Sunday, March 27, 2011

Several things I have Learned Today....Please Read...

Hi all,
  Hope all of you had a great Sunday!  Even though it is still chilly here in Northwestern Indiana the sun was shinny so we can't complain to much.
  Hubby and I decided to go out today to our local Home and Garden Show to see super couponer Jill Catlado.  Since I am still learning this whole coupon game I thought I would be able to pick up a few tips.  I Did! I am going to share some of them with you here in a few short minutes but first I want to talk about why YOU should start couponing.
  We already know that the economy is heading down the toilet and there is not alot we can do about it except be prepared.  As I was surfing Jills website I came across this article that you NEED to read and take serious. 
   The reason I started couponing was just to save a few bucks and to help stretch our paychecks a little further. When I watched Super Couponing in January, I'm looking at the people with their stockpiles and thinking to myself"these people are insane, I will never be like that!" Well, as I get more into the whole couponing thing, and see what I can get for free and I see that the prices are going up and up, I am beginning to rethink the whole stockpiling thing.  There are people that stockpile laundry soap, dish soap, toilet paper, diapers, anything like that that has no expiration date.  Then you can also stockpile cereal, because that last at least 11 months unopened, canned goods, just make sure when you buy new you put the new in the back and keep the older in the front.
  It makes me very sad that the world has come to this, but it has and there is nothing we can do about it except to be prepared for when it happens.  Start couponing now, get things while they are still at decent prices, grab them on sale and use your coupons!  Stock up, there are creative ways to hide things in your house. Here are a few ideas............
-Put a table behind your couch with a shelf on the bottom of it..hide some things in there
-Ottomans- If you have an ottoman with a lid, put your smaller items in there
-Do you have a space in your basement you just don't know what to do with? Purchase a shelving unit from the hardware store and you can store laundry soap, toilet paper, canned goods, things like that.
-Extra laundry basket laying around with a lid? Store toilet paper, hand lotions, whatever you can in there.
Just use your imagination and I'm sure you can come up with some creative storage ideas. Anybody that has any creative ideas to "hide" our stockpiles, please feel free to post them in the comments section of this website.  Any and all comments are welcome.
Now, you maybe asking yourself "Won't I be considered a hoarder if I stockpile?"  The answer to that question is ABSOLUTELY NOT!  The difference between being a hoarder and a stockpiler,  a stockpiler uses there stock, a hoarder just keeps things for years and buys things they don't really need or will ever use. Stockpiling is helping the family, hoarding just hurts the family.  For example, your family goes through 2 boxes of Kelloggs Raisin Bran a week and your paying approximately $3.99 a box without it being on sale or without a coupon. In 1 month you are spending $31.92 just on cereal!!!! Ok, say you buy the off brand cereal at 1.99 a bag...your buying 2 bags a week for 4 are still spending $15.92 a month on cereal...OK that's better but of course I have better for scenario for you....say Kelloggs Raisin Bran is on sale this week at Strack and VanTil for$ 2.99 and you have a coupon for$ 2.00 off a box.  You are only paying .99 a box. Say you stock up for a month, saying your going through 2 boxes a week, you are only spending $7.94 for a months worth of cereal!  Now you tell me, which of the 3 deals would you go with? I know what I would do!  Its just makes since that you would stock up on the groceries and toiletries you need while the prices are low.
   Now...I'm going to share with you a couple of things I learned today in the coupon class.  Groceries sales go in cycles. When you find something that you use all the time at the rock bottom price it is best to get all you can while it is at that price because it will not be that low again until approximately 3 months later!!  Experts say that when your items go on sale, buy at least 3 months worth because it will not be that low again until another 3 months.  I have seen this myself in the 3 months I have been couponing. Everything that I bought in January is starting to go on sale again now.  A little trick is to keep track of the things you buy the most and track there prices for 3 months, then you will see how prices dive and skyrocket.  This will also help you to see if what your buying is really a good deal or not. Here is a great spreadsheet to use when beginning to coupon to help track your savings.(Hint: Don't erase what is in there, just type over the numbers with your own because for some reason it will not add up properly)
Another thing I learned and has nothing to do with food!  Its saving on toys and clothing! 
Here is the schedule to shop for clothing:
Summer- Sept.-November
Fall - Dec- Feb.
These are when all the clothes start going on clearance. If you wait 3-4 weeks in after the sales start, you will hit the 90% off clothing and get your best deals. Working at Penneys, I learned the longer you wait, the lower the prices, when I left Penneys, clothing was going for .90 and that was in February!
Another thing to look out for is for sales AFTER new movies come out. There will be clothes and toys geared toward the movies and the kids go nuts for these things. After the movie has came out is when the clothes and toys go on clearance!
   After holidays....good time to shop as well, that's when holiday items go on sale. Sometimes things will be marked a holiday item and you can wear it year around or all season. An example Jill showed us was a skirt at Old Navy for a little girl. It was considered 4th of July skirt because it had fireworks on the buttons!  She got it on clearance for $1.00 after the 4th of July!  Old Navy is a great store to look for clearance items!
Toys go on clearance in January and Late July or early August so those are the best time to look for bargain toys for Christmas the next year.
I know I was pretty winded in this article but the time to start couponing is now and I hope that you get on the coupon train before its too late. If you have any questions or comments please send them to me and I will help get your answers and if your interested in starting to coupon let me know and I will be happy to help. Please check out these sites to help you to start, they will really help you!
Happy Couponing to All!

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