As our economy gets tighter and tighter, more people are trying to cut costs in their daily lives. Many have canceled their cable, quit going to Starbucks, buy clothing from thrift stores, shop craigslist, etc. But the one huge change I have seen is a surge of households using coupons!
Over the next week, I want to be able to share different ways to use coupons, and how to save money at the store. These might be some long posts filled with tons of info, so grab a pen and paper and get ready to save! (And, I am also going to show frugal cooking techniques to get the most from your money!!)
Now, lots of people think of using a coupon and think its a waste of time. Having to buy a paper, look through it, clip coupons, all to save 30 cents? Well, for small amounts, your right, they are a waste of time!
But couponing is all about being smart and knowing how to use them correctly. Yes, there is a right and wrong way to use your coupons.
First, you need to know where to find coupons. I find a lot of my coupons in the Sunday paper, in All You magazine, online printables, peelies on packages at the store, or blinkies...those little machines on the isle at the store that push out coupons.
Now, there are two different ways to use a coupon.
First is for Stockpiling, second is for savings.
I will be talking about both of these this week. But I want to start with creating a stock pile, because this is the main way I use my coupons.
Granted, you wont be able to stockpile everything your family eats, it just wont happen, but you can get a significant stockpile that will keep your grocery bill down.
The way I create a stock pile is by purchasing coupons. Yes, you heard me right, I buy coupons. But not just ordinary coupons. First I look at an item that I use quite often, then I will go look and see if there is a coupon available for that product that will make it free or close to free.
HOW TO USE A PURCHASED COUPON:
For example...I purchase Muir Glen Organic canned diced tomatoes (we like the fire roasted) and use them in lots of my recipes. Now, at $1.14 a can, these can really add up, especially when the store brand is $0.68. But I have stockpiled these by purchasing a lot of coupons from Ebay. (www.ebay.com)
What you need to do is search for the type of coupon you want (i.e. muir glen coupons) and any coupon available will come up. I usually purchase the $1.00 off any muir glen product (make sure the expiration date gives you enough time for the coupon to arrive and for you to use it). I will buy a lot of about 20 coupons for around $2.00 with shipping.
Then I will take those coupons to the store and purchase 20 cans of tomatoes for $0.14 a piece, totaling $2.80 plus the $2.00 for the coupons is $4.80. Buying these tomatoes at regular price would cost $22.80, so that makes a savings of $18.00!! That's huge!
A couple of other products I stock pile are:
White cloud 4 roll toilet paper: Regular price $2.00 minus coupon $1.00= $1.00 for 4 rolls
Smart Taste Pasta: $1.50 minus coupon $1.00= $0.50 per package
Starkist tuna creations pouches: $1.48 minus coupon 1.00= $0.48 per pouch
Bagelfuls: $1.50 minus $1.00 coupon= $0.50 per package
Green Giant Vally Fresh Steamers $1.00ea. minus $1.00 coupons= FREE!
(We eat these all the time, and anytime I can get these coupons, I buy them!!! They make great side dishes and they also cook well into meals, plus, free veggies!!)
These coupons are not always available, but when they are, I buy as many as I can! Remember to search for the HIGHEST VALUE of coupon that you can find. I RARELY purchase a coupon that is under $1.00!
So, I hope this helps you to create a sufficient stockpile for your family! Tune in the rest of the week for more money saving and coupon tips!!