Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Drawing Down our Household Inventories

In the past,we sometimes stock up on an item when there is a good sale. During this recession, we have been consciously working on reducing our inventory as a strategy to save money. I had already committed to using my current clothing inventory in 2008. We are now applying the reduce inventory philosophy to other areas such as paper goods, canned goods, frozen foods, and toiletries.
  • Paper goods - Over time, we've stocked up on paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates and cups. We likely have enough to last several months or several parties. In addition, we have enough wrapping paper and cards to last several birthdays and holiday events.

  • Frozen foods - The main frozen food item is various meats that we have purchased on sale and frozen for later use. As rule, we don't purchase many pre-packaged processed frozen foods, for healthily eating reasons.

  • Canned goods - We have a number of basic foods, e.g. stewed tomatoes, and specialty foods, e.g. green chilies, in our canned food pantry. We will be drawing these down as we eat at home more often.

  • Toiletries - We probably have several months supply of soaps and shampoos. I have at least two years supplies of shaving items, e.g. razors and shaving cream. In addition, we have over a years supply of toothpaste, floss and mouthwash.

  • Clothing - As I written before, I'm cutting way back on clothing purchases, since I probably have ten to twenty years of inventory. Before retiring early, I was a conservative dresser and thus, most of my dress and casual clothes will likely be in style for twenty to thirty years.

  • With the exception of my clothing, reducing inventories will only reduce expenses for several months. In addition, we will still occasionally make purchases when there is a really good sale. However, we have still noticed some savings, with the side benefit of a bit less clutter in our storage areas.

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    This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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