Showing posts with label stockpile. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stockpile. Show all posts

Magic of Decluttering - The KonMari method

I've taken to listening to audiobooks lately, and found a gem on Hoopla. Have you heard of the KonMari method of tidying? This book by Marie Kondo The Magic of Tidying is about decluttering and keeping only items that inspire and spark joy in you. Its a quick read or a quick listen, about four hours and you too will be motivated to declutter. The most important thing to figure out before you declutter is to determine your "Why?" by stating your reason you want to declutter and then asking Why. Do this three times to find the root cause of why you want to declutter. You will find it has nothing to do with getting rid of junk, but is probably a reason related to relationships or people or freedom or something.

For me, I stated to my DH that I wanted to declutter the pool table rec room so we could play billiards again. It is currently surrounded by excess stockpile bottles of shampoo and bounce and boxes of napkins and toilet paper. On top are piles of items we dug through boxes to find but then did nothing with. The room is a mess. Anyway, my second level Why question is Why do I want to play pool? Well, its a hobby both my DH and I enjoy and we never do it anymore. Why? Well we used to play pool with friends on Friday nights and party, but now we hang around the backyard by the firepit and listen to music or watch some sporting event on TV.  We have replaced billiards with hanging outside. Which is fine, but there are lots of times during the year when it is not very fun to hang around outside - like in July in Florida where we have gotten twenty inches of rain! Or in January when its near forty degrees which is cold even with the nice warm fire blazing.

Anyway, I've announced I'm going to declutter and follow the method in the book which states to start with the most non personal items which are clothes. Several years ago when we remodeled our bedrooms. living room, and family rooms we purged bags and bags of clothes, books, mimentos and papers. However, a good majority of them just ended up in boxes in the rec room and our spare guest room. Our guest room has become our stockpile room and it is too a mess. We probably have over a thousand rolls of TP and a 50 rolls of paper towels, over 100 toothbrushes, 100 shampoos, dozens of bottles of cleaning products and every other personal care item you could need or want. We undoubtedly will have to have a garage sale coming up in the fall to get rid of all the excess I plan to discard. And it will be a good one. Once its outside the house for a yard sale, it will not be coming back in - to the curb it will go.

my sock drawer before decluttering

So, the process of tidying will begin with my clothes, since DH has declined to participate even though he has dresser drawers of clothing which he has not touched since we moved to Florida over twenty four years ago! Literally, he has not opened the drawers on these dressers for many years. I have graciously agreed to leave his stuff alone, but I secretly hope that he will be motivated by seeing all the stuff I will discard. I personally have over two hundred tshirts alone. My drawers are overflowing with brand new pairs of socks, and underwear still in the cute little Victoria Secret package. That's another rule of the book, when you purchase something be sure to remove tags and packaging and properly fold it into the KonMari rectangle and find a place to vertically store it in a drawer or closet.

6 months later...
Wow, I need to get remotivated. I wrote this post 6 months ago and actually did a purge of clothing, we got rid of a dozen garbage bags of clothes. But I felt very little joy from my clothing. I actually threw out too much and didn't have any of those old grungy tshirts to do lawnwork, or painting in. So, I dug out some of my favorites that I had tossed and put some shirts on my shelf. I also didn't continue to other items beyond clothing. I'll have to start over and read the book again because I do have too much clutter.

If you're feeling to love and want to declutter, another blogger is having a challenge in January to declutter with a nifty calendar plan, check it out at Simply Stacie. The calendar is a printable pdf so you can print it out and hang it up to follow all month.

The Incomplete Stockpile

I'm loving the $2 off $2 Publix Seafood coupon this week. I even went recycling on Monday night to get a few extra coupons. We've been getting 1/4 lb of the $7.99 scallops or shrimp each per trip and last night decided to have a seafood dinner. Remember when our freezer quit a couple weeks ago? That was where all the Buitoni noodles were frozen and apparently we threw ALL of them away. I thought for sure we stashed a few in our other freezers or the fridge but last night I could not find a single package of those darn noodles. But the great thing is they're on BOGO sale this week and I actually have the accompanying coupons so for $0.15 a package I could get some more. Except they're such a good deal the shelves are empty. I did get a rain check but, back to the dinner dilemma - no noodles.
But I do have some Knorr noodles in my stockpile, but not two packages of the same flavor. And silly me I didn't get a single one last week when they were BOGO with the PQ to make it a good deal. And the Uncle Bens rice we have is a year expired so we tossed that. So we had no rice. I didn't want to use Muellers pasta with the fresh pasta cause I didn't want to make a cream sauce and I wasn't in the mood for Red Sauce. We finally made some Green Giant seasoned broccoli, Buitoni mushroom ravioli with mustard sauce, and sauteed the shrimp and scallops with garlic, butter and bay seasoning.
It was a great meal, but it made me aware of the holes in my stockpile. It really sucks to have tons of food but not what you need. How does that happen to a stockpiler? It usually doesn't, but when it does - it needs to be a wake up call. It seems like the $2 coupons are starting up again at Publix so I'll have to round out my stockpile with some products like rice, noodles, sauce mixes and frozen vegetables.
How is your stockpile? If you're not sure exactly what you have it may be time to do an inventory and toss expired stuff and make a list of items to put on future shopping trips.

