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Coupons for Free Stuff - What to do with Your Stockpile

what to do with your stockpile
Using coupons for free stuff is a fun, addictive hobby.

But, after using coupons for groceries, you may find yourself running out of room in your home!

Should you stockpile food? Sell toiletries? How?

Learn more frugal coupon living tips as we examine what to do with your stockpile.

Coupons for free stuff are fun, and extremely easy to use. In just one month's time, a new couponer will have hundreds of dollars in products taking up space in their homes.

Many people who use coupons for groceries end up with items that they do not like, or won't use, simply because they were free.

There are many different ways avid couponers deal with excess food and toiletries in their stockpiles. Some couponers choose more than one method to deal with items purchased with coupons for free stuff.

Choose the method that is best for you and your frugal coupon living. And remember, your approach to coupon ethics may make some of the following options more appealing.

Buy Only What is Needed

When using coupons for groceries, the easiest way to deal with an excessive stockpile is to not have one at all. If you live in a small house, with no space to put excess items you got with your coupons for free stuff, it may be a good idea to just stick to the basics.

Get the items you prefer to use for free, or next to nothing, but pass on the items you would not personally use. Stockpile 2-3 of your favorite items and wait until the deal happens again.

Stockpile Food

If you are like me, you might be concerned with the rising costs of food, or the availability of foods in the case of a disaster. It might be a good idea to stockpile food.

A 6-month to 2-year supply of foods, paper goods, and toiletries is good planning for your family. Any number of things can happen on a personal, local, or national scale in the future to make it difficult to feed your family.

Stockpile food as part of your frugal coupon living plan. Better safe than sorry!

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Share with Family and Friends

Nearly every couponer worth her salt shares her stockpile with friends, family and neighbors. A tube of toothpaste or a bottle of shampoo here and there just to let them know that you are thinking of them.

Or, plan on giving "useful" gifts for birthdays and Christmas. Especially in difficult economic times, people appreciate gifts they can use.

Another thought, use your coupons for groceries efforts to butter someone up. For example, we bring snacks and toiletries to the manager of the park we are staying in.

It never hurts to be on someone's good side! I also like to put together a gift basket annually for my mail carrier (because he works extra hard for me!) and my newspaper delivery person.

Help a Needy Family

Using coupons for free stuff and having a stockpile puts you in a position to help others when they are in need. Maybe a family in your child's class has recently lost a job. Maybe someone in your church was recently in a car accident. Maybe a neighbor down the street just had a baby.

Whatever the reason, putting together a gift basket or having the ability due to your frugal coupon living to cook a meal will help you give back to your community in a meaningful way.

We used to live down the street from an elderly shut-in. He was in his late 80s, and on a fixed income.

He wasn't the most friendly person on earth; I would describe him as cantankerous, always mumbling and grumbling about this and that while shuffling about his yard.

One day I decided to share my stockpile with him, but I didn't think he'd accept "charity".

So, every week I would leave food and toiletries on his doorstep, anonymously. I'd occasionally see him outside eating some of the food I gave him, and, believe it or not, I swear he stopped mumbling and grumbling about the yard!

Donate Excess

Many, many coupon and refunders donate much or all of their excess. There are so many organizations that are in need of food and toiletry donations, such as:

  • Local Food Banks
  • Local Churches
  • Toys for Tots
  • Women's Shelters
  • Operation Christmas Child
  • Wish Trees
  • AnySoldier
  • I have personally filled up several flat rate priority mail boxes and donated toiletries and snacks to our US soldiers overseas. The kids even sat down and wrote thank-you cards.

    I also donated most of what you see in this picture to an organization that helps single mothers who are homeless get back on their feet. And we routinely give to the local food bank.

    Still others who use coupons for free stuff choose to start their own charitable organization.

    Barter Your Stockpile

    In many cultures, trade is more popular than monetary transactions, and in America today, with the state the economy is in, bartering has started to make a serious comeback.

    In addition to giving away your loot, or selling it as many people do, its time to think outside the box about bartering, or trading.

    In fact, our family is in the midst of a major bartering experiment, trying to acquire land and build a mortgage free home and hobby farm with limited cash outlay.

    We started this experiment with items from our coupons for free stuff stockpile.

    Profiting Off Your Stockpile

    Many who use coupons for groceries and coupons for free stuff choose to sell their excess stockpile. More still acquire stockpile items for the sole purpose of selling the items. There are many different options when it comes to selling items. Taking items you get for free (minus your investment of time) and reselling them at a profit can be a great way to earn supplemental income while helping others (you are giving them a big discount off of normal retail prices).

    Yard Sales

    For the couponer who just needs to get rid of excess stockpile items that are taking up too much room, an annual or biannual garage sale might just be the ticket.

    Most refunders say that they earn between $200-1,000 on a weekend garage sale from their stockpiles.

    Not too shabby! (Plus, once you have your first garage sale and make back some cash, your husband will finally understand this obsession.)

    Flea Markets

    For the couponer who is looking to make some serious, reoccurring money, setting up a booth at a flea market on a regular basis might be more your cup of tea.

    With a flea market, you could get a regular following that purchase from you on a weekly basis.

    Flea market selling requires buying multiples of all items you get with coupons for free stuff, as many as you can get your hands on. It is a very time consuming, often full-time job. But it can also end up paying as much as a time consuming, full-time job. Living in a town that has multiple stores is also something that would be needed with flea market sales.


    If you can't have a garage sale (not allowed in your area, or maybe not the right season) you can always sell your stockpile from coupons for free stuff on Craigslist. People like stockpile items! The easiest way to do it is to create a list of your items on a spreadsheet, such as Google Documents. Link to it in your Craigslist ad. Its all free.

    One caveat: Many people are uncomfortable (with good reason) with giving out their address and having strangers stop by. Some do not want to have garage sales for this reason. When using Craigslist, consider meeting in the parking lot of a nearby store instead of just telling people to come to your home.


    One of the most popular ways to get rid of items in your stockpile is to use eBay. Many people dislike eBay because of the high fees, but to a stockpiler, using coupons for free stuff, that's silly! You got the stuff for free! After eBay fees, that's 100% profit!

    The rule of thumb for eBay is that if the item is lightweight and expensive to purchase retail, then it is a good choice for eBay. Things like toothpastes and shampoos would not work well for eBay; they are heavy and inexpensive. But things like razors and makeup are perfect for eBay!

    Pricing Your Items

    How much should you charge for your items? Because we use coupons for free stuff, sometimes its hard to figure out what a fair price would be for our items. As a rule of thumb, price your items at half, or less than half the retail price. And keep prices in whole dollars, if possible. Don't price something for $1.75, its better as $2. And $1 items are the most popular of all!

    Its also helpful, if possible, for you to make little signs with a cut-out of a sales price for the item with it. So, if you got body wash at CVS for free one week after coupons when they had it on sale for $2.99, cut out the ad in the flier, attach it to an index card, and charge $1 for the same body wash at your sale.

    For those selling on eBay, check the closed listings to see what like items sold for.
    What do you do with your stockpile?

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