Stockpiling 101 – Stockpiling For The Holidays™

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Tips for Stockpiling For The Holidays - a great way to save money!

Have you started your Holiday shopping?   A few years after we got married I began buying for the holiday’s and other special occasions throughout the year in order to spread out our spending so we were not “hit” so hard at year in.  After we began our International adoption in 2004 I had to find a way to save money so I began stockpiling my gifts. First, I eliminated as many gifts as possible by telling friends and co-workers that I was unable to exchange with them anymore and really cut my shopping list down to just close family.

Stockpiling 101 – Stockpiling For The Holidays

The goal of stockpiling is purchase your items when they hit rock bottom. This can be applied to shopping for all occasions! I have a list of who I buy for, I have a budget of how much I can spend per person and I begin shopping for the following year the day after Christmas. However for the past two years I actually have started purchasing for the following year on December 23rd. I started on December 23rd with Kohl’s because they have fabulous sales on the 23rd and 24th and last year you actually earned Kohl’s cash on those days!  I use the Kohl’s cash redeemed on my after Christmas shopping the day after!

In order to stockpile you need a location to store your gifts. My hubby built me a huge window seat and that is where I “house” my gift giving stockpile. In addition I have overflow in two storage containers that are hidden in one of our closets.

In order to purchase items to use as gifts at rock bottom you need to not only buy items that are on sale you need to also use a coupon and buy clearance. It is quite surprising how many “toy” coupons exist!  You never know when a great sale or clearance will come along. These matched with clearance items mean rock bottom savings!

I do a lot of my Christmas shopping at Kohl’s. They have great toy sales throughout the year and on top of that they offer up to 30% off coupons to the store credit card holders.  They often have toys up to 50% off and then you will get a 10-30% coupon to use on top of that. What is even better is that they clearance toys and other items all of the time and matched with a store discount on top you can get rock bottom deals all of the time. Kohl’s is my favorite store for major savings when it comes to Christmas shopping. Check out my post on why I love Kohl’s Cash.

In addition I purchase a lot of toys at Kmart during their clearance sale.  This is a great time to stockpile for birthday’s too!

You can also do well at picking up clearance toys at Target.  In July 2009 I pick up several toys at 90% off!  My best deal was the Tag learning system that I picked up for $13.99 after clearance and coupon. It is regularly $49.99! I also found tag books for .98 cents to $2.99! Always check for clearance items when you are at Target.

Don’t forget consignment stores! I have picked up items for my son and though they are not “in the box” they work well as gifts from Santa. You can really get a lot for your money when consignment stores mark down their toys.

I have been able to “fill” my hubby’s stocking for free this year by shopping at the drug stores and by signing up for freebies and samples online!  In addition to “buying” gifts we enjoy making crafts and baked goods.

My best advice is start shopping on December 26th (or earlier) for next year. Late January and February are great deep mark down times. Use Kohl’s cash that you earn to purchase gifts as that brings your out of pocket expenses down. Shop for Toys in July as they get clearanced to make room for the new toys coming out.  If you change your way of thinking of how you shop you will be able to save BIG for the Holidays!

Stockpiling 101 Series:

What is a stockpile?

How do you build a stockpile?

How to use the freezer to stockpile

Collecting your coupons

Create a junk email account

Understanding the sales cycle

Organizing your coupons

Coupon organization – How I sort and file

Coupon Lingo

Matching your coupons


How to create a price book


What is a Catalina?

Stockpiling for the holiday’s

Foodsaver and stockpiling

Bar codes and correct use

Entertaining your children on a coupon run

Brands and product size

Organizing your stockpile

Inventory your stockpile – FIFO

Checking out – Make sure your hard work pays off

Filing complaints with corporate

Understanding Coupons

Stockpiling with Little Storage

Store Policies – How to coupon at all the stores

How does Price Matching Work

What if you Catalina doesn’t print



  1. Love it, I caught the tail end of the Target sale this year. I need to start putting it in my calendar. I think they do it in Feb too

  2. I love stockpiling gifts! It ‘s the thrill of the awesome deals. I mostly stockpile kids stuff like toys and clothes when they are 80% off and more! Just hit some awesome sales at Target for toys!

