A couple of months ago, I shared my frustration with the word stockpiling — a term used to describe how couponers buy more in the short term so we have enough of a product to get us through until the next time an item goes on sale. I invited readers to suggest some alternatives to that word. And did you guys deliver!
Dear Jill: Your column asked readers to suggest terms we couponers could use for stocking up on sale items that separates us from hoarders.
For more than 20 years I have worked as a planner/ scheduler in a manufacturing facility. In the planning function of my job, one of the key areas of responsibility is inventory management – making sure products are in stock when customers want them. There is a term called safety stock where a certain quantity of an item is subtracted from the actual inventory. This helps to prevent the company from running out of stock if the supply chain is interrupted.
I can see how it also could apply to stocking up on a three-month supply of a particular item. In this case our groceries, laundry detergent, paper towels — whatever it is we purchased with a combined store sale and coupon savings is kind of like safety stock. This helps ensure we do not run out and keeps us from having to pay full price and with no sale or coupon. It keeps our cost at a minimum.
Let us couponers consider our low-cost supply as safety stock — not hoarding or wiping store shelves bare. We take advantage of a good buy on a sale item we will use within in the immediate future.
— Bob R.
I agree! Stockpiling has become synonymous with hoarding. However, we do need a new term. The retail industry already has a term for merchandise not out on the floor but will be needed within the several weeks before a new truckload arrives — it’s called back stock. Items you need on hand to be sold soon. It’s a familiar term and describes that three-month supply.
— Leslie F.