Several wise men in my church and our FEMA program have stated that we need a "years supply" of food and personal items. That is my guideline. I try to have what I think we could and would use within a year. More than that is extravagant and wasteful for me. I mean are 87 toothbrushes really going to come in handy if there is a catastrophe? Would it be more helpful to have say 25 cans of tuna? Am I really going to eat 10 cans of vegetables before they expire(yes), but 100 probably not. Is this instant food healthy or just cheap and convenient, would it make more sense to buy fresh ingredients and make a casserole? Once you really get started into couponing, the deals are aplenty. What separates a good couponer from an excellent one (in my opinion) is learning when to say when. This has been a huge challenge for me, but I am getting better. I think I have found my own personal balance.
So here is my stockpile, I don't think it is huge, but manageable. I also recently had my "cupboard month", which I will talk about later. Basically we mostly make meals out of the cupboard to try and use up some food so it doesn't expire.
My kitchen pantry. The soup is from case lots sale last winter. The bottom boxes are tuna that my husband caught and had canned. I also have baking supplies on the other side, but it is mostly in bulk and not that exciting. Most everything else was bought here and there in reasonable quantities.
My bathroom stockpile. I am good with shampoo/conditioner/lotion/etc... we have a large supply. A lot of this I bought when I first started, before I realized how quick cheap shampoo multiplies. :)
Diapers. These are mostly in the next two sizes up, but I am mostly stocked up on these too. I think after I earn my free coupon from Rite Aid, I am good for about a year. By the way, these were all bought a pack at a time.
One of my favorite quotes is "Happiness is a place between too little and too much" (Finnish proverb). This is how I try to live my life, but also how I try to coupon. You know those "hoarding" shows, look in the background and you will see lots of full "deal" bags and coupons waiting to be clipped on the counter. Sad, but true most of these so called hoarders are "excellent" deal finders, but not so much "excellent coupon balancers." Okay, sorry for the tirade just sharing what I think. I hope it will give you some inspiration to find your balance: :)
Want to read more the coupon project has a great post on this subject.