Would buying cases of an item be considered greedy? How about stocking up on food and household items to last you 3-6 months, are you being selfish? If food spoils and you have to toss it out before you can eat it, is that selfish or poor planning? When you grab the last box on the shelf, is that greedy?
These questions and others come up every now and then when I go shopping or purchase an item. I try to keep a balance between stocking up a pantry and going to far. I don't like to shop for groceries and household items, to keep a stock of 3-6 months worth of food in the house is wonderful because that is less time in the grocery store, and with the produce and bread area near the front of the store I can get in and out in 15 minutes.
However, I began wondering if I maybe greedy? Perhaps I am grabbing the last box of tuna helper when I have 5 already at home and someone else is in need of it. Maybe I could cut back and only keep 2-3 months of food in the house because 6 months is a lot of food if someone sees it. Then there is the occasion when I toss out some food that went past the expiration date and I forgot about it and it could have gone to some one who would have used it or I should have organized better.
After talking with some friends we came to some conclusions about stocking up and when is it being greedy.
First, the store is there to sell food, they don't care who comes and picks it up off the shelf. Because of this most stores will offer rainchecks that allow you to get the number you need at the sale price you came in for.
However, if you know that you will be needing 3 pallets of canned dog food and the store usually only stocks 2-3 pallets then contacting management and putting in an order for the cases you need helps out in three ways, you get what you need, the store keeps their items in stock and the weekly\impulse shopper still has product left on the shelf to pick from.
Second, we came to an agreement that if you have a set amount of time or amount you buy for, whether it is 1-6 months or 4 items of a product, then you should stick to that plan. Going over that personal plan would be crossing a line that you have made for yourself. If you know you don't need beyond the 1-6 months than why buy beyond that time-frame.
Third, you have to figure out how much your family will go through for food. Sometimes this decision will come as a result of trial and error after having food go bad in the freezer. For example, if you are unsure if your family should buy a full cow worth of meat or a half a cow worth of meat, you may can go either way and decide that 1/2 a cow was too small and you will go larger next time or you can buy the full cow and as the calendar pages turn over, realize that you will need to get rid of some food so it doesn't spoil.
My friend Stace summed it up, "I think greed starts to play a part when someone stocks up on things that they don’t really want or won’t use, or when they start running out of places to store the stuff."