  3. Great Post! I have the top to shelves in my closet, and the top shelf in the guest room closet designated for my gift stockpile! I just picked up 2 gifts yesterday for a friend’s soon to be 1 year old for less than $5 total.

  4. wendi allen says:

    I LOVE stockpiling for the holidays. I start shopping the day after each holiday!

  5. I have 3 totes full of gifts stuffed in my closet. I have my husbands gifts in there too. He never looks in them. He thinks it’s all stuff for the kids.

  6. Missy Keeling says:

    Another way I found for kids, is to hit the after Halloween sales and create a “dress up” chest for girls with Halloween costumes for as little as .25 cents each at Walmart. My daughter loved that gift the most that Christmas!

    • That is an great idea and we have a niece that is the perfect age for dress up this Christmas.
      I also decided since we have gotten away from grab bag for all the kids I am doing stocking for all of them for both sides of family. That would be a total of 19 plus 2 significant others for the older girls. I bought the stockings after Christmas for 5o cents and I am couponing the things to fill them with. Girls are easy but the guys are a little harder.

  7. I TRY to stockpile for the holidays – - I usually end up forgetting that I’ve bought things though b/c I forget where I put things!! I really need a basement!!!! LOL

  8. I now realize that I was too narrow minded about my Christmas stock pile, I always limited my purchases to things that I associate with Christmas. Therefore I never picked up those super cheap end of summer clearance items.

  9. I will also stockpile bagged candy. M&Ms last a long time and stockpile well for Easter, etc.

  10. Carrie BryanT says:

    Great ideas

  11. I stockpile for the holidays too!!

  12. I watch for Toy markdowns on Amazon – have gotten some great deals plus free shipping. I also use the points from my debit card to get gift cards for some holiday gifts.

  13. Great ideas – I am going to work on this too.

  14. Tobey Schollmeyer says:

    I am so excited to start saving with coupons. I’ve always failed in the past, I need to make it work now!

  15. Just gave my grandson a $49.50 winter coat for his birthday that I got for $8.49 at the Children’s Place after Christmas. Of course, I also got him a $39.95 toy that I paid full price for at Toys ‘r Us! LOL!

  16. Cindy Montrief says:

    I usually pick up a gift here and there when I catch a good buy to have on hand for the unexpected party or for times. I just have a small stock pile. Really need to do better.

  17. Having a nice stockpile of gifts allows me to help my kids out when they want to give a couple of their friends a gift.

  18. Rebekah F. says:

    I caught some sales early this year, but haven’t purchased too many things for my holiday stockpile yet… Great things to keep in mind, though, for next year (since I am new to stockpiling)!

  19. Amanda Mata says:

    I am new to stockpiling. I love Stockpiling Moms ideas and all of the readers ideas. This has given me great ideas…thanks!

  20. For the giveaway ~ I read this back when I started reading the blog. Very helpful for the newbies! :)

  21. Carrie Bryant says:

    great ideas, thank you!

  22. I never thought about shopping that far in advance but if thats where the deals are its never too early!!!

  23. This is a new thought for me….I just started doing this not that long ago, and although I have a long way to go in learning the art of stockpiling gifts, every little bit helps! It sure cuts down the stress and eases the budget! Thanks for the great post!

  24. YES! I love to hit the stores the day after any holiday to see what deals I can find! I have gotten some gorgeous christmas tree decorations from Michaels for about .25 each

  25. I have done this for years, since my son and daughter were young and now for the grandbabies. My daughter started doing it when she got married. Here it is almost Christmas again, and she has almost all of her shopping done. Her husband used to gripe about her buying stuff through the year, but at Christmas when most of the gifts have been purchased, he’s happy. We do this for birthdays too. Can’t believe more people don’t.

