Imagine never running out of food, never needing to run to the grocery store to pick up something because you have nothing to make for supper. Imagine never needing to pay full price for any groceries. It’s possible. And it can be your reality if you set up a stockpile.

A stockpile is a large store of food and other pantry items kept in your home to be used as necessary, so that instead of grocery shopping at stores, you shop in your stockpile. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to spend time and gas money making more trips to the store than necessary, and you don’t end up spending more money on those “quick runs to the store,” because, as you know, even what is intended to be a small shop ends up being much larger.

To start a stockpile, you first must designate a certain portion of your home to be used for this purpose. It can be shelving in the basement, a pantry, or some closets, etc. Once you have a location, it’s time to go grocery shopping.

When in the store, whatever you use that you see is at a decent price, stock up on it, and buy more than you’ll need for right now, enough to last you a little while, especially if it’s a pantry staple that would necessitate a trip to the store if you ran out. If you see something on sale, especially if it’s a terrific sale, buy as many as you can, enough to last you a good long time, but make sure that you don’t get more than you can use up before the item expires.

Every time you go shopping, look for non-perishables at unbeatable prices and stock up. By the time your stockpile outgrows the location you’ve designated for it, it’s either time to stop stocking up or allocate more space for it.

Now it’s time to use up the stockpile. Take out one of each item and put it in an accessible place, easy to reach. When that gets finished, instead of running to the store, replace it with another one from your stockpile.

Keep an eye on your stockpile when your supply starts running somewhat low on a certain item, look out for that item and wait for it to be on sale, then stock up again. If it doesn’t go on sale and you’re running low, buy a little bit at as decent prices as you can find, and only do a full stocking up once you find terrific prices.

Stockpiles predominantly can be used for dry goods as well as bottles, cans, toiletries, and paper goods. If you have a chest freezer or can buy one, your stockpile can include perishables like frozen foods and items that you buy fresh on sale and freeze for later use.

Stockpiling not only saves you money, it also makes your life easier. Never run out of a necessary ingredient ever again!

Penny is a mother who abides by a strict budget and shares her frugal, money saving strategies on her blog, Penniless Parenting. When she’s not busy trying out a new gluten free recipe or chasing her toddler around, Penny contributes her tips on how to live a rich life on a minimum wage on the CareOne Debt Relief Services blog, a provider of debt consolidation.