Despite the fact that I still have just over $15,000 of consumer debt and student loans to pay off, I decided to quit my full-time job effective July 31 to pursue self-employment.
This might sound like a bad financial decision, but so far I’ve found that not having a steady, predictable paycheck coming in every 2 weeks has been a motivating factor to help me continue pursuing new business ventures and clients.
I did have some money saved up in an emergency fund before I quit my job, and I had money stashed away in my business account to help myself cover my first month’s living expenses too. But one other major factor that made me feel more comfortable quitting my job was my mini-stockpiles of food and other household items.
My days as an extreme couponer in training helped me build mini-stockpiles of several household items that don’t expire or go bad.
My mini-stockpiles are equivalent to about 1-2 years’ worth of alike products. It’s enough to help me save money while building my business, but without being a burden to store or use before the products go bad. Mini-stockpiles also allow you to store things more inconspicuously so you don’t have a whole garage or basement full of products, making you look like you have a grocery store in your home.
I have mini-stockpiles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, bar soap, hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper, canned food with far-off expiration dates, some vacuum sealed meats, cat litter, dog food, cat food, laundry detergent, fabric softener, dishwasher detergent, and more. These mini stockpiles have allowed me to temporarily decrease my monthly budget for groceries and household goods until I get close to running out of these products.
At this point in time, my business is earning a bit more per month pre-taxes and expenses than I was earning at my full-time job, but after setting aside a large chunk of money for self-employment taxes and another small portion for overhead costs, I am not quite at my target level of income. However I was at the point where I couldn’t continue to grow my business while simultaneously working my full-time job anymore.
My mini-stockpiles have allowed me to cut my monthly budget by approximately $100/month for groceries and household items. This, along with other savings I’ve found by working from home, made my cash flow situation a little more comfortable so I could make the leap into self-employment.
Plus building my mini-stockpiles was easy. Here’s how I did it and you can too!
- Collect multiple copies of the same coupon. One of my favorite sources for coupon multiples is coupons.com.
- Wait for a strategic time to stock up. I usually wait to stock up and use my multiple coupons until the stores are running a sale. Then when they’ve already lowered the price of item I have coupons for, I buy as many as possible.
- Pay attention to volume or size. Some coupons specify which sizes of products they work on, others don’t. Despite what some people think, buying the smallest size possible when there’s a sale and you have a coupon is usually the cheapest. Bring a pocket calculator with you to the store, or use your smartphone, to make sure which size is the cheapest before you stock up.
- Store it properly. I have shelving in a closet where I keep most of my mini-stockpiles so they will be kept at a decent temperature and not be exposed to any moisture or other deteriorating elements. Some people store their stockpiles in their garages or basements. You need to find somewhere out of the way to store your stockpile, but you also want to make sure it’s in ideal conditions. After all, you aren’t saving money if your stockpile gets ruined and you have to throw it all away!
Have you ever considered using coupons to build mini-stockpiles to save money?