Donna Friedman is one of my favorite frugal writers. Her article on surveying your stockpile so you don't overbuy or hoard made me think about what I should stop buying.
My goals for stockpiling are to help stretch our food dollars during this economic downturn. Grocery prices don't seem to be on the decline so I buy a lot when the price is right. But, what kind of things can we make do without (and save space and money) if we do suffer from a job loss or other financial insecurities?
That pile of toothbrushes isn't going to keep our bellies full. That extra shampoo I bought won't make a decent breakfast for growing kids. Can we make do without those things? Yes, in a pinch we can always use baking soda for toothpaste or use bar soap to wash our hair and dishes with.
As far as cleaning supplies go then we can use vinegar, baking soda, or even just water and elbow grease.
We can't make our own light bulbs or batteries. And even though we could use cloth, leaves, or magazine pages for toilet paper, I'd rather stock pile now.
So, for me it makes sense to continue buying canned beans and other goods when the price is rock bottom. We never know what the future holds and those few extra cans might make the world of difference for your family or someone else.
On a related note:
Two things happened today to make me do this:
I noticed our ketchup bottle was almost empty at the same time condiment packets were falling on my feet from their overfilled containers. Now, replacing this Aldi brand would cost less than a dollar. But, I saved thirty cents and I bought another week or two before I need to buy more.
And my daughter got in on the action by sorting the condiment containers and even wiping out the shelf in the fridge. And that is worth every second of my foot in my mouth.