First of all “couponing” isn’t just cutting your paper up and handing over a few coupons every now and then. That‘s the “old school” way of couponing and will only save you $5 or $10 dollars and then get you discouraged that it is not worth your time.
TrueCouponing is waiting to use those coupons until the product you want to buy is on sale. Doing this you can get items for 50-100% off regular price (yes that’s right – *FREE*).
How?? It is really putting two concepts together:
1. Product prices fluctuate on cycles around 12 weeks long. When an item is at its lowest price in that cycle you want to buy enough of that item to get you through until it comes back on sale. An example, your family eats 1 jar of spaghetti sauce a week, so you buy 12 jars when it is on sale to get you through the sale cycle. Another dimension of the sales cycle is that it takes about 12 weeks for every item in the grocery store to go on sale. It may be 3 weeks of one “type” of grocery item (cleaning supplies for example), but it takes 12 weeks for most of the items to hit their lowest prices.
2. When the price is at its lowest, you use your coupons to reduce the price even lower. Get some extra copies of coupons for items you use a lot of by purchasing more papers (for the Sunday inserts), getting friends papers, or buying the individual coupons online (there are clipping services).
If I don’t have you convinced let’s spell it out with money:
You can buy ________________ of _________________every week for 10 weeks, ___________@ $_________ x 10 weeks = $_______
OR buy all _______________ on BOGO sale for _________, so, _____________$_________ x 10 = $_______
Then add in a Coupon for $________ x ___________ qnty and you have another ($________ ) in savings.
So the amount you paid $_________ divided by the $________ original price minus 1 is the % savings on that product ________ %
That’s one product and you have saved $_________. Now think of the other 200 products that the average family buys a month. Even if you didn’t have coupons for all of your items, if you wait until the product is on sale to purchase it you are still saving.
Want some more tips to save even more?
1. DO NOT CUT ANY Coupons until you see the weekly list, Instead….Save all inserts from the Sunday paper. If you save the entire insert to cut as needed make sure you mark the date on insert so that you can find it when you see a coupon can be used.
**If you are already thinking that you don’t need them all just wait until you see a Blood Glucose Meter go on sale at Walgreens for $20 and giving back $5 in Register Rewards and you didn’t cut the $20 off coupon that would have made it free and them just hand you $5 RR for spending nothing**
2. Start to shop buying only the things that are on sale and using your coupons then. Also when an item is on sale you STOCKPILE. Some websites recommend only 6 weeks worth because that is the common time it takes for an item to come back on sale. I have found that it takes 12 weeks for the rock-bottom price to come around again, instead of only 6. The product may go on sale again in 6 weeks, just not at that all-time-low price. You will also need to have the space to hold all your stuff! Once you have a good stockpile you will only be shopping for sale items and never having to pay non sale prices. Also once you pay an amazing price for something like .90 cents for cereal you will not want to have to pay the regular price ever again.
5. Give up what brand loyalties you are able. You have to think about what items you absolutely will not give up the brand loyalty. I used to LOVE Charmin toilet paper, but when push came to shove *FREE* toilet paper was better than Charmin. My tush never knew the difference.
6. No, house brands are not the best deal. National brand items bought on sale with coupons become incredibly cheaper than house brand items. That was a hard lesson to learn after years of automatically grabbing the house brand item. If you can buy house brand butter for $2.49 or get Land o Lakes butter for $0.80… thats not hard math. Remember a store wants you to buy their house brand because they keep all the money, they will try to make it seem like a deal but your interests are not what they have at heart. If you are shopping for something you need, and you do not have a coupon with you, then by-all-means, get the cheapest (ususally the house brand) item!
7. Shopping at Costco and Sams will become a thing of the past mostly. I get dairy items there and items that do not have coupons often or are rarely on sale. Most of the time though buying the 4 boxes of cereal for $10 at Costco never compares to getting 4 boxes for 2.50 (the average price of cereal when bought correctly is .70-.90 cents). Personal Care items that could be a good deal can’t even touch being FREE at Walgreens.
With buying the “Economy Size of anything” think about this: One large CoffeeMate creamer equates to 4 small size bottles, the cost of the large one is $6 and each small one is $2. It looks like you are saving $2 by purchasing the larger one (because it would cost you $8 to buy the small ones that equal the amount in the one large one)… IF YOU DON’T ADD coupons into the equation. Now use a $1 coupon (on each item) and the small ones total $4 but the large one cost $5. Using coupons when an item is on sale will beat the tiny discount you get for buying in bulk any day! On the same line of thought…sometimes it is better to get many samall packages rather thatn a few bigger packages. If the small bottle of Tabasco is on sale for $1 and the big bottle is $3.50 and I have a bunch of $1/1 coupons I would rather get 25 small bottles and pay $0 rather than 8 big bottles and pay $4.00. I am getting the same amount of sauce but I will take FREE every time!
What is stacking?
If you have a store coupon (ex. Target, Publix, CVS) and a Manufacturers coupon you can use both!! You cannot use two Manufacturers coupons or two store coupons for the same product though. Manufacturers coupons start with a “5” (or a “9”) near the barcode.
A Couple other really great things
1. ‘Stacking’ Coupons: If you have a store coupon (ex. Target, Publix, CVS, Walgreens) and a Manufacturers coupon you can use both!! You cannot use two manufacturers coupons or two store coupons for the same product though. Manufacturers coupons start with a “5” (or a “9″) near the barcode.
2. Buy One Get One (BOGO): Most stores will all allow you to use 2 coupons when you buy the BOGO items at their store. All the grocery stores I shop at (Publix, Albertsons, and WinnDixie) allow the use of a second coupon on the free BOGO item. This is because they are re-imbursed for EACH ITEM by the Manufacturer for the face value of the coupon. What’s even better is pair a BOGO sale with a BOGO coupon and you get what I call *free*-*free*, basically, the Store pays for one with the BOGO sale, and the Manufacturer pays for one with the Mfg Coupon…so the consumer gets both for *FREE*!!
Have questions? email me at Kati@TrueCouponing.com or come to one of the workshops scheduled HERE.