I have had two people mention to me about expired coupons recently, which led me to realize that I forgot to mention the most important reason we are saving all these coupons and keeping them together so we can find them: grocery stores rotate their sales. You want to get about a six week supply of things when you shop because that is how long it will take for these items to be at their lowest price again.
What? What did I say. Okay, your goal is to purchase your groceries and sundries when they are ON SALE. This is their lowest price. You match your coupons to the sales. Since it takes six weeks for the particular items to rotate back on sale, you ideally would have six coupons and stock up if you used that item every week.
This necessitates keeping your coupons together. The only time you care if your coupon is expiring is if you have 8 coupons and only want to buy six of the item. Then you would use the ones expiring first. However, I simply would buy 8, which gives me the choice of having extra on hand and donating my surplus.
I'm not saying that how people are handling their coupons is wrong. One person told me that they file their coupons by expiration date. The other said they store the ones expiring for that month in a separate file. FAB! IF you are shopping weekly, buying things and not following the sales. If you are doing the coupons this way, you are not taking advantage of the lowest price and maximizing your savings every week. It isn't wrong, it is simply a different approach.
The matching your shopping to the sales approach allows you to fill your pantry/shelves/cupboards/what-have-you with a ton of grocery items at the lowest price.
Let me give a specific example from this week:
dixie ultra plates / napkins are on sale and you save $2.65/2. There are .55/1 blinkies in Foodlion right now. 2.65-2.20(.55x 2 doubled)=.45 for 2 packs of plates.
You save $4.85 on two packs of plates by stocking up at this price. If you bought them because you shop using just the coupons you have, matched up to your weekly grocery list, you would only save $1.10 off the original price on two in a non-sale week. You miss out on $3.75 in additional savings if they are not on sale. Now say you have three of these blinkies, which for you is a six week supply, you will save $14.55 and pay $1.35 for six packs of plates.
I think you can see very quickly the value of matching your shopping and coupons to the sales. This is a process. It takes a while to get your stash of coupons going and to get your pantry full.
All this is illustrated using the ideal scenario of the extreme couponer who has several of each weeks coupons or buys extras at the various sites that offer those. I once heard of a lady that bought thirty two bottles of bbq sauce at one time. Yes, you read that right. I have no idea what she did with the thirty two bottles, but she had thirty two coupons, and it was a sale item!!!
How this works in my world is that if the item is on sale, I buy it with the coupons I have. So if I have six, GREAT, I buy six. If I only have four, I buy four.
Many of the coupon/money saving sites will tell you that even without a coupon, this is the time to stock up because you are still getting the items you need at the lowest price. Remember that if you need three packages of lunch meat that week and only have two coupons for the sale brand. You can still buy that third package, and you are still saving. It's just not as much fun because you are not getting the DEAL you got on the other two!
Mind you, the sites I've told you are my favorites: Hot Coupon World, Southern Savers, and Chattanooga Cheapskate will also tell you if something is on sale and it is not that great of a price meaning that it will be on sale later at a better price!
I hope in my long winded narrative that I have explained the reason for keeping all your coupons together regardless of the expiration date. Your goal is to stock up on the particular item at the lowest sale price with your coupons. Keeping them all in one place means that you have them all together to use at the right time.
If the coupon expires, so what. You'll get more. The idea is not to shop by coupon. The idea is to maximize your savings and match your coupons to the lowest sales price.
Does that mean if I need butter this week and it is not on sale, I don't buy it. NO! If I need it, I have to get it, but it would be better if when butter had been on sale, I had stocked up...right!!!
I'm hoping my favorite stores have laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dog food on sale here soon. I need to fill up again!
This week in my area, Harris Teeter is doubling coupons with a face value up to $1.98meaning: coupon value = double value
0.75 = 1.50
1.00 = 2.00
1.50 = 3.00
1.98 = 3.96
So for example: Velveeta 1 lb. $2.99. Use $1 coupon from the 8/9RP = $.99 your final price!
Unfortunately, I have alot to do today and will not be grocery shopping. Probably Friday will be my day. It depends right now.
Breathe deep, my followers. It gets easier as you do it and do what works for you. I tell you all the ins and outs and then you fit it to your lifestyle. Remember that the sites that are my favorites are NOT the only sites out there to help you and you can and will find ones that you like better. These work for me. However, you need to read the extreme way to do things to maximize your savings so you get all the ins and outs.
And just to address this issue: I do buy fresh produce and feed my family whole grain pasta and whole grain bread.
I think tomorrow I will share my meat savings plan with you...Oh yes, I have a friend who has 2 full size freezers FULL and is considering getting a third because they are even better (have more time) than me at this. But my husband is always amazed at the meat deals I bring home!!! And aside from killing your own pig like my brother, this is the best way I know to get meat at a great savings.
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