Home Forums Time Management and Productivity Household Chores non-food stocks/ inventory?

This topic contains 26 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  lucy1965 6 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #159934

    Mimi
    Member

    hi there,
    sorry, i don´t know the correct expression for these things. what i would like to talk about is toothpaste, toiletpaper, washing gel, detergents etc. and the amount that you keep in your home.
    during the process of uncluttering i managemed to have very little of everything. i mean, that´s nice. my shelves are pretty organized and uncluttered and the supermarket stores the stuff for me.
    yesterday, dh told me that he talked to a co-worker who is single. he hates buying “embarassing things” as he called them. toiletpaper etc 🙂 so he shops in a drugstore and stocks up for a year. FOR ONE YEAR! wow.
    i am wondering whether this strategy is even more uncluttered than an empty shelf. i mean, he knows what he needs and only walks into the shop once a year. i wonder if i´d give it a try. i don´t plan to move house 😉

    what is your opinion?

  • #214451

    liag
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    I usually have two of things–two jars of peanut butter, two bottles of detergent–and as one empties, replace it. That way we don’t run out and have to “run” out to get something mid-recipe or mid-cleanup or whatever. For items we use sparingly and which will easily spoil, such as mayo, I keep only one and try to replace just before it is gone. We are now only two people and have a medium-size apartment, and this works for us, whereas the Costco or Sam’s Club bulk purchases would not.

  • #214457

    ninakk
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    Once yearly. I think that’s a bit too extreme for me since I wouldn’t want to keep such huge inventories (neither money nor stuff itself), but once I’ve cleaned out my basement of all the flea market crap that’s down there right now and finances are a bit better, I’ll buy one of those large bags of toilet paper. I need it daily and I hate paying even cents per roll more than necessary and they sell these 6 x 8-roll packages or even more, which considerably reduces the price, especially if on campaign. I’d only bring up what I need for a week and the rest could stay out of sight.

    A couple of other items I can think of immediately are detergents for washing clothing and dishes. I’d decant into my own storage jars, so what it boils down to is the financial investment once again. I’d gladly not transport these things by bike, even though the distance isn’t that long.

    These and other items with long shelf life would be perfect to keep down in the basement unit, but when it comes to food I will continue to let the grocery store take care of storage. It’s called “store” for a reason.

  • #214466

    chacha1
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    Me too, ninakk. The only thing I make a point of storing in bulk is TP. 🙂

    Well … the only thing we *need*. Let’s not talk about the bead collection, or the books, or … !

  • #214467

    Ella
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    I call these items household supplies. I keep 1-2 backups of toothpaste, shampoo, dish soap, etc. But PLENTY of TP and paper towels. I used to not bother with storing backups but instead I’d wait until I was just about out. However, I noticed insidious anxiety creeping in, like when your gas tank is getting close to Empty and no gas station in sight. Now, with sufficient backups, I don’t put myself through that low-level yet constant worry anymore.

    Funny story…
    In the early 1990s, Crabtree & Evelyn discontinued my all-time favorite soap, Jasmin de Provence. I was beside myself with distress. I dashed around the whole Bay Area to every C&E location buying up every last bar, but still I despaired. Then a friend in Vermont said she saw a truckload of the stuff on sale at the big C&E outlet just over the border in Canada. I phone-ordered a case of 300 bars, figuring it would last me about 20 years. Now 20 years later, I still have about 50 bars left. The great thing is, I’ve kept several soaps scenting every clothing drawer and shelf, and as they age they last longer and longer when finally used in the shower. No regrets at all on stocking up this lovely soap.

  • #214469

    ninakk
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    I had to think what duplicates there are in the bathroom. Contact lenses (bought pack of six pairs, but no duplicate packs), razor blades (7 left out of 9; was a special offer and they are really expensive – what’s up with that anyway???), toilet paper (buy a pack of 8 when necessary), remaining liquid handsoap that wouldn’t fit in the pump thingy (so not really a duplicate). That’s it. When I’m about to run out in a week or so, I simply put it on the shopping list.

  • #214477

    Netleigh
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    I’m with liag on this, one in use and one spare on most things, whoever takes out the spare has to put it onto the shopping list for the next weekly delivery. This is working pretty well now dh is trained! TP comes in a pack of 9 and when we are down to the last 3 it goes back on the list. I hate to contemplate the storage space a year’s supply would need.

  • #214481

    Swede
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    I don’t keep spares at all. When I see I’m almost out I buy a new one. Sometimes I have doubles bc I get free samples etc but I try to not store more than I have to as I live in a studio apt. Plus, I live about 2 mins from a grocery store that are open til 10PM every day but Sundays so worst case scenario I’ll have to spend 5 mins to go buy it. 🙂

  • #214486

    TatiLie
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    Toothpaste, soap, shampoo… I do a small stock of 2-3 units when I find them on sale. Otherwise is one new when the old is finished.

