Online Guide to Couponing & Stockpiling
Learning to Coupon and Stockpile
More than a year ago, I decided to make a change in how I purchased food for my family. I had never used a coupon in my life but had seen many articles online about how effective they could be in reducing food budgets. I, like many other people, had watched the TLC show Extreme Couponers, and thought how impressive it was to get buggy after buggy of free items. I had never got anything free from a grocery store in my life.
So, I began the journey into this new world of couponing by way of the internet. I found many websites that were helpful in explaining couponing in clear, precise language with instructions. A new word emerged during my journey: stockpiling. I had never known what a grocery stockpile was before stumbling onto these sites. A stockpile is the result of combining coupons with store sales and purchasing several like items at the same time. By stockpiling sale items, you buy them at their cheapest price and purchase enough to last until the next matchup.
Does it sound like work? It does take a few hours out of your week, but the rewards of having a well stocked pantry is worth the effort. Start slow by purchasing only one newspaper with coupons to start and match them with the weekly sale at your favorite grocery store. Don’t give a second thought to the extreme couponers; work at your own pace. It took me a while to get a handle on the process.
It will take a couple of months to build a decent stockpile. And unlike the television show, you will have to purchase items without coupons such as meat. Plus, free items are a rarity, but they do come around every so often. But, the reality of purchasing thousands of dollars of food for a penny is not realistic.
I have to give a warning that processed foods are notorious for offering coupons. Do not lose your mind and stock your home with 20 boxes of unhealthy cereal just because you got a deal. Buy what your family uses on a regular basis. Go to the Facebook pages of your favorite food or health products and “like” them to receive coupon offers. Most standard household goods offer coupons on a regular basis.
The sites I have included are ones I visit regularly for matchups and tips. They are some of the best and most consistent on the web.
The Krazy Coupon Lady
The Krazy Coupon Lady-Heather and Joanie helped create the national phenonmenon of couponing and stockpiling. Their site is comprehensive with free downloads, links to coupon sites, a blog, daily articles, and a reader participation section. I have used their free downloads to create my coupon binder. They have been featured on the Today Show, the Nate Berkus Show, and Martha Stewart.
The Krazy Coupon Lady with Martha Stewart
Coupon Mom-otherwise known as Stephanie Nelson, has an extensive collection of videos and articles on ways to improve your grocery and drugstore budgets. She has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, and the Today Show.
Coupon Mom on The Early Show
Stockpiling Moms-one of my personal favorites and go to sites for couponing. It is beginner friendly with online classes, videos, articles, a reader participation area, recipes, and links to coupon databases.
Hanging Out with Stockpiling Moms
Money Saving Mom
Money Saving Mom-Crystal Paine is an expert at domestic economics. She not only teaches couponing and stockpiling, but also provides wonderful advice for running a home on a budget. The site offers sections on recipes, family fun, and guides to living simply.
Guide to Buying in Bulk
About the Author
Catherine Dean is a freelance writer, gardener, quilter, and blogger. Her professional background includes nonprofit program development, grant writing, and volunteer management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Georgia College & State University.
Her blog, Sowing A Simple Harvest, chronicles a modern couple trying to live a simplistic, sustainable life. To explore Catherine's professional credentials, visit her website. She can also be followed on Google+.