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Have you ever found out you were out of something you regularly use, just when you need to use it? Things that pop into my mind (because we have run out of them) are toilet paper, soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent. While in many cases it is possible to manufacture a reasonable substitute, how great would it be if you never ran out?
You can ensure this…with a simple schedule of supplies. Here’s how to make one:
Make A List
Make a list of all the things (non-food) that you use regularly. This would include things like shampoo, soap, toilet paper, cleaning supplies; anything you use regularly.
If you buy these things at different stores, put a notation as to which store you buy them at. This will help streamline your errands later on.
Corral Your Existing Items
One of the time-saving steps to having a list like this is only having to check one or two places to see if you need things. Take some time and find a place where you can store the extras you have on hand. I keep a basket in my bathroom closet for the toiletries, and the cleaning supply extras (not the ones in use in each bathroom) are on the floor of the same closet.
Do An Initial Stock
Next, take your list and make note of the things you need in order to have a supply on hand. Go to the store and purchase these items, and store them with the others. Make sure you have enough quantity to last for a month. For example, have six bars of soap if that is what your family uses in a month.
Stock Up Once A Month
On a set day every month, take your list (I keep the master list taped to the back of my closet door) and note what you need to replenish the stock. Then shop for it. Make sure the people in your family know you will only do this once a month.
The major benefit of doing this, besides having things you need on hand, is that you will find the amount of errands you run decreases. By shopping for the things once a month, you won’t have to run out three or four times a week to purchase something you ran out of.
As a side note to you sale-shoppers out there…you can also use this method to stock up on things when they are on sale. For instance, if my daughter’s shampoo is on sale, I will buy four bottles and keep them on hand, rather than buying one sale bottle and three regular-priced bottles on consecutive months. Watch out, though: make sure you are not stocking up to the point you will never use it!
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