    We use fabric napkins and towels, and I rarely use paper towels but my husband is addicted to them (at his family home there are paper towels rolls also in the bathrooms!). So, I buy very little so that he’s forced to ‘save’ it.

    Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads… I buy all the stock of the shop when it’s in offer.

  • #214487

    adragon
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    Like a lot of people here, I live close to stores so one-item trips aren’t an issue. Part of my uncluttering is dealing with excessive duplicate bath items, so I’ve stopped buying them entirely while I use up the stash. I’m torn, though, between being able to save money and having less around to spoil and/or take up cabinet space – I buy TP and my favorite lotion in bulk, but nothing else. I cook so rarely that I don’t dare buy bulk food, it’d spoil too fast.

  • #214490

    lucy1965
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    I grew up with a lot of LDS families around me and the year’s worth of food storage is a familiar concept to me. A lot more bulk buying happened when DS lived with us and his school was two doors away: 13 children descending every day ran through a lot of TP and snacks!

    Now DS lives elsewhere and the school itself closed last year (it still aches, walking past and seeing the signs gone); DH and I don’t run through that much in the way of food or toiletries, and there is a 24-hour supermarket three blocks away if we run out. If we ever do move, it will be into a place a third the size of this one; there won’t be room for vast amounts of storage.

  • #214492

    xarcady
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    For household supplies, I tend to buy them when they are on sale, and then buy enough to last until the next sale. Because they are boring but necessary and there’s other stuff I’d rather spend my money on.

  • #214497

    Astreja
    Participant

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    We usually buy just what we can reasonably store, with perhaps one backup package. At most we have two 12-packs of toilet paper in the house, and as soon as the first one is gone we put ‘toilet paper’ on the shopping list.

    I made the mistake of once buying a pair of 1-Litre bottles of an untried shampoo. (*shakes fist at Costco*) Rather underwhelming fragrance but at least a functional shampoo, so I’m now slogging through the second bottle.

  • #214502

    djk
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    It’s taken me a long time to figure out that we don’t have the space to stock up on anything. It was always normal for me to have one or two of everything in reserve, but then had no place to put it. Now I think I’ve worked out the pace at which we use up our pantry and household supplies. When there is a couple of uses left of something I buy a new one, unless we’re almost at the weekend and the shops will be closed when we run out.

  • #214503

    bandicoot
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    we are toilet paper hoarders here.
    we buy in bulk when we see it on sale, and we have space to store it.
    but we don’t stockpile other stuff.
    shampoo etc seems to last for ages and even when the bottle seems empty we can wring out a few more days with the judicious addition of water.
    if we run out of toothpaste, we’ll use salt for a day or two.
    i realised a while ago that the supermarket is always there and always full of stuff.

  • #214508

    irishbell
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    Oh, dont get me started on toilet paper!
    Having 6 females in one home, you dont want to run out of that stuff.
    You just couldn’t believe the amount of it I’ve bought over the years.

  • #214519

    nws2002
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    I used to keep one in use and one in reserve of most things. My grandmother, who lived through the depression, always taught this was a good idea. However, I’ve become more like bandicoot recently and realized I walk past one grocery store, one bodega, and one convenience store on my way to and from work. If I need anything I’m sure I can pop in and pick it up.

    I do have three different bottles of shampoo in my shower right now. Every time I get my haircut hey seem totalk me into a new one.

    I also order TP online through Amazon. I have a car but normally walk almost everywhere or take the bus, and it is really bulky to carry home.

  • #214548

    Joless
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    We buy TP in bulk (packs of 12 or 16 are cheapest too) as we have three bathrooms so it spreads out and there are stocks for each one. I also buy deodorant and toothpaste in bulk when it’s on sale as we both use the same stuff so we run though it incredibly quickly so I probably keen up to 6 or 8 of each in the cupboard. I don’t really stock up on anything else other than having one spare of washing conditioner or washing up liquid in the cupboard. Not more.

  • #214573

    EraserGirl
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    when i first moved out on my own..i was still in the FAMILY size buying group…
    “if it’s on sale stock up.”
    what i ended up with for many years is what you see on extreme couponing
    i was always broke cause my money was tied up in stored items i never got through.

    After living on my own for 35+ years, i moved into the group who owns TWO at a time one open and one unopened.
    when you open the second one it goes on the shopping list.

    YES you can save money by buying 4+ at a time when it’s on sale
    but it’s an illusion..what you are doing is losing the use of that money while it is tied up in products.

    i’d rather only spend <$3-4 on shampoo when i shop…than buying $30 dollars and not have the other $26 to spend on 15+ other products.

