This week, I'll answer two e-mails from readers with stockpiling issues!
Q: "I enjoy your weekly column and am fascinated by all the deals you manage to put together. Do you have any advice for the single people who don't cook for large families or who don't have the capacity to store multiples of products as the current coupons require? Any thoughts on couponing and the single lifestyle?"
Q: "I live in Southern California and the summers are very hot. I can't store canned goods in the garage because the heat causes the cans to bulge. A basement would be nice, but out here we just don't have them. Do you have any ideas for us out here in hot country?"
Sure! Stockpiling groceries at home is a fantastic way to "beat" the price cycles at the grocery store, which typically run on 12-week cycles. When you know that an item you would like to buy will not be at its lowest price again for almost three months, buying enough to last your household three months ensures that you won't have to run to the store and pay a higher price. You'll "shop from home" by using items from your stockpile, and the next time a sale comes around again, you can stock up once more.
But what do you do if you're space-challenged? Believe it or not, stockpiling can be easier if you're a single person. While living in a smaller residence may limit your storage space, the upside is that storing three months' worth of cereal for one person is going to take up a lot less room than three months' worth of cereal for an entire family would. And, when household cleaners go on sale, you could easily get buy with buying one or two instead of four or five - again, you're going to base your stockpile on your usage needs.