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Old 04-21-2011, 11:10 AM
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Food Stockpiling Living - Stockpiling v. Hoarding One User's Opinion


Stockpiling v. Hoarding - One User's Opinion

This article was written by doulas3babes a user here on WeUseCoupons. This was originally published on her blog Saving Cents Makes $ense!

Ok, so I've been reading all over the net about how us 'extreme couponers' are being called hoarders. And I've been debating with myself for some time now over stepping out of my comfort zone and speaking up about this topic. I guess I just can't hold back my thoughts about it and felt the need to try to "set it straight for the record".

There is a HUGE difference between a 'hoarder' and a 'stockpiler'.

  • Hoarding is the excessive acquisition of possessions (and failure to use or discard them), even if the items are worthless, hazardous, or unsanitary.
  • A Stockpile is a supply stored for future use, usually carefully accrued and maintained.

I personally have taken such an offense to being called a hoarder. I've had people here locally call me that, and well, I'm anything but. As you can see from my pictures of my stockpile (below), my house is not in disarray or unsanitary. My stockpiled items are not 'worthless' or hazardous and I obviously DON'T fail to use or discard anything. Each and every single item that I buy, or rather, purchase with coupons, and stock in my house has a purpose and/or use.

I find comfort and security in my stockpile because I know that if something were to happen to husband's job or I would fall ill (since couponing, budgeting, etc. is my 'job' in our family), I know that my family and I would have our basic needs of food, clothing (yes, I buy our clothes ahead of time), OTC medications, laundry soaps to wash clothes, hba products to keep us clean, food for our pets, and cleaners to clean our home for at least a year.

For me personally, I take GREAT pride in my stockpile!! I'm always very careful to manage it by using coupons properly and the right way according to each individual store's policies, and I buy things that my family and I use/need. If it's something that we don't need/use I give it to family/friends, donate it to my church, local woman's shelter, and our school's food drives (here's a picture just below of a small fraction of what I donated in Dec. 2010 to our school's Christmas basket drive - I donated over 3,400 items).

I know that I've been blessed with the ability to extreme coupon, and that extreme couponing has enabled me to bless others that were in a time of despair and need of things that honestly, NO ONE should have to go without or wonder how they're going to provide it for their families. It tears me up and breaks my heart to see someone have a need and they can't fulfill it.

(A little background about us..... )

My husband and I hunt (mainly deer) in the fall/winter and we only kill what we can freeze and eat throughout the year. We also garden. As you can see from the pictures below, we have a pretty good size garden each year. These are pictures from our garden from last year and we planted green beans, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, 5 variety lettuce, peppers, baby carrots, broccoli, snow peas, spinach, and a few other things. We plant in late April/May and have fresh produce clear till the end of August and early Sept. Last year, I started freezing some of our produce that was left over so that we could enjoy it throughout the fall/winter months till it was time to plant again. This year I plan to can some of our produce that's left over.

I also wanted to address a lot of comments that I've seen regarding the question, "Why would anyone need 100 rolls of TP or 75 lysol wipes, 100 boxes of cereal?" To answer that simply.... because you never know what may happen. Our society and economic status right now is in shambles. When you strip everything down and take a good long look at our world, it's a scary, scary place. Prices of everything across the board are skyrocketing to epic prices with no end in sight to the rise!! So with that said, at least for me personally, it is why I carefully manage my stockpile of items, rotating them and such and constantly keep it full because life has a funny way of throwing us curveballs when we least expect it and I always want to be prepared. That TP and paper towel stack you see in my closet isn't going to rot or go bad. It's a possibility that there might not be another great sale on those items for 6 months or more. But because of my stockpile, I don't need to worry about that. I'll just wait it out until there is a great deal and cash in on the savings and continue maintaining what I have.

I've also seen some pretty nasty and rude comments about processed foods and such. Let's be real here people, no one lives in a perfect world and has all the money they need at their disposal to buy fresh, organic foods each and every day. And if you do, then that is WONDERFUL and by NO means am I bashing you or putting you down. It's just that it's not the norm, at least not for anyone that I personally know. I do however, purchase fresh fruits and veggies each week, give my kids skim milk and soymilk (dietary needs for 2 of my kids), 100% juice products, whole wheat breads/buns, etc.

BUT, they also eat pizza (mostly homemade with turkey pepperoni & 2% cheese with homemade pizza sauce), and they eat fish sticks and even *gasp* a chef boyardee tub of beef-a-roni. Do I feel that this makes me a bad parent??? Um, no! I think it makes me human. EVERYTHING should be took in moderation, everything. And the 'bad, processed stuff' isn't consumed each and every single day. That beef-a-roni I fed my kids is being served with 100% juice and a salad because we ran late from ball practice and there wasn't much time for anything else after homework, baths, etc. And yeah, sometimes, it's consumed with a capri sun juice box that's got a little too much sugar in it. Again, I'm human.

