Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Why you should make time to inventory your "stuff" and a toiletry inventory

I've been working on taking stock of our pantry, toiletries, and my clothing. For me, this means understanding our existing stockpile, any pending needs, and anything we might be running out of soon.

In 2017, I hope to reduce our budgets by keeping better track of our needs & what we already have at home. This, of course, helps me reduce overbuying, but also helps me search for good deals when I know we will be needing something soon. Given our pending move (either location will require a move, as we are currently renting), it's more important than ever that I don't unnecessarily stockpile. Who wants to move a bunch of stuff we won't need for a few years . . . or ever?

I started with inventorying my toiletries. My goal for the first six months of 2017 is to not buy any toiletries, save for the credits I have on my plenti point account (Rite Aid). I have $79 available for toiletries during the first six months. I'll also look for opportunities to roll my points, to extend the savings.

The first item I determined as a pending need (meaning, I have one item in service, but no backup) is my eyeliner. And yes, I realize "need" is probably a generous description of eyeliner for those of you who don't wear makeup. ;-) I went to Rite Aid yesterday to see if I could take advantage of a "spend $50, get $20 in points" offer, by price checking non-toiletry needs:

  • After looking at the Rite Aid ad, I did a cost per unit comparison of our dishwasher tablets. We are paying $.11 per tablet at Costco. Rite Aid was offering the tablets BOGO, so I was able to get them for $.10 per tablet (not including the plenti offer). Not a toiletry budget item.
  • I also had slippers on my list of clothing needs. I was able to find a very cute pair that matched my needs for under $10. (Didn't count towards the plenti offer). Not a toiletry budget item.
  • The eyeliner was also BOGO50. Unfortunately, because I'm not a pro, I didn't use my plenti points. I didn't want to deduct my precious toiletry points with the dishwasher tablet & slipper purchases, both of which came out of other categories. 
So, I've already "violated" the toiletry challenge by using a credit card for a toiletry purchase. However, I'll track my eyeliner spend & move the goal post out by another month. Should have had another cup of coffee before I attempted a complicated purchase this morning. ;-)

I am now $10 away from earning the $20 reward, so I will look at Rite Aid next week for other options.

With all of that, here's my existing inventory of our toiletries. (I use a special shampoo, as it's expensive, but something I need due to an extreme dry scalp condition caused by lupus. Otherwise, we would all use the same stuff.)

Toiletries inventory
Item# on hand
Bar soap14
Hotel soaps9
My deodorant2
M's deodorant4
Shaving cream4
Kids shampoo4
My shampoo1
Face cloths2
Eye makeup remover3
Face scrub1
Razor replacements2
Night face cream1
Face sunblock - SPF 701
Lotion 2lots of travel + full size
Sonicare heads9
Dental floss5

As you can see, we're in good shape for pretty much everything. I will continue to track our toiletries and use my plenti points to lower our budget. Basically, use the plenti points as a true asset, vs randomly spending it. 

I'll also be posting about our pantry stockpile, as well as household goods (ziplocks, laundry soap), as I've been trying to do an update of our cost per unit across every item. Expect a clothing update soon. This won't be a stockpile, so much as an inventory taking of existing items, as well as any known needs.

What about you? Do you inventory any of your stockpiles, or track costs per unit? I was blown away to know that dishwasher tablets were $.10 (or, $.11, depending on the deal). Just knowing this will make me more conscientious of running the dishwasher when it's not completely fully. Share your stockpile tips!!


  1. FYI-The Spend $50, Get $20 in Starting Points Deal doesn't roll from 1 week to the next. If you started a deal you have to get to $50 before the sale week ends so get back up to R-A this week and spend another $10.

    1. Thanks so much for letting me know! I would have missed out & been super annoyed. You are the pro. :-)

  2. Toiletry inventory begins tomorrow. Now I need to figure out the Rite Aid points system

    1. It's pretty straightforward, but you basically keep your eye out for items you need that are at their lowest price, but offer a reward. Use the rewards (plenti points) for future spending. I'm not great at it, and go in spurts, but accumulated a lot of points over the holidays.

  3. O.K., so you have a high-powered career, you are raising two fairly young children, you do menu planning, you bake your own banana bread, you maintain a blog, you read 50 books a year, you travel for work frequently, and now you are telling us that you have the time to inventory your toiletries? When do you sleep??!!! I am exhausted just reading your blog!!! (Sorry, I don't mean this as a criticism; it's just that as a relatively lazy person, I just can't imagine having so much energy!)

    1. Well, I definitely have my moments, particularly with lupus. But, I personally find that being organized allows me to tackle my life. I can't stand disorganization. It slows me down & stresses me out.

      But, I'm by no means perfect. I have lots of shortcuts I use, and plan every day out extensively to make sure I have time to get things done.

      On the sleep side, I get a lot of sleep. Around 8-9 hours/day. Adequate sleep is one of the critical parts of keeping my lupus from flaring, so it's a top priority in my life.

  4. Sounds like you're already ahead of the game for 2017. It's going to be a good year!

  5. Impressive! Just making the list will remind you what to watch for deals on. We have a points system at one of our national drugstore chains (Shoppers Drug Mart) and sometimes I try to play the system - I usually get a few good deals. The other major drugstore chain deals in Airmiles which I cash out for grocery discounts (never, ever earn enough for flights!)