I love hearing how my readers use Super-Couponing to cut their grocery bills. I’d like to share some of their favorite tips:
On stocking up:
“One of the hardest things for me to understand, at first, was buying not what we need this week, but what we will need for the next weeks to months. Since I started couponing your way, I notice how much prices can vary on the same item. A jar of peanut butter can go from $1.49 to $2.99. I held onto my $1 coupons and bought four jars when the price hit $1.49, so I paid $1.96 for four jars. That is less than the cost of one jar at regular price –– and I have four! I remember back to the day when I used to pay whatever the price was. Now, the thought that I would have paid $11.96 for the same four jars of peanut butter sickens me a little. I didn’t realize how much money I was wasting by not stocking up even a little bit.”
“People who write to you saying they don’t want to stock up because they don’t want too many groceries in the house need to realize they are really saying, ‘I don’t mind paying 200 percent or more than I have to for my groceries.’ I hope these people never complain about the price of things. I have noticed even if you don’t use coupons, stocking up a little when prices are low can save two-thirds or more. This week, dish detergent is $1 a bottle, but is usually $2.99. I could buy three bottles for what one costs when it isn’t on sale. Of course I used three $1 coupons and got all three free!”
On thinking small:
“Your tip about buying the smallest-sized packages of items is such a great one. I used to just grab the big boxes of cereal thinking I wouldn’t have to buy it as often. But now I really watch the sizes. One of my favorite cereals is on sale this week, $1.99 for the smaller size and $3.79 for the bigger. I had a $1 coupon. Comparing ounces in each box, it was a better value to buy the small box for 99 cents after the coupon, because the cost was less per ounce of cereal.”
“Pretty often I find $1 coupons in the newspaper inserts good for any size of a certain brand of laundry detergent. If I am stocked up, I buy the smallest size of this detergent, a one-load travel size. It sells for $1, so it’s free with the coupon. Before, I would have tossed these coupons out if I didn’t need detergent, but now I always look for the smallest size and see if it might be free. I find deals on quite a few travel size items with $1 coupons because they are usually priced at $1.”
“I had a coupon good for a free box of facial tissues with the purchase of any cough and cold relief product. I found a small box of cough drops for 99 cents and then got the tissues free with the coupon, though they were also priced at 99 cents. I needed the tissues anyway, but now I got the cough drops free with them.”
“I had a coupon for a brand of skincare products that said, ‘Buy any bar of soap, get a bottle of body wash free.’ I looked in the trial size aisle and found the bar of soap for 97 cents. The body wash was $4.97, so I got that free and both were less than a dollar!”
I have more great tips from readers that I’d like to share with you next week. If you have favorite tips or savings stories to share, remember that you’re always welcome to send them my way. E-mail them to email@example.com.
Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about couponing at her web site, www.jillcataldo.com. E-mail your own couponing victories and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.