Monday, June 11, 2012

Budgeting for coupons

Let's get this started part 2

So you've read Part 1 of this series now you're getting antsy to go out to shop but before you do you need to know a few things.

Know your budget and stick to it! For me the goal is to feed my family AND stockpile for $320 a month or under $3850 a year (5 person household with 4 males... yes 4!!) Some weeks I might spend more but I am anal-retentive when it comes to my budget so I don't normally fret. Before going out shopping pull out you coupon money and just use that, stay away from your visa/bank cards! It's easier to veer off track when you have that card in hand.

Build slowly. When starting out you will see all sorts of deals that make you want to jump in your car at 9pm "Honey I will be back shortly! I found a deal!!!"  because who can't beat getting free toothpaste and shampoo? Right?! It's hard to see those deals and not go for them but START SLOWLY.  Jumping in with both feet is a sure fire way to become overwhelmed and burnt out.

Those deals come in cycles, 2-3 month cycles to be more specific (more on cycles later). So take your time and always remember that sale WILL come back around.

Is it really a good deal or not? The general rule for stockpiling is if it's 75% less than the original cost (after coupon savings) then stockpile. There are a few stockpile price guides out there that will help you gain a better idea of what is a good price for your area. Any savings is still a savings in my book, but I always strive for a 60% savings.

Starting a stockpile. This is when you budget comes into play. For my family the budget is set at $40 a week for stockpiling so we have some extra wiggle room but if you can only afford $25 a week for a stockpile you can still get a nice size stock after a while.

What can I really get for $25 a week?

(3)Yogurt 4 pack- $.50
(3)Pasta- FREE
(6)Canned Beans. $.41
(4)Sponges- $.25
(3)Cereal- $.99
(3)Spaghetti Sauce $.25
(3)Toilet paper 12pk $1.50

That's under $14 with money left over! The left over cash can be used on extra meats to freeze or fresh fruits or veggies.

How much do I need to stockpile?

I have a crazy math method that by request I can spill but to keep it simply if your family eats spaghetti once a week then you'll need 24 for a 6 month time. I tend to buy anywhere from 6 months to 9 months worth of product (only things my family will actually use).

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