Speaking of those "horrible, processed foods", I noticed last night as I'm picking up my pizza banquet meals at Kroger's that on those boxes there is the "Child Hunger Ends Here" campaign. Where each box purchased helps provide a meal to 'feeding america' Hmm, imagine that, buying that processed food and actually helping someone.

Honestly here folks, life, and I mean every aspect of it, needs balance. Yes, in my stockpile you'll see some sugary cereals stacked high to the ceiling and 80 cans of chef boyardee, BUT I think what a lot of people fail to acknowledge is the fact that that 1 box of that sugary cereal will be 1 serving of breakfast in this house for the 5 of us and houseguests. And most often, that cereal is served with fresh fruit. Those pizza rolls you see in my deep freezer are typically bought and served as a snack when we have house guests or a houseparty. These are NOT foods that we personally consumed on a daily basis. Our meals are typically a whole grain cinnamon raisin bagel, a piece of fresh fruit and milk for breakfast. Then a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread w/lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumbers and fresh strawberries with a bottle of water for lunch. And then for dinner it might be baked chicken, a veggie and baked potatoes, or turkey burgers on the grill w/all the fixins served on whole wheat buns and served with raw carrots and broccoli.

I know that what I've said above will undoubtedly offend someone out there. And by no means, was this written to do that. It's simply my opinion and take on the whole situation. If you've got a comment about this post, PLEASE do share, but PLEASE keep it civil and no offensive language, bashing or name-calling!!

Thanks to all who read this, be safe and God bless!

About the Author: Linda is a super busy momma of 3! She loves to save money, find deals and share them! Check out her blog called Saving Cents Makes $ense!!

Disclaimer: I (MrCoupon) did not write this article, but agreed with many of it's points! I thought it was great perspective so we are sharing!!


Current Stockpile Pictures












Our Donation Mentioned Above




Garden Pictures!!






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Old 04-21-2011, 11:23 AM
spuc376796 spuc376796 is offline
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I am just so sorry you had to write this at all. We should all be loving and decent enough that you had no NEED to write this. I am happy you did. I have to admit before the show before reading the blogs, I would have been one of those shaking my head, not getting it. A big THANK YOU to all of those who were on the show and all of those who have taken the time to write here. I get it now. I am not there yet, but I am so excited to be able to save my family money and learn it. I am so excited that soon I will be able to turn around and teach it. I wish I had this knowledge when my children were younger! Its ok though, I can teach my adult daughters soon.

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Old 04-21-2011, 11:23 AM
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Arwen Evenstar Arwen Evenstar is offline
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great article
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:26 AM
mommysavesalot mommysavesalot is offline
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Your stockpile is actually nice; its a variety of things; however, i do have a limit of putting items in other rooms in my house beside a storage room, laundry room, or garage. I don't want to make my children or Hubby's spaces full of stuff.......
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:28 AM
2BCheep 2BCheep is offline
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Amen! Thanks for this post. I think there is a difference between hoarding and being smart with your money and buying items you need for cheap (or even free!). I continue to be amazed at how much money you can save couponing! And I don't consider myself an extreme couponer. (but I am getting pretty good at it by reading all the great posts on this site). Thank you!
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:35 AM
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Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I think it is unfair that we are forced to justify ourselves and our actions in a world where so many others are never held accountable for so much. Personally, I feel that judging others is impossible - how do you judge unless you have lived that person's life? You cannot, and attempting to do so is wrong. Each person does what they need to in order to survive in this world, including making decisions and choices for their family. Being new to extreme couponing, I am just starting my stockpile. It might never reach the heights of those I have seen, but it will be enough for my family, enough to give me personal peace of mind. That is all I can ask. Again, I thank you for sharing.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:46 AM
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As someone new trying to figure out what kinds of items to stock up, I find the insight helpful!
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:58 AM
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Thank you for the post. I have been accused of being a hoarder, and to think I do not even have half of what most people on this website have. We also garden and I have fruit trees surrounding the perimeter of my house.

I grew up with the knowledge that money is hard and when its gone you have no idea when it will come back. As a small child my father experienced an 18 month illness that ruined his career for nearly 4 years. Even with foodstamps and my mother working as a fulltime RN, we would have to eat many dinners at relatives houses. So if anyone is aware of hard times and doing with out it is me .

Because I have children who have to live a gluten free life building a stock pile has been a little bit harder, that and having 3 of them HUNGRY GIGANTIC TEENAGE BOYS.

I wish I could personally connect with someone in my area so that I have an outlet. My coworkers and brothers all think I am crazy and need psychiatric help.

blessings and love

ro
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:00 PM
rhodiangirl rhodiangirl is offline
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Thanks for writing. Last time I checked, it was none of anybody's business what you do in your own house. They can say all they want, but they'd be the first person in line to take a freebie if you offered it.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:06 PM
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Thanks for sharing, I just wanted to say its admirable that you are making sure no matter what you and your family's needs will be met. As my own stockpile grows I truly get what a "peace of mind" it brings. Then factor in the savings- here's where I'm grinning- and I'm one happy woman!!
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