This question was posted on Facebook by a MSM friend!
QUESTION: “Do you only buy items that are free or really close? How do you “stock” up when only a few things end up being free?”
ANSWER: A little of both. When items are free AND my family uses them (or they are easily donatable) I stock up. With Super Doubles this week I will be stocking up on the free butter, free and/or cheap Smart Balance milk (depending on rain checks!). The cheap items we use at Harris Teeter include McCains Purely potatoes and a few other odds and ends.
But I also buy items that are NOT free. For example- my family LOVES chocolate milk (think about all that Free Smart Balance if you have rainchecks or .99 cartons if you don’t). So I took the $1/2 Hershey syrup coupons to Lowe’s Foods and picked up bottles of syrup for $1.09 each- just under 50% savings. I also picked up Nesquik syrup for 85 cents each after a printable coupon. These are items that my family really likes and uses – so I pay for them- just not full price!
We are going to have to pay for some items we’re never going to get everything for free but we want to spend the least amount possible on them.
I use my personal stock up price list to keep me in check (If Interested- you can see it HERE). For example, when I can get a bottle of juice for $1 or less- I will buy multiples. I plan on getting more of that Very Cherre if there is any left! When rolls of paper towels hit that price- buy more than you normally would.
Knowing what your personal stock up price is will allow you to skip deals that are “bleh” and only stock up at the right price.
I aim to save at least 75%. My stockpile is large enough that I can afford to do that. Couponers just starting out may need to be a bit more realistic and try to save a total of 50%-60%. So a deal that I can skip because I have 18 bottles of laundry detergent may be a great deal for someone without any.
That’s not to say to overpay for items just to stock up but if the stock up price for a bottle of detergent is $1.99- even when it hits that price I may skip it until I can get it for $1.25 because I already have enough. A new couponer may stock up at that $1.99 price because it is a good price.
If that same bottle is on sale for $2.99 everyone should skip it- unless they are wearing 3 day old dirty clothes due to the lack of detergent!