Day 1: We all have to shop! Why not save money while doing it?
Day 2: The Language of Couponers – Translated!
Day 3: Where Art Thou Coupons?
Day 4: Know Thy Coupon (What does that fine print mean?)
Day 5: When to Use Your Coupons
Day 6: Buy Groceries, Pay for College with Upromise eCoupons
Day 7: eCoupons the Alternate to Clipping
Day 8: Don’t Get Mad, Get a Rain Check
Day 9: Advance Your Couponing Skills with Rebates
Day 10: Stockpiling
Day 11: Organize Your Coupon Stash
Day 12: Surviving the Checkout Lane
With all of your coupon knowledge, you can now begin your stockpile. The longer you coupon, you know the deals always come around again. I used to think that free toothpaste would never come around again but now I know that there is always free toothpaste available so I don’t stress if I can’t get to the store on that particular week.
By stockpiling items before you need them at the lowest price, you won’t have to buy at a higher price when you have to have them. This also eliminates unnecessary trips to the store, which could cause you to make impulse purchases. Another advantage of stockpiling is you already have food stocked in your pantry, thus giving you no excuse not to cook.
What to Stockpile
It is recommended you come up with a list of your 50 or so most used products. Items you can have on hand to whip together a meal anytime. This will be different for every family. Some of our family’s stock up items include cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, Crest Pro Health Toothpaste (yes, someone is picky!), personal care products, canned soups, cereals, bread, etc.
To get the most out of couponing, you usually have to expand your horizons and not be brand specific. If you are brand specific, like in our household have to buy Crest Pro Health Toothpaste in spearmint only or Gillette disposable razors, or only Aloe Shaving Cream, or only Tyson breaded chicken products (Have you guessed who the picky person is yet?) you may have to wait longer for a sale to come along. When it does, you will want to make sure you have several coupons on hand so you can buy enough to last your family until the next sale comes along.
When to Stockpile
So when do you stockpile? Some people track the lowest prices with a spreadsheet or something called a price book. Mine is stored in my head but here’s a few items and the my target rock bottom price. Remember this will differ for everyone and will differ on your own family’s needs.
Bargain Tip: For perishable items like potatoes, make a huge batch of home made mashed potatoes and freeze into smaller containers to re-heat later.
Cereal - $1.50/box or less
Toothpaste/Toothbrushes - Free
Hair Products - 25¢ or less
Fresh Boneless Chicken Breast - $1.87/lb or less
Pasta/Pasta Sauce - $1 or less
Dish Liquid - 25¢ or less
Cookie Mixes/Brownie Mixes/Frosting - 25¢ or less
Boxed Potatoes – 50¢ or less
10 lb bag of potatoes - $1.97 or less
Bread – 50¢ or less
Lysol Cleaning Supplies – 50¢ or less
Pizza Rolls – 50¢ or less
Frozen Pizzas – $3.00 or less
The professionals say the sale usually cycle through every 12 weeks. Some cycle through more often. Others cycle through less. You get more of a feel for this the longer you coupon. I try to give you the best coupon match ups here but only you can decide if a item is “worth” the price for you to stockpile.
You will notice that usually around 4-6 weeks before a holiday or season change, the related items will start going on sale. Baking items start going on sale at the beginning of November, Halloween candy starts going on sale at the beginning of October, etc. so you will stock up on those items before you need them.
Some things like lipbalm are considered “necessities” and I will ANY price for these items. Even though, I try to stock up when I find it for around 30¢/tube but sometimes you have to pay full price if is a “need” item.
You can save money by having the items you use regularly on hand because 1) you purchased at a low price and 2) saves time, money, and impulse items when you have to stop at the store for that one item 3) ingredients on hand to make meals instead of reaching for the phone for take out.
The 15 Days of Couponing will guide you through the art of couponing. It is a skill that you can learn and maximize to the full potential to help your family and help others. So if you are interested in cutting your grocery budget in half or more, read yesterday’s edition and stay tuned for tommorrow’s edition.