5 Money Saving Ideas for Long-Term Food Storage Shopping

While many of us are thinking about saving money by buying in bulk and storing the goods for a few weeks or months, there is another type of food storage we should also consider. Storing the right foods in case of an emergency can ensure the survival of your family. Many pre-packed kits can feed a family for 1, 3 or even 12 months, but they are outside the price range of many families. You can shop for food long term, however, without it costing a fortune.
1. Pay attention to calorie counts, servings and nutrition on prepackaged meals.
It may seem that the meal plan which offers the most calories per dollar is the best money-saving choice, but this isn't always the case. Nutritious calories are much more satisfying, in addition to supplying you and your family with much-needed vitamins and nutrients. For example, 100 calories of butter is much less filling than a large apple, which is also around 100 calories. The apple is also much healthier.
2. Packaging matters in prepackaged meals.
Where you store the meals where they are not exposed to excess heat, but it is up to the packaging to protect the food from spoiling due to exposure to moisture or air. The common ways that long-term emergency meals are packaged include Mylar bags, pails and tin cans. In each of these packaging techniques, the air is removed through the process of nitrogen flushing, or an oxygen absorbing pellet is inserted in the package. Pails are not airtight, so are usually used in combination with Mylar bag and cans. Mylar packaging lasts 7 to 10 years. If you plan to keep your emergency rations longer than this time, it may be necessary to replace the meals. Some meals packed in oxygen-free tin cans can last up to 25 years.
3. Find a balance between dehydrated and freeze-dried foods.
Some foods are best preserved through dehydrating, while others can only remain nutritious long term when freeze-dried. Freeze-dried foods may store a few years longer, but dehydrated foods are much less expensive. In order to freeze-dry foods, the food must be flash frozen. The frozen food is then put into a vacuum chamber where the ice is removed by turning it into a gas. This is a complicated process requiring very specific technology and tools. Dehydrated foods simply have had the water removed through heating.
Dehydrated food also shrinks significantly from its original size while freeze-drying does not. This means dehydrated food requires less storage space than an equal amount of freeze-dried food.
Some companies that sell prepackaged meals already offer a combination of the two, but if not do not be afraid to purchase your meals from more than one source. Buying items such as fruits and vegetables that have been dehydrated in addition to freeze-dried meals can help to bring down the total cost of emergency food storage. 
4. Know what kitchen basics have a long shelf life, and buy them in bulk.
When considering emergency food options, it is easy to get sidetracked by all of the companies who sell ready-to-eat Mylar packed meals, tins of freeze-dried foods and other prepackaged supplies. There are some items in your kitchen right now, however, that have a shelf-life longer than many of these purpose-designed meals. These products include wheat, rice, corn, sugar, beans, oats, pasta, potato flakes and non-fat powdered milk. While they will not sustain your family on their own, ensuring you have enough of these basics for several months of regular use can help save money when you are stockpiling your rations. Purchase these items in bulk from a local restaurant supply, warehouse store or even your local supermarket. They can be stored in food grade 5-gallon buckets with rubber seals, which are available at most hardware stores.
5. Shop around, just like you would for your weekly groceries.
The most simplistic way to create an emergency food supply is to in pre-packed, storage ready containers. There are many companies who offer these foods, as well as associated items such as first aid kits. Not all of these deals are created equal, however. Many online stores offer coupon codes for free shipping or special gifts with purchase as well. Look for these specials to get more for your money. 
Ensuring there is nutritious food during an emergency is an important consideration for any family today. While stockpiling and storing several months' worth of food can be expensive, you can reduce the costs by following these tips.
This guest post provided by Agnes E Jimenez, a professional blogger and writer.

Is This Being Cheap?

