Monday, March 21, 2011
So You Want to Learn How to Coupon and Save: Stockpiling...
First off, let me tell you it takes time to learn all the tricks and tips. Much more than can be explained in one posting. So each Monday, I will be featuring Monday Money Saving Tips- or Couponing 101. This feature will last quite some time as there is so much important information to pass along! At ANY TIME you may send you questions via "Contact Me" and I will either answer you directly, or will use that as a topic for the next Monday.
Let me start by saying the biggest hurdle to jump when saving money is to change your way of thinking. Always look for a way to save in your everyday spending, as well as big purchases. Saving money is not just cutting out a few coupons here and there. It is a lifestyle. When I walk into a department store, the first area I gravitate to is the clearance area- and I am proud to say, even with all the teasing my children give me, they are now doing the same thing! My 4 yr old runs through the store, looking for blinkie coupons, (those red machines that spit out coupons.) Even he knows, unless it is on sale, and mommy has a coupon for it, chances are we won't be bring it home that day.
OK- the key to being able to save money when using coupons is to STOCKPILE. Sales go in cycles, and if you can stock up on a product you use a lot of while it is on sale and has a coupon out, you can hold off buying it at full price! That is the main secret to it all. Now buying 10 bottles of dish soap may not seem to be the norm, but if it normally costs $1.59 and you have a coupon and it is on sale, you could very potentially get it for free or pennies. Wouldn't you rather buy 10 bottles at .25 a piece, than 1 at $1.59??? I know I would!
Choosing what you can stockpile is crucial too. It depends on the space you have, how much your family can use before it will expire, and how soon before it goes on sale again. Most things go on sale every few weeks or months. After a while, you will start seeing some patterns. For example, March is frozen food month, Nov and Dec bring baking supplies on sale, soda sales are abundant near Superbowl week, Memorial day, July 4th and Labor Day.
Stockpiling isn't just for groceries! I have a gift closet in my house. Curious? I buy presents for the different people in my life when I find them at great prices. Through the year I will buy Christmas gifts for my family and others when things are on clearance- Target is great for this! I already have most of my oldest daughters birthday gifts for her this year and her birthday is in July!! When you take the time to think ahead and plan a bit, you will be surprised how much you can save rather than waiting till the last minute. The girls come home and tell me they have a party to go to tomorrow night- I can go dig into my stash and find something I have on hand! So much easier than running to the mall.
I love to be able go to the "Store" (my basement stockpile) and find what I need.
Now, it does take some time to build up your stockpile, it won't happen over night. But once you have it, you will be shopping the sales, not the needs, as you will already have most of your needs on hand :)