I wrote this out for someone and thought I would share it in case some of you can benefit from it as well. This is by no means an exhaustive list. This is a beginner’s findinds on learning how to coupon and stockpile. There are much more acomplished couponers out there that I am sure we could all benefit from learning from. Have any ideas? Please share in the comment section.
I truly believe that if we could afford more in groceries we would only so that I could eat some of the things I would like. I firmly believe taht if you have the money to spend on groceries you can/should. Eating healthy is a wonderful way to a good and healthy life. But here are some things we do and I hope it can help any of you, and this is by no means and exhaustive list, I am still learning/beginner and I hope I can drop it more so that we can build our savings up.
1. We dont buy milk. Our in-laws have goats. If you can get GOOD raw goats milk, its easier to get use too. We have 2 families in town that give goats milk. I cant STAND the one family’s goat milk. Way way way to strong. Almost like a buttermilk/sour milk thing. I wonder if its the feed or something? Anyway, but fortunetly my in-laws have a very good creamy milk goat milk. It has also been a lifesaver since I dont handle cow milk very well. Anyway, I know that that is atleast $5 savings a weekx 52= $260 a year. Now right now the goats just had babies so there isnt enough milk for both families so I did buy some Almond milk this week on special and used a $2 off coupon making it approx $2 for a half gallon. I had a couple off difficulties this past week with getting up early enough to make breakfast and we have had cold cereal which takes a lot of milk, but I found in a shopping cart a catalina printout for a free half gallon of Almond Milk. It was a God-send so I’ll have 2 half gallons of milk that I hav had to purchase for appox. $2. So I guess what I am trying to say in a round about way, is keep your eyes peeled for savings. 🙂
2. I will only pay a certain price for meat/poultry. The lowest we can get for chicken is $1.67 on Albertsons 8 hour sale thingie. I buy LBS maybe 10 maybe 20. divide them up for how many I will need a meal and thats what we live on. Usually they are $1.97 (good” sale but usually $2.87) I do not pay more than $2lb for beef. I wait for a sale and stock up on what I think I will need. We dont eat much beef so I really only get one for each sunday of the month that I can throw in the crockpot. I can usually get two meals out of 1 roast or 2 london broil peices. I make sure that everyone gets a good protien portion but I also put a lot of veggies and some rice/potatos to fill them up. Since we are gluten free we cant do rolls but rolls are an excellent way to fill you up. 🙂
3. Buy in bulk for the things you will use a lot. Its not worth it to me to buy a bulk of say diapers because I can get them cheaper by doing Walgreens/Rite Aid but if I buy bulk in rice/oatmeal/maple syrup through a co-op. Those are items that I will use a lot and go through quickly so its definetly cheaper to buy in bulk. If its going to rot or go stale quickly, dont buy in bulk, its a waste of money. 🙂
4. While we cant do wheat, if you watch your ads, do some online research with people that are experts at couponing you can a lot of times get some free dinner items and breakfast cereals. Watch out for rebates. It IS a lot of time invested in this kind of thing but the rewards are worth it. When things go like taht STOCK UP. You are providing for your family. If they are out, get rainchecks.
5. Within a month of of shopping every two weeks I had saved approx $10 a week. When I got low on food in the house, I went freezer and pantry digging. It also helps make sure food doesnt go bad, you use up leftovers more, and the stockpile you have can stay fresh.
6. Stockpiling. When certain item(s) go on sale, its a good idea to grab your coupons and stock up. The whole value of coupons is not buying items when you need them persay, but getting the item when they are on sale at a very good price and then stocking up for later. For example, Alberstons soup is usually $.99 Progresso soup is usually about $2.49. A lot of times they have their $1.10/3 progresso soup coupon. If I went to the store then, it would definetly be cheaper to buy the Alberston brand. BUT if you wait until the $1 sale that they have for the Progresso soups. Stack taht with the $1.10 coupon you get 3 cans of soup for .63 a can. Usually they have a Catalina deal going on where you buy x number of certain brand items (say Betty Crocker) you get a $x off your next purchase. Ok, so this is when you take all that money you have saved shopping every two weeks 😉 and using it for your stockpile. Lets say the deal is buy 10 Betty Crocker items and get $3 off your next purchase.
