle and you've got enough lotion on hand to last your household the better part of a year. Had you purchased only one, when that bottle ran out you'd have to go to the store and pay close to $4 to replace it. With your stockpile, you'll simply reach for the next bottle when you need it and you'll feel great knowing it cost you one-eighth the price of a regular-priced bottle. That makes terrific financial sense! Would your husband rather you spend eight times as much as you did? I bet not!

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