Those who know me well, know that I have a large pantry that is FULL of food. I often get asked why I would keep so much food on hand. There are several reasons.
1. When a product that we use is on sale for a rock bottom price, I will buy a LOT. I recently bought 10 bottles of Miracle whip for $9.90. They don't expire until late next year. One bottle of Miracle Whip is $2.50 or more at most stores. I saved $15.10. You save a lot of money when you stockpile.
2. One of my greatest joys in life is to bless people who are in need of food. I ALWAYS keep a giving pantry on hand for blessing others.
3. I only shop when there's a good deal or we run out of something VITAL like tea or popcorn. ;) During the winter, if there aren't good deals, I will still run to the store to get fresh fruits and veggies. Summertime produce is limited to what we grow, the fruit I get for canning, and whatever might be at a rock bottom price. I don't NEED to go to the store every week.
4. There are times when I want to go out and have fun. We don't have much extra now that we are working hardcore at restoring our emergency fund and fixing up this house so that we can move to the Promised Land. (More on the Promised Land later) I spent a weekend with my girlfriends and I used only grocery money. I have enough food in the house and enough creativity that I can come up with at LEAST 20 different meals from items in my pantry. One week's budget being removed will not cause us to starve.
5. Times are tough everywhere. My stockpile is an immediate emergency fund. Should my husband lose his job today, I know that my house will be fine. I can stop grocery shopping for a month or two (with the exception of milk and eggs) and not worry about feeding these starving children that keep following me around and calling me Mama...
My stockpile gives me freedom and it doesn't really take up that much space. Our meat and frozen dinners are kept in one freezer. Our produce and breads are kept in another freezer. Both freezers are in our odd Michigan basement, hubby bear added the wiring required. I have a larger pantry than most people to accommodate all of my canning jars. Those do take up a LOT of space but the rest of my stockpile (the 'normal' stockpile that most people can achieve) doesn't take up much more than the average person devotes to their food storage and it's worth it's weight in cold-hard-cash.
For me, a stockpile is about 3-6 months worth of food for my family of five. For my friend, it's closer to a month's worth of food. For you, it might be two weeks. I know a girl who keeps a five year stock of dry goods at all times. That would be too much for me. My stockpile works for me. I know it's intimidating to most people but it is an efficient tool for our lifestyle.
I don't hoard my groceries. If anything, I am giving more and more because I know that the needs of my house will be met, regardless of how much I give to others. Proverbs 31:20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. There are times when God asks me to give more and I do. He provided the stockpile to begin with and He will provide it again. Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.