Yes, believe it or not, I once was one of those crazy ladies you see on “Extreme Couponing”. Well OK, that’s not entirely true. I like to think I was the Queen….but in reality I was more like a Princess…or maybe a maidservant to a Princess. But either way, *I* thought I was pretty good at it. I even have pictures to prove it! See???
These are some hauls from Walgreens and Albertson’s from a few years back. I don’t remember particulars but let’s just say there were serious savings involved! I’m still a big believer in the money you can save with coupons! There just came a time when I simply didn’t have time to do it anymore. (hmmm…that’s about the same time I started this blog. Go figure!)
Any serious couponer will tell you….it takes a lot of time to work the deals! There’s the clipping of coupons and organizing of coupons and then studying the deals and deciding which ones to go for and which ones to pass on….and that’s just the tip of the couponing iceberg! Not to mention all the running around to different stores to get the best deal at each.
I don’t want this to come off as a coupon-bashing post at all….because it’s not! If you are serious about cutting your food budget…you definitely can save a lot of money! But like most things in life…there are trade offs.
Even though I don’t do the extreme couponing anymore…there are some things I learned from the experience that I continue to do that really help trim the grocery budget and don’t take a lot of time.
You hear the word “stockpiling” alot when it comes to couponing. Some people have developed some serious stockpiles through couponing. Here are just a couple I found online.
Benefit of stockpiling: you can basically “shop” at your own “store” for free! You are well-prepared for emergencies. (job loss, food shortages, etc.)
Drawbacks: you need a lot of SPACE to STORE all that stuff!
So, no, I don’t have a stockpile anywhere near the size of these….but I have started my own mini-version of “stockpiling” and it goes like this:
Find a website that matches up store sales with available coupons. There are lots out there. I happen to use GrocerySmarts.com, but there are others like CouponMom.com; TheGroceryGame.com; TheKrazyCouponLady.com, etc.
Every week they will post a list with the sales available at your store (or whatever store you choose) and the coupons that are “out there” that match up with the deals. This is invaluable! It would be almost impossible to keep track of this stuff on your own. GrocerySmarts.com even has a rating system (1 to 5 stars) to show what are the really hot deals. 5 stars means….time to stock up!
So, a quick scan down the list and I find one of our personal favorites on sale….Crest Pro Health Toothpaste! Ever since I brought this home the first time…my husband won’t use anything else. Such a toothpaste snob. ;-)
Anyway, that toothpaste ain’t cheap! unless it’s on sale and you have a coupon as well.
Since I don’t personally clip coupons anymore….I head on over to ebay.com to find the people who DO! After a quick search for “Crest coupons” and I find this coupon clipper selling 20 – $.75 off 1 Crest toothpaste 4.0 oz or larger coupons for $1.25!
The trick here is to check the ad the first day it comes out so you will have time to receive the coupons in the mail before the ad ends! Not a big deal though. These coupon “sellers” are very aware that these deals are TIME SENSITIVE and will send them out promptly. At least that’s my experience. And if the store happens to “run out” of something while you wait for your coupons to arrive in the mail….you can always get a “raincheck”.
Warning: I am about to attempt to do math…nobody distract me! This could be dangerous!
- Regular price of Crest Pro Health Toothpaste (according to ad) $2.69 ea.
- Sale price $1.69 ea (when you buy 4 or more)
- Minus your $.75 cent coupon = $ .94 cents each! Now…you paid $1.25 for the coupons so you have to take that into account, but if you use all 20 coupons…that’s a savings of $15.00!
So you could conceivably get 20 tubes of Crest Pro Health toothpaste for $20.05 (if you add back in the cost of the coupons)….a savings of $33.75! AND…you won’t have to buy toothpaste for a very long time. And that my friends is stockpiling!