People on land love to shop at stores where you can purchase goods in massive bulk quantities. My mom shops at Costco all the time and is always storing cases of foods and other items. This is fine if you live in a house with small rooms called pantries.
On a boat, space is a luxury! There simply isn't enough space to store such large bulk purchases all the time. We usually purchase items in much smaller quantities more frequently.
Instead of having a case of spaghetti sauce in a cabinet, we have a single extra jar. For items that we don't use as often, we might not have a spare on board. When we run out, we run out until we get to another store to purchase a replacement.
This leads us to be more aware of what we have on board the boat, since we recently put it there. If we had stashed the case of spaghetti sauce away last year, we would have probably forgotten about it hidden away in a cabinet. Since we frequently use them and replenish them, we are very aware of what we have and where it is.
This lifestyle is fine, until you come across a really great deal!
I was at West Marine one day when they told me that they were having a crazy sale on bottom paint. I plan to haul Wisdom and Windpuff this fall to paint their bottoms, and will be needing a lot of paint. If I buy it in the fall, it will cost me a lot of money. If I buy it now, I will save a lot of money but will need to store the cans until the fall. So begins the liveaboard dilemma!
As you can see, I decided to buy the paint and stash it away in a locker until the fall.
Maddie wanted to paint pretty labels on the outside of the doors indicating what we stored inside the cabinet when she first moved in with me. I advised her not to do that because the storage in the boat is very dynamic. What we store in the lockers changes with the seasons as well as with a whim.
This locker used to hold canned meats and beans. Now it holds bottom paint! A little reorganizing helped shuffle the stored items around and make room for this one time great deal. If we bought everything in bulk, we would not have been able to accommodate such a large, spur of the moment purchase.