  26. Wendy Lightner says:

    Very helpful!

  27. Gail Beireis Davis says:

    I once put all my boys Christmas gifts in their closets. They never saw them. This year JCP kept sending my $10 off $10. I got four major gifts for free when they were on sale. Kohl’s is the best though.

  28. I love shopping clearance all year long and using coupons to find that rock bottom price. Great tips!

  29. Heather Pfingsten says:

    I shop clearance all the time. I even bought some items in March for Christmas this year… that was HUGE for me… I need to get better at shopping at rock bottom prices and try to have my Christmas shopping done prior to December 1st.

    Again, I am going to share this article with my husband with the hopes that he will “buy in”.

    Thank you for this posting… I thought that I was a seasoned couponer but see that I still have a lot to learn.

  30. Melissa@StockpilingMoms says:

    Then you should really look at doing DIY and Home Baked Goods as gifts –

  31. I also try to stack coupons with sales and clearance items, and freebies are great stocking stuffers. Thanks for all the stockpiling tips!

  32. Maralea says:

    I love all of your tips. I am always shopping the clearance aisles.

  33. I love shopping at Kohl’s for gifts, don’t know what I would do without Kohl’s! So many discounts all the time!

  34. Kathy H. says:

    I love to shop at Kohl’s and buy stuff on sale and % off. I do buy stuff when I see it on sale or clearance. Then I place them in a tote. I wish I could find the good deals at our Target but our’s don’t seem to have the good sales. Love a good deal…

  35. This is such good information. I don’t know why I don’t plan for the holidays better. Perhaps this year I will!!!

  36. Patti Griner says:

    I have always tried to buy gifts and merchandise when they are on sale. I buy most of my christmas decorations when they are on sale for 50 to 75 percent off AFTER christmas and save them for the next year. That goes for wrapping paper, boxes ribbon and any gift item that won’t go bad (perfume and after shaves might not still be good a year later)

  37. shelleyb says:

    I agree. Kohl’s is a generous store- if you time sales, coupon and kohls cash. Which is possible pretty often. I had a fun time stretching out my gift card. I like to buy extra school supplies in late July/Aug to have on hand for extra gifts or for on top of a child’s gift.

  38. I already have Christmas gifts for our nieces and nephews this year.

  39. Erin Ellis says:

    What great tips! I’ve started stockpiling for the holidays. I start on December 26th!

  40. You know, all the stocking up I do(not that much compared to some, but it’s something at least)….I’ve never thought ahead about Christmas. duh Thanks.

  41. Rebecca Parsons says:

    I stockpile starting in September for Christmas.

  42. Helpful tips; don’t really stockpile

  43. Lacey Burd says:

    Thanks for all the wonderful tips! I usually start stockpiling near the end of summer, but I think that’s going to change for next Christmas’ stockpiling :)

  44. sandy weinstein says:

    great tips, dont buy a lot of gifts though except for my 3 4 legged girls

  45. I always do my shopping for Holidays at Kohls. They have excellent deals!! I try to start early and do a lot of shopping when things hit “rock bottom” as well. Good ideas! Love this post!

  46. Donna Warrington says:

    Thank you for the excellent tips….when my boys were little (they are all over the age of 30 now), I did all of my shopping in the summer…but a lot of time, I would forget where I hid the gifts when the holidays came around….lol. AND, consignment shops have always been the best place to purchase things….but, you did mention a few things that I never would have thought of…so, now that I’m a Nana, I will have to remember all of this….

    Thanks again,

  47. Heather z says:

    Love buying clearance throughout the year

  48. Susannah Landis says:

    These are great tips. I never really thought about stockpiling presents, but it really makes sense. I usually start my Christmas shopping in October/November, but this has inspired me to not just limit it to those months.

  49. Selene M. says:

    Restaurants offer gift card deals throughout the year which make great gifts to have on hand or to use at Christmas.

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