Extreme Couponing – How to start a Stockpile

10/13/2011 8:02 am · 1 comment

by Sarah A Thrifty Mom

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With the show Extreme Couponing out – we are trying hard to make sure that appropriate couponing is taught. Propper manners and good etiquette are traits we need to remember. But once you do get up to the 70% -80% – 90% off on your grocery shopping how do you plan for your stockpile? Here is a repost of a question from a Q&A on readers comments:

Question:
I have a question on starting a stockpile. How do you get started and what do you start with. Do you start with what you can get free ? It seems that when Im able to get something at a realy good price, and for one I may only have four coupons per item, I dont know how to get more but by the time a sale runs on the same item again, I have already used what I was able to get from the last time, I guess I feel that I cant keep a stockpile its always gone. How do you fix that problem. The only thing I have been able to get free is floss,and my family cant live on that :) And I also was wondering do you just take extra money and start your stockpile that way. If I had more of a stockpile it would be easier to add to it, but like I said when you only have a few of each item it doesnt last long in my house. Just wondering how and what you did to start your family stockpile .
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Answer:
This is a great question. If you have watched Extreme Couponing on TLC you know that some coupon shoppers have a stockpile of items they have purchased at a rock bottom price. What this show does not explain is that stockpile (in most cases) did not appear overnight. Instead it took months even years to build and maintain. TLC shows coupon shoppers paying just a few dollars for over a $1000.00 in items…. yes this is possible but not realistic. As well as the size of their stockpile, there is a reason the show is called Extreme Couponing.
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How much money do you apply to building your stockpile? In my classes I teach that you need to take a portion of your weekly budget and dedicate it building you stockpile. If you were to take your whole food budget and apply it you may get some killer deals….. but it would be hard to feed you family on just the items you are able to stock up on that week. So if your weekly budget is $100.00 then apply $10 of that just to your stockpile. That way you are still able to provide the basics for your family. With that $10 use your coupons and match them with the sale items or FREE items of the week. Your $10 before coupons may have only gotten you 2 boxes of pasta, 1 can of soup and a tube of toothpaste……BUT with coupons you may be able to find these items FREE or at a major discount….. so stock up and buy as many as you can for $10. Come home put them in your pantry and you now know you do not need to buy pasta, soup or toothpaste for another 2 months (depending on how many you were able to get). The next week do the same thing, before long your pantry will be filled with a variety of items that you do not need to buy again, till they are a price you are willing to pay. The longer you do this the less money you will need for your must have items, and be able to apply more to your stock up items making it grow even quicker.
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What to buy? Try to stock up on items that you can create a Menu Plan with. Even if something is free that does not mean you should bring it into your home. Purchase items you know your family will eat (but don’t be afraid to try new things either). Pay attention to what sale or season you are in and take advantage of these seasonal prices.
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How many to buy? Think about how many your family will need before they expire. Also how much space they will take up in your home. How good of a deal is it, and will they be on sale again soon. One of the most important questions is how many does the store have, and is this an appropriate store to stock up at. Remember not to clear the shelf, or be greedy just cause it is a good deal.
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How many coupons do you have? Remember you can use 1 coupon per item (to read more about this click here) so if you have more coupons than you will be able to get more of that item at the rock bottom price. Remember P&G coupons will limit you to 4 like items per transaction. Every families needs are different, So I do not think you can place a number on how many coupon inserts you should get each week. But a good number to start out with is 5, and then go from there to fit your families needs. If you are local click here to read how to get 5 Sunday Papers plus the daily paper for only $3.00 a week.
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Remember there is a sale cycle. Did you know that items have a sale cycle, and every 3 months they well vary in price sometimes just a few pennies, or up to a few dollars. Also sales will come by season, for example in January and February there will be lots of new coupons for health or diet food, as well as lots of sales. Match the coupons with the sale and you should be able to get these items at the lowest price of the year. Or now that we are heading into summer we will see lots of picnic and BBQ items on sale, or sun screen and razors as well as coupons. We should be able to get salad dressing, mayo, pasta salad, sports drinks, crackers etc. for a good price. In the Fall you will see a great price on baking items, and canned goods.

What tips do you have for starting or maintaining a Coupon Stockpile?



