Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How to Grocery coupon Week 4

This is the third in my series on how to use grocery coupons. Be sure to also check out week 1 and week 2.

By now, you should be building up a stockpile and a decent pantry. You should see your need list shrinking, which frees up more money for your sales list and stockpile list. You should also have a somewhat decent coupon file by now. Keep your total grocery budget at the same level, but change the proportion of needs: sales. You should be spending more money on stockpiling every week. Also, as your price book fills up, you should start to recognize which sales are good sales and which are not. Something may deserve to be on a “sale” list but not a “stockpile” list.

Remember, you won’t see the big savings until you have your pantry completely stocked, thus allowing you to buy only those items which are on your sale list and for which you have a coupon, often reducing the price to almost zero.

Consider adding these tricks to your arsenal:

Trade coupons or buy from a coupon clipping service. This is a must if you want to get those 90% savings you read about. Your goal is to get multiples of coupons for items on your stockpile list (and I don’t mean 2 or 3, I mean 10 or 12), so that when canned corn or cereal or granola bars go on sale, you can use all your coupons at once and get these items for pennies.

Shop at a warehouse store. I put this back here in week 4 for one major reason: you have a pricebook now. This will allow you to see what is actually a good deal and what is not. As you develop a good coupon file, you may find this tip to be less and less useful. Warehouse stores often don’t accept coupons, and if they do probably don’t double them. You’ll often find better prices at the grocery store. Make sure that if you are doing your stockpiling at a warehouse store you are still staying within your grocery budget.

Sign up for companies’ mailing lists. Write to or call companies to tell them you like their products. You would be amazed at the coupons that companies mail to loyal customers. They are generally much better than the coupons in your newspaper.