Tuesday, June 8, 2010

When do you buy?

One of the biggest changes you need to make when you start couponing is changing the way you buy items. Stockpiling is a term you hear a lot when couponing. To me, stockpiling is buying enough of a particular item when it's at a rock-bottom price to hopefully get you through until the next time it's on sale. I don't try to buy enough to have certain items for a certain number of months or anything that organized- I just focus on stocking up on my normal staples when I can get them cheap.

What's rock-bottom and when do I stock up? Each item varies. My overall savings goal is 60% for groceries and household items. Certain items are easier to get at lower prices than others.

Fruits, vegetables and meat are harder to save on- harder, not impossible. By contacting companies, I've been able to get some coupons on these type of products (Earthbound Farms, Mann and Smart Chicken are a few I've had luck with). Meijer andd other stores often have Catalina coupons for $? off a $? meat or product purchase that can reduce those costs as well as using Catalina coupons you've earned for $$'s on your next order. I'm pretty picky about buying meat, and will pay more for better quality meat- which I'm okay with since I've saving so much on other areas.

Cereal/bars/snack foods are an easy place to save money. I usually try to get my cereal for less than $1 a box- and when I can do that, I usually buy 4-8 boxes of cereal. Cereal deals seem to be pretty frequent. Anytime I'm running low I always seem to find another cereal deal. Bars and snack foods are always on sale somewhere too..

Personal care & household products are also EASY places to save money. Pretty much every week you can get some type of personal care or household product for free. Start shopping at Target, Walgreens and Rite Aid if you don't already. These are great places to get freebies or close to free items. Before getting into couponing, I'd buy Bath & Body Works soap for myself- not because I found that brand to be superior or had problems with others, but out of habit. Once I started couponing and seeing all the free name brand products I could get, I started trying different store brands and realizing they worked just fine for me. I've tried Nivea, Olay and Dove body washes and have been fine with all of them- and all have either been free or I've made money "buying" them. What a better reason to try a new product than it being free! Why not? If you don't like it, you don't have to buy it again- and you aren't out any or much money.

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