So I go and I buy 10 Progresso soups, use 3 $1.10/3 coupons making my total purchase $6.70 – the $3 catalina I just recieved. So technically you just got 10 progresso soups for $3.70. If I do that scenario a couple times (USUALLY, you have to do your research) the Catalina will roll, which means you can buy the Progresso soup deal again + your $3.50 coupon and pay $3.70 and recieve another $3 Cataline. Now you have 20 soups for $10.40-3=$7.40
Its deals like that, that you really keep an eye out for and stock up. If you have a shopping place like Harris T/Food Lion/Lowes Food/etc and other places, you can do this weekly and be sitting pretty. In my town I can only do this with Albertsons. So now I have 20 soups that I’ll probably use for lunches and for $7.40 I’ll feed my family for almost 1 month in lunches. Now, this deal can be done with so many things/items. The possibilities are endless.
7. Watch for rebates. A lot of times certain companies put out a rebate form. I just did one for Dannon Yogurt. Buy x number of items and recieve x number of coupons (sometimes they will send $$ instead) Since I use the Dannon yougurt alot for my husband to take to work for a good protien source it was so worth it to me to save all my reciepts and mail it in. There is a rebate for $5 back on your purchase of 3 select Johnson and Johnson items. I have used this for Ziplock bags, Glade Sense and Spray (which you can usually get for $1 or even free and earn $5 from johnson and Johnson just by buying that product!) so there are a lot of things like that.
8. Toilettes and such. Ok, this is where my Rite Aid comes into play. I use Striving To Be Faithful’s blog (google) and her goal is to earn money so she works out all the scenarios to reflect that. Using that I have gotten a lot of free TP by stacking coupons. Our area has the welness plan+ the Rite Aid Value Videos you can watch online + manufactor coupons. Using alll those + the $5/$20-25 purchase you can snag some very inexpensive items. I do that for Feminine necessities, TP, Toothpaste, tooth brushes, shampoo, makeup for my sisters, etc etc. A lot of times I have apple boxes of stuff I cant use but I cant resist since I get them for free. I can usually resell those at a yard sale and bring in more income to help with the times that are tough or for savings. Diapers- I do this at Walgreens. Usually they have a sale for $8.99 on Huggies, I sign up for the Huggies diapers and the Pull up mailer coupons + what I can get on coupons.com, use those + The Children’s Activity book taht Walgreens has, has a $1/1 WG coupon so that takes $3 off + a lot of times you get a $3RR back so you just paid, $6.99 oop (what you usually pay for store diapers) and get back $3RR to use on another item where you can get another RR and then go back and get another diaper for say $4.99oop and recieve $3RR and you just go back and forth on this, pretty soon, you spent $20oop for diapers that will last you more than 1 1/2 months. I usually spend $20 a week for 2 kids if I didnt get them on sale. So there I have a savings of $60.
9. Always make your shopping list out before, according to whats on sale, etc etc. Then go online and search everywhere for coupons. Usually I can say- Olive Oil Coupon or something and it’ll come up.
10. (I have to make it here) I am sure there is something else but I just wanted to end on an even number. LOL. I really do think eating before you go shopping is wise. When you shop and are hungry your apt to get something through the drive through or an extra munchy in the store. Its just another cost and adds up.
Even if you see something you’ll never use (like for example, last month they had a deal where I got paid $5 to buy Benefiber, I’ll never use it), always remember taht you can donate/sell/etc that item. With the 6 bottles of Benefiber I had, I was able to sell them on Ebay for an addition $10 profit. It was soo helpful to us this week and someone else was able to get a really good deal too! 🙂
I pay approx $6.50 for 4 papers every Sunday for the inserts. I usually get that back every week with my shopping.