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?



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

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