The following steps will work for anyone wishing to get into stockpiling food, but it is mostly directed at those who want to do it without spending much money by combining coupons with store promotions.
For new coupon clippers the practice of stockpiling grocery items bought with coupons can be confusing and overwhelming. Here are some basic steps to follow that will get you started on building a stockpile using coupons.
Build, Don't Buy, Your StockpileThe first golden rule to saving on groceries through stockpiling, is that over time, you want to fill your pantry with items purchased at a good price that you and your family will use. Useful stockpiles are built gradually, using coupon strategies that will maximize your savings.
Plan Space for Your StockpileA stockpile of grocery and personal items takes up space. Keeping your stockpile organized is essential and if you do not dedicate enough space to it you risk losing track of what you own. That is why the first step is to decide where you will keep your stockpile and prepare the space accordingly. Most stockpilers have at least one freezer and a few shelves dedicated to housing the products that they buy in bulk.
When deciding on the space do not forget that you will likely store some big items like toilet tissue, paper towels, and diapers.
Collect CouponsCoupons are everywhere and the more you collect, the more you will find.
Organize Your CouponsThere are many ways to keep coupons organized. Some people use shoe boxes. Others use big notebooks. No matter what system is used to organize coupons, having them organized is an essential step to building a stockpile. If you are struggling with keeping your coupons organized, check out these helpful links:
Decide on a Stockpile BudgetStockpiling is meant to save people money by purchasing a multiple amount of products at a cheap price. For most people, stockpiling does not substitute for the weekly trips to the grocery store, at least not at the beginning. It is essential for new stockpilers to decide on how much they can afford out of their weekly budget to spend on stockpiling - then stick to it. That means walking away from some super deals at times.
Remember, there will always be more super (and sometimes better!) deals out there and if you spend your entire grocery budget on toilet paper, what will you eat? Making a conservative and reasonable stockpiling budget and then sticking to it will keep you in the game. Getting in debt will completely defeat the benefits of using stockpiling as a strategy for saving money.
Read the Coupon BoardsThere are hundreds of coupon boards on the internet where people post daily the deals that are available in stores. Searching for forums specific to your area is a good start.
Know What Is On SaleSites like Couponmom keep an ongoing database of many of the national grocery stores weekly sales information. Also, investing in your local newspaper will keep you informed on local grocery store sales.
Let's Start Building a StockpileOK, you "get" all of the points mentioned above and you are ready to start building a stockpile, so what do you do next?
Here are a few examples of what how a stockpile first begins :
Sally has budgeted $20 a week for purchasing items to build her stockpile.
- Sally has collected 10 coupons for $2 off one Wisk Laundry Detergent (any kind, any size).
- She has browsed her favorite coupon forum and learned that Target has the same detergent on sale for $2 off for the 32 load size. It is regularly $4.99, now priced at $2.99.
- Sally buys 10 and uses her coupons and pays $.99 for each one, a total of $9.90 for all 10.
- She puts the purchase onto her Target card and receives an additional 5% off.
- Total price: $9.41 ($2.99 x 10 = $29.90 - $20 in coupons = $9.90 - 5% = $9.41)
- Total savings: $20.49
- Sally also discovered that Kroger has the Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts on sale for $1.60 per package (eight per package).
- She also finds out the there is a rebate for a $2 coupon when you buy 10.
- She has 10 coupons for the Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts for $.75 off.
- She buys 10 of the packages using her coupons.
- Total price: $8.50 ($1.60 x 10 = $16.00 - $7.50 in coupons)
- Total savings: $7.50 plus later she will receive a coupon for $2
For under $20 she now has stockpiled laundry detergent and snacks for the kids and has a few dollars left over.
By using the examples above you can see how easy it is to begin building your own stockpile.
Knowing When to Stop StockpilingMany hardcore stockpilers will admit that they sometimes find it difficult to stop stockpiling things they really do not need or even want. They simply cannot pass up a good deal. Admittedly, stockpiling can become addicting, but sticking to a strict budget will keep things under control. Stockpiling just for the sake of stockpiling is a waste of money, energy, space and time.
What To Do
- Check your weekly store flyers.
- Browse internet coupon forums.
- Collect and organe coupons.
- Match coupons to store sales.
- Take advantage of product rebate offers.
- Stay on target with what you own, need and will use and buy accordingly.
- Use what you have stockpiled.
- Buy a stockpile of food that will go bad before you get to use it.
- Buy more than you have space to store.
- Buy more than you and your family can use within a reasonable amount of time
- Buy items your family doesn't eat.
- Go over budget.