Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Making the most of a coupon -- not extreme

Making the most of a coupon does not take extreme couponing,  Couponing  has gotten a bad wrap from the tv show.   No one needs to have a whole room in their basement the  or a closet full of pop; and no one needs to buy 70 bottles of red pepper sauce, more? than they would one on a lifetime.  

Couponing responsibly can seriously lower your food bill.   A lot of coupons are for high priced junk food and things you don't need.   But, there are still high value coupons for things you do need.   It doesn't have to take a lot of time.   Spend 20 minutes or so downloading coupons from coupons,com at the beginning of the month.   Coupons come out the first of the month.  Their is a limit on what can print,   The high value ones go  first.   You snooze, you loose.  

I file mine in a binder. I got the binder from the goodwill and I bought baseball card sleeves and photo sleeves.   If you are an occasional couponer, you can use a coupon wallet from the dollar tree.
Take it to the store with you.  You never know when you find a match.

Grouping coupons is what saves  you the most money,   I usually don't plan a shopping trip.   I look at the ads and make a mental note of which store has the most of what I need on sale for the lowest price.   I'm looking for a rotation protein, anything  I am running low on or perishables I need and any staple stock item that's a really good price.  

I go, walk down the isles that are important to me, skip the baby and dog food isles because I don't have a baby or dog .  That cuts time ,   The perimeter of the store  has the most perishable items.  The rest of the store usually has isles you don't need to go down unless you have a special  need.   Skipping those isles saves time.   Be on the lookout for things you buy on a regular basis that may be at a lower price.   When something you need is at a lower price, check your coupon book.   If I need to look or cut a coupon, I tuck my cart into an isle that is less traveled and do it.  The cosmetic or pet food isle usually works.  

The most percentage off is when you can use a basket coupon, a true sale, and manufacturers coupons.   The five for five type sales are the best.   So,stores, I skip them because they are for expensive  drinks and junk food.  But , occasionally , the stars are in alignment and a basket coupon, five for five sake in real food, and manufacturers coupons all come at the same time.   That's when it's important to plan and act.    I have got as much as 78 percent off.

QFC is one of the best places for that kind of a sale.   They let you use the basket coupon first, and then use your manufacturers coupons , and then the five for five rings up last.   Cha Ching!  

Example :

12 ounce boxes of Cheerios are 2.79.  Sale price was 2.29, less the dollar for the "bulk" sale made them 1.29.  Now, add a 1.00 off two coupon and I got them for .79.
I bought four. ( food bank) .
I added a bag of goldfish crackers for .99.

There is usually a few small items priced at a dollar or so to use for fill ins.   I can use goldfish for a little snack for granddaughter, or to float in a bowl of soup to make it more appetizing.
There was no blanket coupon on this sake, but I have done blanket sales with bulk sales before.    It maximizes your discounts.  

Here's the best one I've ever seen.  My sister did it.

6.99  detergent for HD washers.   On sale , less coupon, less basket  coupon, net 1.10.   WOW

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspectives

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until they goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the 
locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen )by
cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending

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