Please give me some feedback on this, I don't want to be cheap and I will do whatever is the right thing to do. Here's the situation:
Our team at work is planning on giving our boss a gift for Boss's Day on Monday. The person who usually gathers all the donations and gets the card is on vacation so I got together with with another gal and we decided that we would do something similar to what we've done in the past for the boss - give her a gift card and I put together a goodie bag of stuff from my stockpile. The boss loves these gifts as she's a more practical person like me, not into flowers and fashion. Anyway, this other person and I decided on a $25 gift card from the team, and I would put together a nice pink Publix bag of Olay, candles, cat food and treats, chocolate snacks and nuts, Gain detergent, pens, scissors, tape and hand soap. I have a free blank greeting card from Shutterfly with a nice flower picture on front that we can write whatever we want in it. We're asking each of the 8 people on the team for a $3 donation toward the gift card. I figured I would just pull a $25 Publix gift card from my stash and put it in the card. I also got one of those "Take Your Budget By the Horns" coupon booklets yesterday from the USF Store (you can still get them folks!) that have a $5 off $30 coupon each month through May 2012.
So, I called people on the team since we're located in three different facilities and I explained what we're doing and said I could get the $3 from each person at the remote sites at later times this month. So I have to front the money for the gift card, that's why I was just going to pull one from my stash and keep the cash as it came in.
Anyway, I was talking to another coworker on another team about what they're doing for their boss and I mentioned what we're doing. They all know I'm into couponing and have lots of stockpile stuff, but they still laugh about it. So, I said I was donating the product and putting together a bag of stuff and getting the $25 GC from my stash of them. Well, you would think I had said I was stealing it! This person I was talking to was appalled that I would take cash from coworkers and keep it. I asked what the difference was, either I take the cash to Publix and buy a gift card today, or just pay myself for the gift card. She doesn't really know that the gift card was a gift from doing a giveaway or from overage on previous shops, but it is.
As it is, all the people at my facility have paid up and I have only $12. I'll get $3 on Monday, and $6 more on Wednesday, and the final $3 on Halloween. So, if it is cheap to just use one of my own gift cards, I'll have to buy a gift card when I only have 1/2 the money - so I'll have to use one of my personal Publix gift cards plus the $12 to buy a $25 gift card. That just seems stupid to me. So there you have it, my dilemma of the day.
What would you do? 

Getting Rid of My Stockpile

Over the past year I've accumulated quite a bit of product (food and household supplies) that was either free or a moneymaker. I actually still have stuff I bought last year not realizing how long it would last. So I was at happy hour with a friend who was telling me how she goes to Target and spends $300 every month buying stuff for her house like paper towels, laundry detergent, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, cleaning products, and food. I told her I had most of that stuff in my stockpile and was planning on having a garage sale to sell most of it. She said she wants the whole bunch of it.
So I made a list of over 100 items valued at over $350, priced an average of $1 each and I'm going to sell her 6 boxes of product for $100. Its totally a win-win deal because she needs the stuff, and I don't. I'm going to take the cash and get Publix gift cards for my shopping in July.
This month I spent about $70 in cash, and used $95 in gift cards for about $165 in spending. To me that seems a little high, since there are only two of us. We did stock up on chicken and Mt Dew, but I would like to be at about $100 for the month. I think having gift cards is like having free money so I spend it more freely, but really I should change my mindset here.
Anyway, I'm super excited to sell my stockpile. Even though I've moved out 6 boxes of stuff, it hardly made a dent in the spare room. Still lots of gatorade, powerade and SOBE to move through. 
I am wondering if I sold the stuff too cheap. Like the Olay Regenerist pump facial cleanser for a $2? All detergent 50 oz for $1.50? 
What do you think are fair prices to sell your stockpile items?  
Don't forget to enter the Wanchai Dinner and Tea set Giveaway which closes tomorrow. Your chances are REALLY good to win!

Use Your Stockpile to Help Seacoast Oil Crisis

One way you can help with cleanup of the Gulf oil spill is to donate some of your stockpile items to help volunteers clean oil off birds and turtles coated with oil.
The SANCTUARY NEEDS DONATIONS for a possible impact on Florida's beaches from the Gulf Oil Spill:  The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary and Avian Hospital's trained staff is on stand-by to assist with the Gulf Oil Spill Crisis, with over 300 volunteers on call if needed.  It is asking for more volunteers to be on emergency call and donations to the avian hospital at 18328 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, Florida. Volunteers would need to receive hazardous materials training. 
The sanctuary is the largest wild bird hospital in the U.S. based on the admission of over 8,000 injured birds each year. It is set up to immediately triage and stabilize fluids to oiled, malnourished, or injuried birds. The birds would then need to be  transported to a hazardous materials cleaning site.  The Sanctuary has received thousand's of emails and calls from around the world from concerned groups and individuals. 
The Sanctuary staff and volunteers were a significant workforce in the disastrous Tampa Bay 1993 oil spill and has experienced avian care staff on standby to assist Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research.  To report oiled wildlife affected by the Gulf oil spill please call the Wildlife reporting hotline at 1-866-557-1401.
Needed donations of linens, kennels, towels, sheets, Dawn detergent, toothbrushes (new), paper towels, bottled water and gatoraid.  Please bring the items to the sanctuary at 18328 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores.  For a complete list and more information, please see or call 727-391-6211 for more information.
Seabird Sancutary Oil Crisis Needs Flyer
Here are some coupon sales going on now to purchase some of these items:
- Family Dollar has Reach Cystal Clean toothbrushes for $1 and there was a $1 coupon in the 3/7 RP, so they are free
- Walgreens also has Reach Toothbrushes on sale for $0.99 and the same coupon can be adjusted down to use to get for free
- Publix has Dawn Plus Dishwashing Liquid, or Ultra Dawn, 19 or 24 oz bottle, 2/$5 thru Wednesday 5/5/10.
     -$.25/1 Dawn Ultra, Any – P&G's Home Made Simple
     -$.20/2, $.25/1 Dawn, Any Size – 03-07-10 PG
- Publix has Kleenex Cottonelle Toilet Paper Double Roll, Ultra or with Ripples, or Aloe & E Giant Roll, 12 roll pkg, $6.49 thru Wed 5/5/10.
  -$.50/1 Cottonelle Toilet Paper (2) 4 packs or (1) 12 pack or larger – 04-18-10 SS
     -$1/1 Cottonelle toilet paper 12 pack double roll – All You, April 2010
- Publix has Brawny Paper Towels, Pick-a-size 2 ply sheets or Big Rolls, 6 or 8 ct pkg, or Pure White, 8 roll pkg, $6.49
  -$1/1, $.50/1 Brawny Paper Towels, Any 2-Roll Or Larger Package – 03-14-10 RP

