Though I am by no means a coupon or money saving maven, like those Krazy Coupon Ladies (not yet anyway!), I do get lots of inquiries from fellow shoppers at the checkout when I shop, usually asking about where I find my stacks of coupons and how to start stockpiling.
First off, for those skeptics and critics, coupons are a totally awesome way to save money, and there is a major money savings advantage to stockpiling food and personal care items. I heart coupons and deals. I used to think food stockpiling equated to obsessive “new stuff” hoarding – ever seen the show Hoarders? Well, once you start using coupons and looking for deals, ideally buying items on sale with matched-up coupons, it’s hard to go back. The money savings are real, easy, and the nice perk is you rarely have to run out to the store at 5:30pm for a dinner ingredient or have to use paper towel squares or tissues because you’re out of toilet paper.
If you don’t have a lot of money to start with or are looking to stretch your budget and start a food and personal care item stockpile, and are totally overwhelmed with the idea of couponing or stockpile concept, I’d suggest checking out a few cool YouTube videos for inspiration and to see how it’s done, like this one here. I’d also suggest you start slow ’till you get into the coupon groove. And, so you know, Money Magazine just did a feature on Couponing in the USA, and yep, it’s a trend that spans socioeconomic classes–so forget about the idea that you’ll “look” poor using them. You’ll actually look smart and trendy.
If you have $5 extra dollars this week in your budget…here’s how you can build your stockpile.
You can easily save $5 on your next grocery store trip, just by using a few coupons and matching them with sale items, but let’s assume you haven’t done that. If you have a spare $5 bill sitting in your wallet and want to build a stockpile, consider starting by focusing on one item. My pick would be toothpaste. Why? Because chances are you’re not going to need to open a tube tonight and you can put your accumulated toothpaste purchases in a cupboard or on a shelf to “remind” you of your savings goal. Also, toothpaste is an easy item to score for cheap or free.
Here’s a Scenario for you: (credit to Cents Able Shopping)
So, if $5 is what you want to spend, you could potentially score several tubes of toothpaste to “stockpile”. Ultimately, what this means is that you will save BIG TIME down the road because you won’t have to shell out $3+ dollars a tube when it’s not on sale. Sure, call stockpiling crazy, but it works and if you have a family, it’s awesome! Toothpaste has a long shelf life, too. With coupons, you can get your hands on the “good brands” at the cheapest prices. So, go ahead and buy according to the goals of your stockpile – typically supplies for 3months – 1 year. As for me, I won’t have to buy toothpaste for at least 6 months, and every tube in my cupboard was purchased for extremely cheap or for free.
It may be just toothpaste, but when those two tubes that you scored for $1.50 stare back at you this week and it really sinks in that you saved yourself SEVERAL dollars, you’re gonna think…”Wow, this coupon thing is pretty sweet.” Every dollar and penny adds up.
Be patient. In a few weeks, you’ll see that you have a true stockpile in the making.