My husband and I are both recovering from a nasty cold, so I hope you bear with me while my thoughts run a bit incoherent today.
Following my stockpiling post, one reader commented that she would like to stockpile but doesn't have the space. Many people, including myself, have a problem with storage space. We live in a tiny two-bedroom house, and my kitchen is just a small area where we managed to squeeze a refrigerator, a portable gas stove and a toaster oven. I barely have room for the bare essentials in my kitchen, let alone keeping a stockpile. I don't have a pantry either.
Read here about creative solutions for stockpile storage. Personally, we keep our stockpile in a cabinet in Shira's bedroom. The cabinet is soon going to be removed, and we'll have a closet installed in its stead – much more effective, storage space-wise. Then, our stockpile will be moved to the closet. An unorthodox solution, but it will have to do until we have a nice big kitchen with lots of cabinets.
Our stockpile was not created deliberately, it just grew; most often, my husband would see something on sale, and buy several items instead of just one for immediate use. There's often something at a good price that can be stored for a long time – canned vegetables, pasta, rice, non-perishables such as shampoo and toilet paper. I must admit that back then, I felt a little pang in my heart whenever I saw the grocery bill, thinking to myself that here are things we could do without, taking up storage space. Time proved that I was wrong.
I was always of the philosophy that buying something you didn't plan to buy was still spending money, even if the price is very good. It is indeed a fine line between stockpiling wisely and becoming a pack rat. Unhealthy foods, snacks loaded with salt and sugar, are never a good deal even if they happen to be very cheap. And luxury items won't help you stretch your budget, no matter how you look at it.
Yes, it's true that we bought more than we needed at the moment, but back then, we could spare the extra cash. I was very glad we did when time came to cutting back costs as much as we could (even though we always did our best to live frugally).
All over the world, people are struggling with the results of a major recession. People who didn't imagine it would ever come to that, now have to think twice before buying a pack of beans or some canned tuna. I know it's unpleasant to think about such possibilities, but it may happen. Being well stocked up on the essentials makes the tough times pass more easily.