My Eat From The Pantry Challenge

Well if you remember at the beginning of the month, I joined a bunch of other bloggers in the Eat From the Pantry Challenge in an effort to eat some of the stockpile. Well if you read recently about my latest Publix shop where I got $276 worth of product, you probably can guess that this has been a challenge. The biggest factor in not eating a lot of stockpile items is that our entire kitchen cabinet inventory is in boxes. We don't have any cabinets while we remodel. I did manage to use of 26 of the 58 items in the freezer, but added 16 more frozen meals and snacks so the net is 48 freezer items (-10 for the challenge).

Things I learned:

1. I get nervous when I get below a par level of certain products - I like to have my regular items and it kills me to pay "buy it now" prices when I could have stockpiled it. I am still learning the appropriate stockpile of some things, but I am realizing that most things I have too many of.

2. I like the feeling of getting a great deal on stuff - I am emotionally addicted to being frugal. It is my nature down to the bone and I like to get a super deal. Couponing is a much better hobby than playing games on the internet, wasting time on social media sites and chatting online.

3. I need to plan meals more - We have food for lots of different meals, but it takes good recipes. I'm starting to notice more on the blogs I read when there is a good recipe for the foods that I've bought on sale.

4. Its hard to eat convenient foods when you're on a diet. I've lost 7 lbs so far in two weeks, but that can't happen eating ice cream, frozen snacks and candy.

So, thats my challenge.

Stockpile Overstock

Last night we made our weekly grocery trip to Publix and did pretty good on savings (78%) considering we didn't need much except produce and milk. It was our last shopping of the month and we came in a little over budget. We spent $219, but saved $766 so our overall savings was 78% for the month. But you know if you're a couponer that to get these type of savings you need to buy lots of stuff that is free or a moneymaker, and this stuff may or may not be something you want or need.

We have come to the point where we have enough. We got a shelf to finally store our stockpile off the floor, and it is already full. The secondary freezer we got on craigslist at the beginning of the month is also full. So for the next month or so we're going to live off our stockpile. We've been giving away cereal, Shout, Pop tarts, toilet bowl cleaner, Ajax and A1 sauce to friends and neighbors but we still have a bunch. The box of stuff to go to the food shelf is full, and we gave away a backpack full of school supplies to a local elementary.

This couponing stuff is addicting and I'm struggling to control my urges to get the best deal. I read on blogs about super shops where others spend pennies to get over $100 worth of stuff. But who really needs 20 bottles of steak sauce? Not me. I try to be considerate of others who may want to buy that product, and not clear out the inventory just because I have coupons. What about the hard to find, or seldom restocked stuff that someone may really need? In my opinion, some of the couponers out there need therapy - they go way overboard. I admit I get more stuff than I need or have room for, but I like to think its giveaway stuff that makes others happy. But what about the stuff that I still have after I've given it away to everyone we know?

So here are my new rules to buy something with a coupon:
1. Its something we use regularly and we're out of supply, or less than one months usage.
2. Its a moneymaker with coupons, at least $0.50.
3. If its free w coupon, we will use the product and our current supply is not excessive.
4. Only one shop per week for groceries, no repeat trips.
5. Avoid walgreens, CVS purchases w/RR or ECB's rebates, these really aren't free. Also stick to maximum one trip per week.

My goal is to spend less than $200 next month, but I expect we could spend less than $100. We'll see, check back then.