On Sunday afternoon, I went to a couponing class. A lady from http://upstatecouponers.com/ came and taught us how to coupon beyond the basics. I have cut coupons for a while now and I actually take them with me to the store and use them. However, I knew there was much more to learn. Here are some things that I took away from the class:
1. Store policies on coupons. Each store has a different policy in our area and she has done all the research. I thought most stores would only double a coupon worth $.50 or less, but that is not true. One grocery store in my area will double $.60 or less, and another grocery store doesn't double, but they triple coupons up to $.99 once a month! That means that if I have a coupon for $.99, I could say $2.97 on one item! Also, K-Mart doubles coupons once a month for $2.00 or less -wow! This will certainly remind me to save up my coupons over $.60 for the big sales where I can save more money. If you don't live in the upstate of SC, I would encourage you to find out the store policies in your area. The website has some of the policies for stores in the Southeast.
2. Buying in bulk. It is not necessarily cheaper to buy in bulk. For instance, I usually buy big boxes of diapers. However, she says to use multiple coupons for multiple small items and you can get a better deal. I haven't tried this out yet, but I'm planning on it. I'm hoping K-Mart is going to have their double coupon sale soon and I can try this theory out with diapers.
3. Ordering more coupons or buying extra papers. There are many websites you can visit now and order the coupon inserts or just extra coupons that you use. Also, you can buy more Sunday papers to get the extra inserts. She has found that Walgreen's has the cheapest Sunday paper for $.88.
4. Stock up. Most stores run their sales every 3 to 4 months, so stock up on what you need (toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, etc.) enough for 3 to 4 months. If you stock up then you never have to pay full price for something - I like that idea!
5. Buy meat once a month. She only buys meat once a month and she tries to buy it at the mark down price. You get the mark down price by going to the store early in the morning when they are trying to get rid of the meat that expires that day. This will be more difficult for me since I have a toddler and in 3 months I'll have a newborn. However, I do try to always buy meat on sale - especially chicken breasts because we eat a lot of chicken.
I'm hoping these tips and others will help me be a better steward of the money God has given us. We pray the Lord blesses us with a big family and feeding a big family can get expensive. The lady told us if we follow her tips that we will save 50% off of our grocery bill. I'm going to try it and I'll let you know!