The Basics of Couponing....
I get asked all the time what are the basics of couponing? And really there are only 2 main principals to the "art of couponing". Stocking up while buying at the lowest price, and changing the mindset of how you shop. And really, these 2 principals are connected.
A "normal" shopper walks into a store and buys a week's worth of groceries (food) and any supplies they are out of.. ie Paper Towels, Toilet paper, Shampoo etc. No matter the price, they need these things and have to buy them.
A Couponer walks into a store with a mindset of leaving with the most amount of goods at the lowest price. They will buy 20 boxes of frozen vegetables, 8 packages of kids yogurt, 3 packs of paper towels, a couple of the meat sales for the week, some fresh produce and maybe 6 boxes of cereal. And that is ALL they buy. Seriously! A normal shopper would have spent say $200 on their weekly groceries, a couponer would have spent $75 on building their stockpile.
The difference is obvious, but the challenge at leaving behind a normal shopper routine and becoming a couponer is to change your mindset. Instead of shopping for 1 week, you are buying 6 weeks (or more or a little less) worth of items at a time. But, not every item.
A couponer wants to buy items at the lowest price possible, and then buy enough of it at that price so that the next time they have a need, it will be on sale again at that price. All items in a store have a sales cycle, whether it be seasonally, or montly or every 6 weeks. Couponing means - Buying enough at the low price to get you thru til the next time the item goes on sale.
If you don't have the space to store lots of stock in a zillion items, you would buy as much as you can store- As many weeks as possible to lower your grocery bill burden.
Does this make sense? It takes about 3 months of time to build up a stockpile in more than one kind of item. Each week, you will rotate what you buy excess of. The first few weeks will only be a few items that you buy stock in along with your regular groceries. After a few weeks, you should have enough of a stockpile to start shifting your grocery buying to 50% Stock up, 50% regular groceries. Eventually, you get to somewhere that the percentage is more like 75-90% Stock-Up items, 10-25% regular groceries.
Getting to a 90/10% place.. is what I would call extreme couponing. Not everyone can or wants to get there. I'm happy at the moment with my 75/25% of stocking up and grocery shopping. That works for me. Some people like 50/50%... in any of the situations, you save money. And that is all we want right?
After you process all the above, ask me questions and I will write more explaining exactly how all this couponing works!
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