About Me

I recently started couponing on January 1, 2011 as a New Year's Resolution. I had never really couponed before because it always seemed time consuming- "how could a 25 cent coupon REALLY save you money?" I thought. Plus, I have never really stuck to a New Year's Resolution. So this year I decided to make a change- I would stick to both! And I have. So far I have cut our weekly grocery budget 70%! We used to spend $150 a week on little things that we could not even make a meal out of AND then we would eat out on top of that! Thousands wasted over a year. Now I spend on average $58 a week on groceries and personal items (toilet paper, body wash) AND I stock up on many of these items so I won't need them again for another 6-12 months! These number keeps going down as we begin to live off our stockpile. If you follow my blog, I will teach you some of the ways this newbie couponer has saved lots of money!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Secret to Couponing Success: Stockpiling!

So yes, when I first heard extreme savings meant extreme couponing, and extreme couponing meant extreme stockpiling, I was a little put off. I thought- I don't have room for a years worth of toliet paper?! Isn't that hoarding...I believe they made a show about those types of people... BUT stockpiling and hoarding are very different.

My operational definition for the purpose of stockpiling is as follows:

Planning for a need (Oh, no! We are out of toliet paper!) prior to needing the good (toliet paper).

Method to stockpiling:
  1. Search for sales (lucky for you, there are websites that do this for you now!)

  2. Pair up your your sales with your coupons (printables, Sunday paper circulars, etc.)

  3. If the food has an expiration date: Buy the supply needed for your family until the next sales cycle. If the food is not a perishable item OR has a long expiration date (2-5 years): Buy a year's supply, or as much as you can supply in your household. Items include: toliet paper, body wash, deodorant, mustard, canned items, etc.

TIP: For perishables with short expiration dates: You will start to see the same coupons every 2-3 months, so a 2-3 month supply of cereal is all I buy since we don't eat a lot of it.

TIP: If you know that you can not use an item before it expires, donate it to your local food pantry! But please don't wait until a week before. Plan ahead. :)

Now, when I say stock up, I am saying stock up at extreme prices. You will blow your budget if you stock up on items that are $4 and buy 10 of them (unless it is something expensive like diapers and $4 would be a great deal).

When I stock up, items are usually less than $1, pennies or FREE! AND you must buy 4+ of these items. That is why I recommend 4+ newspapers weekly so you can have enough coupons.

Below are some of my recent stock up items:

All this for...
:::drumroll please:::

$1.69!!! Savings= $37.16, 96% :) And the only reason that gum is in there is because CVS owed me money and to check me out I needed to have something around $1. So $0.62 is for the gum and $1.07 is for tax, all the items were FREE, plus CVS gave me $10 towards my next purchase! This is an example of when you stock up on dish detergent. Now I have a years supply of dish detergent so I can take it off my grocery list. What would have cost $6 a box x 6 purchases in a year =$36, cost me nothing because I shopped deals/sales and used coupons.

1st transaction: $3.80+tax for $40 worth of makeup. 95 cents each!

2nd transaction: 26 cents +tax for the Face Wash & a tag for discounts for future purchases (Had to spent $1 to check out since CVS owed me $$$ after sales, coupons, etc.- I will teach you CVS shoppers about this tag in another post soon) AND CVS gave me $5 cash for my next purchase.

Around $4+ tax for everything and I had $5 towards my next purchase. This is when you stock up on makeup and facewash!

All this for $1.19!!! 24 cents each! The CVS deal: Get $5 back when you buy $15 worth of Dove product

  • Dove Conditioner on clearance for $2.34 (1) TIP: Always check the clearance section!!!
  • Dove Deodorant on sale for $3.50 (4)
  • Used (4) $2 off deodorant coupons
  • Used (1) $1 off Dove hair product
  • Used (1) $5 ECB from previous Makeup purchase
Total $1.19 and they gave me $5 towards my next purchase!

All this for $2+ tax (40 cents a piece!) and CVS gave me $5 for my next purchase. Normally would have been $25!!! We won't need body wash in our house for 6-12 months now! This is when you stock up on body wash!

This was a Kroger deal. They had a Mega Sale. Get 10 items on their list and they take $5 off your purchase for each 10 item cluster. This total deal was around $13 with tax, so I stocked up on Hunt's tomatoes, fabric softener, Almond Milk, and Soda!

This was a Publix deal. $32 for everything, saved $45. They had an Italian Days sale, buy 20 items on their list, get $5 off your purchase. The Progresso soup, Progresso chicken stock and veggies were on their list and everything else I had coupons for! I stocked up on soup, chicken stock, veggies and cough drops. Other items included were: tomatoes, 4 lb. organic chicken, organic peanut butter, cheese, Ballpark Franks, oatmeal, cantelope, etc. I was able to stock up and get my groceries for the week for $32.

TIP: Freeze anything you can if you stock up so it lasts longer! Items to freeze: coffee beans, hotdogs, meats, vegetables, bread, etc.

These are just a few examples of how I have stocked up and saved in the last 2 months using this strategy. By saving on all these items, I was able to buy more organic and healthy foods.

Now, when you buy all these items...you need to have a place to put them. Some of you have large pantrys and that's perfect. I do not have a large pantry, so we invested in a $30 5-tier shelf from Target. Here are some snapshots of my stockpile area in the laundry room (each shelf is organized by cleaning products, bathroom items, etc.) and some items on it:

Left hand, bottom shelf: 2 years worth of detergent, 1 year+ worth of dish soap, sponges, Lysol, etc. All these were less than $2 a piece or free.

Right hand bottom shelf. The Finish was free and the Resolve, etc. was about 30 cents a piece.

2+ years worth of bandaides, razors, 6 months worth of shampoo/conditioner, 6 months+ worth of bodywash, 3-6 months worth of fashwash, makeup, medicine, etc.

Right hand 2nd shelf. 1 years worth of deodortant, way more cough drops than I need (will probably donate to mission trip), 4 months worth of toothpaste, etc. All this was free (toothpaste, cough drops) or very cheap.
3 months worth of tomatoes, soup, etc. 6+ months worth of chicken stock. 1+ year of mustard, 1+ year of pickles, 6 months worth of Ketchup, etc.

2 years worth of tissues, 6-8 months worth of toliet paper, paper towels, etc.

Will gas prices soaring and the economy not getting better for awhile, how can you afford NOT to coupon and stockpile? :)

Happy couponing!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for clarifying the difference between stockpiling and hoarding.