Stockpiling coupons for the long haul

Here's an e-mail from a reader that made me smile for several reasons:

"I am enjoying your columns so much. I must tell you about my experience with Yes detergent. I have been using it for years. I only buy on sale and I had a lot in the garage. Last month I saw that I was down to 5 packages of Yes. It hasn't been on sale in a long while, so I looked at the store to see the current price. I couldn't find any Yes on the shelf so I called the manufacturer and found out that it was discontinued - in November of 2007! That's how long it's been since I last bought detergent. I do dread looking for a new brand, but if I hadn't stockpiled, I would have been without my favorite brand long ago. Thanks for your great columns."

I can absolutely relate to having several years' worth of laundry detergent in the house! Two, while it's never fun to have a favorite product taken off the market, there certainly are times as shoppers when we're less aware of brands and product varieties coming and going, simply because we're "shopping at home" from what we've stocked up on.

When we stockpile, we typically buy what our household will use during the next 12 weeks - statistically speaking, the sale prices will cycle around again at that point and we can go buy more at a very inexpensive price. But what about those mega stock-ups, when you come across a wonderful sale where things are ridiculously cheap? Do the guidelines go out the window?

For me, any time something is at an extremely low price and is a truly nonperishable item (paper products and cleaners especially) I will stock up beyond the typical 12-weeks worth of that item. As long as I have the space in the house or garage, I'll buy just about as much as I can store and use.

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