How To Start a Coupon Stockpile- Q&A

05/10/2011 12:00 pm · 7 comments

by Sarah A Thrifty Mom

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?



Leave a Comment: 7 comments

Filed Under: Back to Basics, Extreme Couponing, Q and A

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7 comments
Jennifer
Jennifer

Thanks for the refresher course. I am now running low on some items that I purchased with coupons last year. I still do not have to buy razzors or deoderant! But I also wanted to let readers know that a lot of stores have winter clothes at rock bottom prices now. This is when I get my kids school clothes for next year. I try to gestimate what size they will be wearing but if it does not fit I donnate. I have not had to donnate for 3 years yet. But I do donnate their grown out clothes.

Kim
Kim

I am still learning, so every bit of info I can get from Thrifty Mom and the ladies on this site realy does help :) thanks for all the helpful tips. Blessings Kim

Lisa
Lisa

I use the coupon preview site so I know when to buy extra papers. I started with Pasta, I'm feeding 7 so we go through alot of pasta. Meijer had it on sale for 1.17 a box for ronzoni and I had coupons for $1.00 off, so not free but a very good price. In total I ended up with 20 boxes but only buying 5 boxes a day so I didn't clear any shelves and used coupons from the newspaper and printed off line.

CathyB
CathyB

The other thing that I might add is to not be afraid to add to your stockpile things that you normally use that are not free but are on a good sale without coupons. For instance, Rice-a-roni is $.69 this week at Fred Meyer. Sometimes you can get it cheaper or free with just the right combination of coupons and sales, but you will probably only be able to get a few because you will be limited by the number of coupons you have and the number of people getting the same deal. So if this is an item that your family frequently uses then I would consider buying a few extra for your stockpile, as it beats the regular price which is usually around $1. The idea is that you want to buy more of items that you will eventually need when the price is lower than normal, even if they are not free. It takes a while, but you will get the hang of it. Another thing I have learned is to focus my stockpile on items that I KNOW we will use. There have been a lot of good deals that I have learned are just not for me and my family. If you don't want your family eating it or don't think you will use it, then leave that deal for someone else. This will cause you a lot less stress about "missing out" on every good deal. Instead you can focus on the things that you will use. Finally, don't just limit your thinking to the grocery store. With summer coming there may be stockpiling opportunities with extra fruits and vegetables from your own or others gardens. Freezing or canning tomatoes, green beans, corn, berries, etc can provide you with a good base to work off of along with your grocery store deals. I hope this helps! After two years of couponing I am having the opposite problem - we are trying to eat through our stockpile before we move 3000 miles next month. But that is still a nice problem to have, until I get settled and have to start all over again!

Stephanie
Stephanie

I have such a hard time couponing groceries but no problems with other items. Thank you for this advice :)

Kim
Kim

As I was reading the stockpile question, I realized it was my question that I wrote to you awhile back :) I know that you are a busy lady , but I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to respond. Now its time to take your info and apply it :) Thank you Kim

Charisse
Charisse

Hi, I have a stock pile. I did a post about my great deals and I mentioned you ( your blog ) in it :-) You can see it here http://iamjustsayingman.blogspot.com/ . One tip I have is that I get extra coupons from friends, neighbors and In-laws. I also like to see whats for free and give those items away. We all can use help. The other thing I do is swap coupons with friends . I always need diaper ones and they dont so its great. Thank-you so much for the wonderful blog. You have helped me a TON !! HAVE A GREAT DAY

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