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8 comments
Crystal
Crystal

Ok, so i have read everything there is to know about couponing and how to start and all the basic stuff, and i even watch the show, BUT where the crap do i get my coupons online? and most of the time there arent EVER any good coupons in my newspaper just a bunch of JC Penny stuff for clothes. HELP!! =(

April Alonzo
April Alonzo

Hi. I absolutly love your page. I am trying to keep up with all the deals on here but I cannot print anything from work, so I always miss coupons etc. I am a full-time working mother, although my child just left and is now a freshmen in college. I still am supporting her the best that I can (especially food) I am a couponer but live in a very small town here in California and my only grocer is Albertsons. It doesnt matter what I do or how much I try and save even with coupons, I still exceed my monthly $100.00 budget.(this includes toilterites,laundry etc.) I work for the state of ca and we get paid once a month, so I really dont have weekly money to spend. I need to know how to get a stockpile so that not only my home, but my daughters place can have mini stockpiles so I dont have to worry every month about her groceries and mine. Help I need to know how to pay $8.00 for $300.00 worth of groceries!!! (just and example). I REALLY NEED HELP!

JoAnn C.
JoAnn C.

1. Have an area in mind for your stockpile before you begin accumulating stuff. 2.Don't use the public areas of your house (ie. Bedrooms) do you really want your home to look like a grocery store? 3. Once you start accumulating items make sure the oldest items are at the front to be used first and the newer items are in the back. (Use a sharpie and date them if you have to) 4. Ask yourself, do I really need 20 cans of beans when you don't really eat them all that often? Just because it's cheap or free doesn't mean you can change the eating culture of your home into something really out of character.

Jan
Jan

It does take a little time and my stockpile is off limits unless I give permission to get into. All that extra food makes one want to eat more than necessary. I don't buy ay extra papers, I ask neighbors and raid the recycle bins and get all I can use. We don't have stores that double or triple but just have to be savy at sales time!

Debbie
Debbie

I think the best advice I would give is patience. There is a definite learning curve to all of this. I've only been doing it for 8 months and am still very much a "greenie". I get 5 Sunday papers delivered to my home and then I have friends that give me their papers. So, I end up with 9 inserts each week. Because of the limits now being placed on how many coupons can be used per trip and/or transaction, I find that 9 is more than ample. If Smith's (Kroger affiliate) has a "Mega Event" sale, they run it for two weeks. Smith's now has a 5 like coupon limit, which is still fine because I can get 5 the first week and 4 the second of the best deals. The show on TLC is not realistic when you factor in their 200+ items of one product. One lady says she uses a coupon clipping service out of California, because she felt it had higher value coupons. What she didn't say is how much it costs her to buy 200 coupons for that great deal. She could easily spend $20 just for the coupons for one product and if there are multiples you have to figure that in to and they didn't factor that into her final purchase costs. Last night's show showed Kroger stores giving gift cards for overages. In Utah, I seldom/rarely see FREE food items. However, I consistently save 70-90% at Rite Aid and Walgreens for household and hygiene items. Those things can really add up fast to a grocery budget. So, I'm happy for what I can save on and make sure to try not to pay too much for the food items as well. Good Luck to all of us!

Mandi
Mandi

I have been using coupons for over 12 years but for many of those years I only had one coupon per item. I didn't really think about a stock pile but I did try to have extras on hand. About 2 and a half years ago I started getting multiple papers and really matching coupons with sales. I started with non-perishable things like toothpaste and floss and cleaners so that when I had a reasonable amount I wouldn't have to buy them again for a long time (isn't that what this is all about?). Food takes a lot longer as we eat the items I am stockpiling. I do have quite a bit and I am thankful for what we do have. I now have the luxury of shopping just for what I want to add to my stockpile. We do buy fresh produce and other things but I rarely have to go to the store for something I "need". That's what saves you the most money in the end. It does take time (years?) to build up a stockpile but once it's there your patience is rewarded.

Tonya
Tonya

Fantastic post!! I set aside $10 a week for items that I want to stockpile based of the sales that week. I also use my 'rewards' from the drugstores to purchase food items. I follow your match-ups and do match-ups of my own for the items we use. It has taken me 6 months to have a pretty decent stockpile of food items. I keep a list/spreadsheet of what I have with the expiration date on it and rotate these items so none of them go to waste.

Oko
Oko

But a good number to start out with is 5, and then go from there to fit your families needs. If you are local click here to read how to get 5 Sunday Papers plus the daily paper for only $3.00 a week. ----- I can't get the access to this link... How can I get this information? Help me please.

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