Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Not-So-Extreme Couponing Personal Care Stockpile

For the past two weeks, I've shown you my not-so-extreme food stockpile and my not-so-extreme freezer. This week: my stockpile of personal care items (also known as HBA, health and beauty aids).

You've seen the rows upon rows of body wash, huge containers of deodorant, and so on. So my stockpile isn't quite so impressive, but it works for me.

Most of the items are on the bottom three shelves of a floor-to-ceiling cabinet in my bathroom. The top three shelves hold linens and towels, cleaning supplies, and some lesser-used items. Here's a look - this was taken before I unshopped to donate to a women's shelter:

A few other items are stored elsewhere:
  • Under the bathroom sink is toilet paper, tissues, and feminine care products.
  • Under my children's bathroom sink is their body wash, shampoo, and more toilet paper.
  • Laundry detergent and stain remover are kept on a laundry room shelf.
  • Under the kitchen sink is dish liquid, dishwashing powder, and garbage bags.
Here are some tips regarding stockpiling personal care items:
  • Watch expiration dates!  Yes, toothpaste and medicine can go bad.
  • Watch out for recalls!  The medicine that you stockpiled a while ago might have been recalled by the manufacturer.  Keep an eye out for all recalls and check your stockpiled medicine immediately.
  • Don't leave stockpiled medicine or other items that can be ingested where a small child could get into them.  
  • Another reason not to have too much stockpiled - the plastic containers can leak over time.  And you don't want a big puddle of body wash all over your cabinet shelves.
  • Like stockpiled food, figure out how much of each of your products you might use, and decide on an amount to stockpile and the space you want the stockpile to take up.  Don't go over that amount or space, even if you can get the items for free (and much of what's pictured I did get for free)
  • Keep in mind that in most areas, most personal care items (perhaps excluding medicine) are taxable - and in some cases the tax is based on the retail value of the item.  So you could be paying $1.00 or more in tax for a "free" item.  Only stockpile what you need!
  • Make sure you like the brand of a particular item before stockpiling.  When I cleaned out my cabinet, I found nine tubes of Colgate toothpaste - and I don't even like Colgate.
Got any more tips?  Please leave a comment below.

I hope you've enjoyed my little tour of my not-so-extreme stockpile!

For more frugal tips, please check out the bloggers listed on the left sidebar under Frugal Tips Linkups. There are lots of great ideas on each blog and I'm sure you'll find lots of wonderful tips!
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Anonymous,  April 26, 2011 at 9:56 PM  

These are good reminders. There is only one women in my house yet I have 20 deodorants. I'm starting to give them away. I also haven't been shopping in a couple of weeks because I just don't see the point in going to get more!

BethElderton April 27, 2011 at 12:44 AM  

I appreciate your "Not So Extreme" approach and am wanting to learn more about how to create a small stockpiles from scratch. When I had kids in the house, shopping was nearly a panic of coupons and manager's specials. Now that it is just Hubby and me, I am having to relearn how to shop! We don't need to be extreme, but we really do need to be frugal. Thanks for the tips!

'Becca April 27, 2011 at 1:07 PM  

Great tips! I want to add that if you buy toothbrushes in a multipack, once you've opened it put the rest of the pack inside a plastic bag in case of dust or spills. Although toothbrushes can be washed, it just seems so wrong to have to wash a NEW toothbrush before you can use it.

I don't stockpile feminine hygiene products because with this amazing invention, I never run out!

Sandra April 27, 2011 at 3:27 PM  

Your stockpile looks nice and realistic. Like you said, products do expire, so, there's no use in having 50 or even 15 deodorants if you can't use them before they expire.

Great post!

SavingsIsFree.com April 27, 2011 at 4:47 PM  

I love your post. After watching the extreme couponer show. My son came home from college and started going through all the cupboards. His comment was "where is everything?" I replied we used it. I think he was expecting something else. Just trying to save money, not take home the store.

Coupon Teacher April 28, 2011 at 3:37 PM  

I have been going through my stockpile for a move, and these tips are right on the money!

Christine May 3, 2011 at 9:03 AM  

Thanks so much for showing how stockpiling can be done on a "not so extreme" level. Saving and preparing for the future is great, until things expire or take up to much space.

Holly May 3, 2011 at 2:08 PM  

This is a more realistic approach that probably more of us could manage. And I think it's great that you donate surplus to a shelter!
Thanks for adding your link to my party!

FrouFrouBritches May 3, 2011 at 2:55 PM  

I love the idea of stockpiling a little. I have been watching Extreme Couponing where the have HUGE stockpiles and I don't have the time or the space needed to do that. However, when Hubby's deoderant was on sale last week for less than half price, I bought all 8 they had and I was soooo excited about it. Thanks for all your tips!

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