Wondering how to start a stockpile on a budget? How do beginners use coupons when they don’t have a stockpile? I’ve gathered up my best tips to teach you how to use coupons to stockpile and save money.
For those of you who do not take couponing to the next level, it may seem very strange almost a bit ridiculous right?
You’ve probably seen the show Extreme Couponing, and saw the stockpiles on there and thought, first HOW, and second, WHY?
But although those stockpiles are extreme, stockpiling is a crucial step in saving money on everyday items you need.
Your stockpile will increase and when it does your grocery item needs decreases. Less on your list means more money in your wallet!
There is a difference between excessive needs and stockpiling for your family’s true needs. And just hoarding 🙂
I am still using deodorant from my stockpile 2 years ago. I haven’t bought shampoo or conditioner in a year!
Stockpiling will save you money. And when you are stockpiling the items should be such a great deal that you are really not spending more than you would on a couple of those items at the full retail price. The upfront cost is well worth it especially if you do not end up buying shampoo or toothpaste again for the next year!
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So you may be asking, How do I start to stockpile?
1. Know your prices.
This is so important because you have to know when a price is worthy of your stockpiling shelves. The reason you don’t want to just make a grocery list and go to the store is that there is a rock bottom price for that item. And about every 6 weeks, the sales circulate.
I started with a price book until I got comfortable knowing that I could get a gallon of milk for $2.20 average. When I would see it below that I would be sure to grab an extra one or two. Or if you see milk for $2.80 at another store you know that is higher than what you typically see it for.
It means you need to start looking at prices on the shelf for everything you buy. I no longer keep a price book so if the task seems daunting know it is only until you have your weekly basics memorized in price.
2. Gather up those coupons.
I go through phases where I will get the newspaper and then other times I do not. I feel about 80% of the time I can find the coupons I need online. For a list of where to print them click here.
You can’t stockpile until you have coupons. Once in a while, you will find awesome clearance deals where it’s a good price without a coupon but couponing to cut your grocery bill in half means- getting your hands on as many coupons as you can.
3. Follow a coupon blog that does matchups.
I first started grabbing the Tops Markets ad and going through everything I thought I needed and writing that down. Then I realized the only things I need are the ones that are on sale paired with a coupon! When you follow a coupon blog the work is done for you.
You will be able to see the price for the item and then set your budget that way. I run this coupon blog that will be having all store matchups soon but for now, just has BJ’s Wholesale Club.
There are many sites that do coupon matchups. Matchup simply means taking the item on sale and pairing it with a coupon.
4. When an item is less than a $1 get as many coupons as you can for them.
Now buying your coupons is becoming quite popular. Although I have never done this because my initial reaction was WHAT? PAY MONEY TO SAVE? I may be looking into this down the road. We can learn together.
So you never want to just buy 1 item. If Townhouse crackers are a $1 you can print 2 coupons from your computer, so you have to buy 2 of them! You may be thinking you don’t need it now, but that price will allow you to spend money on other things.
5. Stockpiling will save you money
because the idea is to plan your meals, snacks, and such around what is on sale and what you already have. When you have a stockpile you can head there instead of head to the store and pay full price. I do a Menu Plan Monday Series here.
When you start to really take couponing seriously you will fall in low with your shrinking grocery total and enjoy shopping from your pantry first. You can make simple dinners for less.
When I first started couponing and trying to stockpile I felt so stupid having a cart full of cereal. I love cereal. And when I first started this, cereal was my go-to food. Three times a day probably I was enjoying a bowl.
I had ALWAYS bought generic cereal because it was the cheapest. Now I have not bought a generic in three years and I have never paid more than a $1 a box! I had my cart full and it felt really uncomfortable. I was actually thinking about what others were thinking…
So in my early days, I was stocking up on flour, and we really do go through flour because I make our own bread. I had about 8 bags of flour in my cart and a lady goes to my daughter, “Wow your mommy must bake a lot.” Not that this was an insult, but my insecurity about buying a lot of things went into AHH SEE I KNEW IT!!
Then I realized the Yoplait deals you can get. And my first time buying all of it, I got 20 yogurts for almost free, a lady says to me, “You know, you really shouldn’t be eating that, there is so much sugar in those. Terrible for you.”
To this, I didn’t know what to say. I was shocked. Of course, I had some good lines as soon as she left and I thought about tracking her down, but why was God testing my insecurities??( Which now let me just say they have no aspartame in them 😉
We all have to find our balance. Sure there is a lot more “junk” food that goes on sale for free or next to nothing. But it’s like the saying, “everything in moderation.”
Sometimes I think we need to take an honest approach and ask ourselves? Am I blessed today? Do I have fresh clean running water? Can I feed my kids when they are hungry?
It’s about simplicity. Couponing to save money shouldn’t get you stressed out. Keep it simple. Keep your mind free.
We also all have a conscience. We know if we are indulging in things we really shouldn’t be. So let those decisions be up to you. And together let’s see how awesome it is that we can get food, drinks, personal care items, etc. whenever we would like for cheap with just a little bit of planning and a little bit of printing!
A little spiritual inspiration:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
What items are you hoping to have in your stockpile?