One of the best ways to save money on groceries and household products is to learn the strategy of “stocking up” effectively.
Sale pricing and promotions tend to follow cycles which vary by product, but in general you can assume that your products will hit their lowest price sometime within a six-week period. Therefore, if you become familiar with the price ranges of your key items, you’ll be able to recognize when the hit their lowest price. At that point, you should buy enough of the product to last two to six weeks. By the time you run out of an item, it will most likely be on sale again.
If you are flexible about switching brands based on sale prices, you will be able to stock up at lower quantities because you can alternate brands as they go on sale.
By getting into the routine of stocking up at the lowest price point, you will slash your grocery spending dramatically. If you’ve never shopped this way, you may cut your spending in half. For the typical family, that translates to thousands of dollars a year.
Stocking up on your key items does not mean you need to fill an entire room of your house with products. That makes entertaining TV (if you’ve ever watched the “Extreme Couponing” show), but isn’t necessary for your savings goals.
When you consider the amount of an item you need to last six weeks, it may be two or three bottles of salad dressing, or two bottles of dishwashing liquid. Stocking up is easier than you think and does not require excessive storage space. Your savings will be well worth the additional effort required to pay attention to prices.
Stack coupons at CVS
Speed Stick: CVS has Speed Stick Gear deodorant (2.7 to 3 ounce) on sale for $3.99. Use the $2 coupon from the Sept. 13 RedPlum to pay $1.99 at the register. You will get a $2 Extrabucks reward, so your net cost will be free. Limit four per household.
Crest: CVS has selected Crest oral care products on sale for $4.79 with an Extrabucks reward of $3. Use the $2 coupon from the Sept. 13 RedPlum for Crest mouthwash to pay $2.79 at the register. Your net cost will be free with a profit of 21 cents in store credit. Limit two per household.
Palmolive: CVS has Palmolive dish liquid (10 ounce) on sale for 98 cents each. Use the 25-cent coupon from the Sept. 20 SmartSource to pay 73 cents each. This item counts toward the “big brand” promotion that gives you a $10 Extrabucks reward when you spend $30 on participating items (before coupons are deducted).
Stephanie Nelson, The Coupon Mom, has been teaching Georgia shoppers how to save since 2000.
The full Coupon Mom column appears Thursdays in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Deal Spotter section. It’s full of great local deals and exclusive offers. Visit the Coupon Mom website for more great tips and printable grocery coupons.