Extreme Couponing: Understanding Sale Cycles and Stockpiling

BlogHer Original Post

If you have been following my extreme couponing series since the beginning, you'll remember that I had the hardest time wrapping my head around the stockpile. I was the woman taking cans of tomatoes out of the cart because we already had two cans and did not need two more. As I look at the large stack of canned tomatoes on my shelf today, that's hard to believe. I've embraced the stockpile and Jenny, from Southern Savers does a great job of explaining why.

Pay close attention when Jenny says you don't need SIX of everything, you just need enough to get you to the next lowest sale cycle. And she's right - mostly. There have been a few occasions when I only bought two of something (mustard, for instance) when it was on sale for its lowest possible price. I had coupons for mustard during that sale ... but when I ran out and the mustard was again on sale, I did not have the coupons to match up with the sale. And it hurt to pay for mustard -- after getting it for free just a few short weeks earlier. I've learned my lesson and next time, I'll buy four bottles of mustard instead of two... but I won't buy 20 bottles. That's just not necessary and that's not how most couponers I know shop.

Besides the whole OMG there's so much food in my house! problem that I had with stockpiling, I found that I really did not know what the buy price should be on most of the things I was interested in buying. I spent a lot of time with Jenny's buy price list. It was a good jumping off point for me but it isn't my buy price Bible.

Jenny lives in the south, where prices are almost always lower than what I find in my stores in the Chicago suburbs. That right there means my buy price is often just a wee bit higher than Jenny's. Jenny also lives in an area that consistently offers her double coupon options. Here in Chicagoland, I have no double coupon options so that makes it harder for me to hit Jenny's buy price recommendations. But that's ok - I may not always get cereal for $1 a box (or less) but I will sometimes get it for $1 a box and I will always get it for $1.50 a box. That's my cereal buy price. Your buy price might be slightly different depending upon where you live and your double coupon opportunities.

Another thing that might change your buy price is brand loyalty. For me, and for Jenny, toothpaste is always free. If you are someone who buys only a certain type of toothpaste, it's possible that your buy price is .50 or even $1.00 for toothpaste. My mom is brand loyal to one particular toothpaste and I was happy to buy her four tubes for $1.00 each instead of the $4.00 a piece that they normally are. For that brand of toothpaste, $1.00 is my buy price.

I won't pay for razors but I have a very brand loyal friend and she's finding great deals on her favorite razor but odds are slim that they will ever be completely free -- they're too expensive and too popular to begin with. But, if she normally pays $9.99 for razors or refills and she can get them for half that price every time, that's a great savings. She's buying the brand she loves and she's saving money by stockpiling razors when they are at their lowest possible buy price.

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