When I think of stockpiling I always think of toothpaste first, I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because every Extreme Couponing I've seen they always show all the toothpaste or maybe because since I've started couponing I've noticed that toothpaste is one of the easiest things to stockpile because every week you can find an amazing deal for some kind of toothpaste, so it's easy to get it free or crazy cheap.
So how much do you need? Right now I have 7 tubes of unopened toothpaste (for 2 adults). Ok, so even that is probably way too much to hold on to. (Now let me preface this by saying stockpiling is great if you are giving to charity or other friends and family in need, but I am specifically talking about if you are on a tight income with not much space to stockpile and you are just doing this for your family)
For those of us with not much room to stockpile have to be careful not to be 'carried away' by the deal so to speak. I love a good deal but even I have to remember just because there is an amazing deal this week, I don't have to get every amazing deal, maybe that's why I really started blogging, because even if I don't have the space to pick up this deal I can at least tell you about it! Sometimes those coupons are burning a hole in my pocket - it's a $5 coupon I have to use it! You need to be reasonable in your own circumstances! Everything will be on sale again. This is when it is helpful to watch the circulars to notice how often your favorite items go on sale. If you know Chicken Breasts go on sale every 2 months, then try to stock up so you have enough to last you until they go on sale again.
I do think a stockpile is essential - first because most of the amazing deals, you have to buy more than 1 to get the good deal and second, because if you come across a month where you are really financially tight you don't have to buy much of anything and still not be in need.
Just remember - There WILL be another sale on toothpaste next week!