The following is a guest post written by Heather from Thrifty Stories:
“Honey, we're out of ketchup. Could you grab some for me?”
Sound familiar? Most would reach for their keys, hop in the car and go get it. Or have hubby pop in and get it on the way home from work. While others may reach for a handy pad and pen and add it to the grocery list.
We used to do this. Then we learned the value (and I do mean value!) of stockpiling. We buy ahead. We plan for our family's needs.
1. Think about what your family needs often. Diapers, wipes, formula, contact solution, pet food....etc. Each family is unique and therefore their needs are unique to them. (However, every family has the same basic needs. Tooth brushes, soap, toilet paper, laundry detergent and the list goes on.)
Think about how often you purchase these needs or how quickly your family uses specific items. Do you buy diapers once a week? How long does a 12 roll pack of toilet paper last in your home? (In our home, twelve rolls disappear in no time. We have two small children who use 12 feet at a time...to wipe off the bathroom counter! I mean, come on. Can't ya just use a towel I can launder? )
2. Wait for a good sale and then buy several when the price is good. Most sales will come around again in about 6 weeks time. Now if you are brand loyal, it may be longer. So keep that in mind. If you are not, there will be a sale for that item again. Cereal. One week there may be a great deal on General Mills at Kroger and then two weeks later, it's Kellogg's cereal on sale at Food Lion. Be willing to wait and shop around.
3. Waiting for a good sale is great and does save you money. However, matching up a sale with a coupon is even more satisfying. And it's exciting. I love saving our family money while getting what they need. (Side note here: Lately, I have found a TON of great tearpads in grocery stores and pharmacies. That's free savings, folks.)
4. Redeem a coupon on a sale item during a special event to further maximize your savings. In our area, we are blessed with some awesome grocery stores: Lowes Foods, Food Lion, Kroger and Harris Teeter. (My absolute favorite! Just seeing the HT sign makes my heart beat faster. Their sales are tremendous and their customer service is out of this world.)
I try to save my coupons for specific sales events ( Mega 10, Triples. Super Doubles, etc.) I also watch for catalina promotions to match with my coupons. (Catalinas are the little coupons at the register that print out with your receipt. Sometimes it's just an advertisement or $1.00 off a specific item. However, sometimes it is $3.00 off your next shopping order because of specific items you just purchased. It's like getting money back!)
So think about your needs, watch the sales, use your coupons and maximize your savings.
5. Stockpile. This is where the value begins. What you need you already have in your home. Stored away. Ready to use. You see, when you run out of something, you are at the mercy of what the store is currently charging. When you have the item stockpiled, you more than likely purchased it on sale and with a coupon. Thus, saving you money. So the next time you are out of something...send hubby here:
....and shop at home. :)
Heather has recently started writing at Thrifty Stories, sharing coupon matchups and deals along with thrifty stories about family life. She enjoys Harris Teetering with her 3 girls (and another blessing on the way!), and serving at their local church where her husband, Stephen, is the music pastor. She is also an artist and is currently illustrating a coloring book.