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The Difference Between Stockpiling and Hoarding

This article, entitled The Difference Between Stockpiling and Hoarding comes from

Stockpiling is an essential part of successful couponing. It means buying extra items at rock bottom prices so you don’t have to worry about running out before the next great sale rolls around.

However, if you have watching any of the extreme couponing shows, you may think stockpiling has more in common with hoarding than smart shopping. And certainly, some shoppers do cross the line from stocking up to hoarding food. While that line is different for everyone, here are some good guidelines to follow.

You might be a hoarder if…

You have more food than you could possibly use before it expires.

Smart shopping is buying 3-4 bargain-priced jars of mayo to last you and your kids through the summer months and into the school year. Hoarding is clearing the shelves of 20-30 jars when there is no possible way your family can use it all – unless you are eating it by the spoonful – before it goes bad.

You don’t want to share your pantry surplus.

One of the beautiful things about couponing is that we are able to share our bounty with others. Some couponers specifically buy extras when they spot a deal and share those with a local food pantry. Others occasionally sweep through their pantry for items they may have over-purchased and donate those. If you stubbornly hold on to food, even if you can’t use it all yourself, it may be a sign of hoarding.

You find yourself buying for the sake of getting a deal.

If you are consistently shopping simply for the thrill of scoring a deal, you may be at risk for hoarding. Again, the purpose of a stockpile is to feed your family cheaply, not to see how much stuff you can pile up in your home. If you already have a six month supply of toilet paper stashed in the closet, think twice before buying more. While I know it is hard to pass up a deal, trust me: another great sale will be coming.

You are breaking your grocery budget by stocking up on deals.

Couponing is suppose to save you money but some people may go overboard and actually overspend their budget because they don’t want to miss a deal. Yes, they are getting amazing savings, but they are still spending more out-of-pocket then they should. If you fit this category, it may be time to step back and reevaluate your shopping strategy.

In the end, stockpiling saves you money while hoarding wastes it. Maybe that cereal only cost you $1.00, but if you don’t use it before it goes bad, then that’s $1.00 you have wasted. Multiply that by shelves full of unused items, and hoarding can mean you are throwing away all sorts of money.

To ensure you don’t end up hoarding, ask yourself the following before stocking up on a great deal:

  • How much will our family realistically use before the next deal (which will typically occur within 12 weeks)?

  • Can I afford the items?

  • Where will I store the items?

  • Do I have a plan (such as donating to a food pantry) in case I overestimate how much my family will like or use an item?

Finally, people tend to make jokes about hoarding, and we have even turned into entertainment ala A&E’s Hoarders television show. However, hoarding is no laughing matter for those who are affected by it. If you feel like you have a compulsion to shop and are worried your stockpile may be out of control, please talk to a trusted family member, friend or a professional counselor.

The best couponers save hundreds of dollars every month at the grocery store. However, extreme couponers can end up living very extreme lifestyles to get those savings. For over five years, has equalized the playing field – giving extreme savings to busy families who don’t have the time or ability to be an extreme couponer. Each week,’s over 70 angels combine over 2,000 products on sale at local grocery and drug stores with an enormous database of over 2000 different manufacturer coupons. These combinations result in our members getting access to over 300 products each week for 50% off or better. Simply log in, choose the deals you want, print or clip only the coupons you need, and save hundreds of dollars a month at regional and national stores. Our angels will personally work with you to craft a plan that will help you buy healthier food at lower prices – helping you keep $200 to $400 in savings each month.

Josh Elledge is the Chief Executive “Angel” of SavingsAngel, Inc. – launched from his home in January 2007. A husband and father of three, he now appears each week on television, in eight newspapers, and a number of radio stations across the country teaching families how to cut their grocery bill in half using the Internet. Elledge created the technology found on through the need to save his own family’s money. Successfully able to cut his own grocery bill from $600 a month to less than $300 a month, his message has reached hundreds of thousands of families. is now growing rapidly throughout the country. You can watch a short video at that will explain more information about how to cut your own grocery bill in half with the help of!

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