Wednesdays are software days at SimpleProductivity blog.
One of the things that my husband gets frantic about is the level of toilet paper in the house. If there aren’t at least 10 rolls, he panics.
Bathroom supplies are one thing that we can do little stockpiles of. Most of us know what brands or items we will use, and it is easy to maintain an adequate supply on hand to keep people from panicking.
I use HandyShopper on my PDA to help with this task. In this article, I will explain how I created a stockpile, and keep my stockpile up to date.
Setting Up The Stockpile
Create the Database
In Handyshopper, create your database. It should be a shopping list. If you want to do comparison shopping, check the per-store prices.
You first have to figure out who is involved. These will become the categories in Handyshopper. In our case, we have three humans. This leads to a category for each of us, as well as a General category for cleaning supplies and shared items like toilet paper.
Figure out where you buy things: this will include department stores, pharmacies, dollar stores, bulk stores and specialties. My list includes Target, Sam’s Club, Dollar Store, and my salon.
List Items You Use
Next, for each person, list everything he or she uses. Use the following list for a prompt:
- Bathing: soap, shampoo, conditioner, facial scrubs, bath poofs, bubble bath, Epsom salts
- Shaving: shaving cream, razors, lotions, aftershave
- Makeup: foundation, concealer, mascara, liner, shadow, powder, blush, lipstick, makeup remover
- Haircare: gel, spray, color
- Baby/Child: shampoo, soap, wipes, cream, lotions
- Teeth: floss, toothpaste, toothbrushes
- Skin: lotion, cleansers
- Cleaning: paper towels, mirror cleaner, magic erasers, toilet bowl cleaner
- Feminine: pads, tampons
- General supplies: toilet paper, air fresheners
- Other: contact lens care, medicines
As you are putting in each one, file it under the correct person, and also check the stores you could buy it at.
Making the First Shopping List
Figure out how much of each item you use per month. For example, I use one bottle of contact solution every month; we use two tubes of toothpaste per month. Set up your shopping list to buy that quantity to have on hand. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right – you can always run out and get more!
Taking Monthly Inventory
After you have set up your stockpile, make a point to once a month go through and see what you are out of. Then use the shopping list when you are running errands to pick up what you need. When you are in one of your stores, open up Handyshopper and see what it is you need.
Now, because you have set up a reserve of items, you should never run out.