    (okay toilet paper and papertowels aren’t in this group- stock up when its on sale)

  • #214586

    Mimi
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    thank you for your answers, as always, there are so many wonderful inspiring thoughts from you…

    i made up my mind, stocking up for one year is not nessesary. i wouldn´t even think of stocking up in an studio apartment with a shop nearby but i live my everydaylife on the countryside, the nearest shop (with overprized poducts) is 1,5 km away and i don´t have a car anymore. usually i don´t buy in the shop “next door” but in a store with better products (especially fresher vergetables and fruits) and moderate prizes. so i carry all these boring bulky and/or heavy things 7km by bike and this makes me think twice about stocking up. 🙂

    i think for the next time i will use the strategy of owing two of the products, one open, one unopened. it will make it easier to wait for the weekend to use the family car for shopping.

    i also think of making my “guestimation” better, so that i know how much i need. how long does a tube of toothpaste last? one, two, three month? i really don´t know.

    i am still tempted to buy some of these products in bulk, but only the things that i really need: TP, toothpaste, washing gel, deodorant, skin cream… usually i buy the same products over and over so these would be perfects products to stock up.

    ha, interesting, i think i will make a list first. lists are always a good start for everything 🙂

    please continue to share your opinions!

  • #214588

    loripax
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    I’m an unashamed stocker-upper, but I have the storage space for it. I buy the giant packages of TP, paper towels, Kleenex, etc. at Costco; when we get down to the last two or three, it goes on the list again. For stuff that’s not in bulk there, though, or subscription through Amazon (the only place I can find my body lotion anymore), I tend to go with the one in use and one backup plan; when the one in use is done, I pull out the backup and put it on the list. If some staple item happens to be on super sale, I might buy a couple extra. However, everything I buy is stuff we use regularly. Nothing is just sitting there to be a stockpile; it gets rotated and used.

    While I do have a ton of stores close by, I ***hate*** having to make unplanned shopping trips. Having plenty of what we use regularly on hand is a peace of mind thing for me. I never, ever stress about running out of toilet paper or toothpaste, and it’s a rare day when I absolutely have to run out and get some needed thing right this very minute or we’ll be out.

  • #214599

    pkilmain
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    Mimi – for things that take time to use up like toothpaste, shampoo, etc. I’ve been putting a date on the product so I know approximately how long it tKes to use it up. No need to buy a replacement immediately if you take seval months to use it up, rather you can put it on the list when you’re say 3/4 done.

    I too buy TP in bulk as well as the jumbo size of laundry detergent. Not much else stockpiled deliberately. 🙂

  • #214604

    Sky
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    I buy when things are on sale. I like to have an extra of most things we use regularly since I have room in my pantry, linen closet and the cabinets under the bathroom sinks to store stuff.

    It works for me so I don’t run out of anything.

  • #214605

    luxcat
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    I think after reading this thread I will buy stock in toilet paper companies.

    extras kept in our house:
    1-2 extra packages (12 rolls per pkg) of TP
    1-3 extra rolls of paper towels
    1-2 extra boxes Kleenex
    1-6 extra boxes coffee pods
    1-4 extra tubes toothpaste
    box of floss head fillers
    box of razor blade fillers (I changed to hubby’s brand to simplify)

    not much else… we tend to buy cleaning supplies and personal hygiene supplies sort of as needed or right before we run out of the one we are currently using. sometimes if I find a big vat of something like dish soap or laundry soap on sale I will buy that and decant into smaller containers as needed.

    I used to stock up on things like shampoo and face cream, etc when I found them on sale but I found that we don’t use these things up very quickly and also we both like to change brands on occasion so it turned out to be a waste.

  • #214613

    EraserGirl
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    obviously living alone and living with others creates entirely different priorities
    i usually don’t run out of anything that important.
    I have two lists in my phone…even the dumbest phones have some sort of memo function.
    1 is DO NEXT, and one is BUY NEXT
    when i go into a store of any sort i glance at my BUY NEXT list

    if i actually run out of something, it’s because it wasn’t that important that i remembered to put it on the list.

    I live 3 blocks from a cvs, a dollar store, a family dollar, and just down the street from a home depot, a walmart, a target and 3 grocery stores. a SPECIAL stop isn’t that big a deal if i only have to buy the couple of items.
    There’s usually 2 or 3 things on my BUY next list.

  • #214665

    lucy1965
    Member

    non-food stocks/ inventory?

    DH has reminded me that I do buy salt for the water softener in the dishwasher in bulk, as it’s far cheaper and more reliable than getting individual boxes at the Miele dealership in town; they don’t always have them, and I can get eight boxes for what four would cost me there.

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