Coupons and Homesteading

I can’t find a post on here about it. I can’t believe I haven’t written about it before. As big as the rule to homesteaders is “Make do and reuse” also is the thought of being frugal and storing up for hard times. I do this by couponing.

Not that Extreme Couponing stuff. People seem to think that’s what couponing is. No not really. Most stores don’t even double and triple coupons anymore and have counteracted by only allowing you to use a few coupons at a time on a product even if the coupon doesn’t say so.

I save approximately $200 – $400 per month couponing. The difference is what is available in the coupons that month. I only buy items or brands my family uses. I mean why waste money by buying 20 bags of Kitty litter if you don’t even have a cat. People say “Oh you buy Secret deoderant? Why I can buy Walmart brand without a coupon for $1.00”. I answer well that’s nice but I can get my secret for. 25 – .40 cents each. If Equate was that cheap and I liked how it worked I would buy it.

When I get a high value coupon say for example on deoderant. I will buy three or four at a time. High value means a high value off on the coupon. Say for example Tide for $1.00 off three I just toss in the pass pile. But $1.00 off one Tide is high value and its also rare.

Things you use up regularly like detergent, toilet paper, shampoos, toothpaste etc. Its better to stock up on when you can. I’m not talking a hundred. I am taking a few a time depending on your family size. We have a large family so go through a lot of detergent. We. Also have very hard, iron water so we have to find soaps that work with it. It doesn’t save money to use something that was cheaper but ends up turning your whites a light orange. That isn’t saving money when you have to rebuy clothes.

I keep a goal in my head of what I’m willing to pay for certain items. Detergent I like to never go over $3.00. My goal is closer to 2.00 but that’s harder to find now. My record was All detergent for 1.99! I stocked up on that big time. Filled up the underside of the baby’s crib. I’m actually down to two now. Hoping I can find another good deal like that again.

How do I coupon? I get two papers delivered. Its very cheap when you ask for only Sunday delivery. Yeah they do that. Please note no coupons are in holiday papers. I also have friends that give me theirs.

I usually start cutting them out Sunday night or Monday morning while watching the news or a movie. I make two piles in the beginning as I cut them out. One keep pile. One give away pile. After cutting out I sort the keep pile into food and non food items. I have a great binder that has two rings inside. Left side non food items. Right food items.

I printed out labels from The Crazy Coupon Lady’s site. I didn’t use the table of contents she provided and put in my own order in the way I shop. I then file the coupons in clear baseball card plastic sheet dividers. I might have to trim or foldsome to fit. So now I can quickly flip through when I’m on a certain eisle at the store and know automatically what I have so I can see if its a good buy or not.

When I put something in the cart I am using a coupon for I slide that coupon out of the slot in the binder and into a storage bag I keep handy. That way when I check out. Its all neat. No digging. No mess. If I decide not to use a coupon. Say its a new item I wasn’t sure price on or the coupon wasn’t a good value for that item, I usually leave the coupon there on the store shelf for someone else.

I don’t use all my coupons at one time when I shop. I compare sales to see where I can get the best value. You can also “comp” at some stores like Walmart. They will match a competitor’s price. You can comp and still use a coupon. I’m usually not that organized but that’s where you really save the money!

Know your prices. I’m sure if you are homesteading already you have a round about idea what common prices are for feed, hay etc. Its exactly the same idea of knowing round about what things cost. For example a year ago you could get lean ground beef for 1.99 a lb. Not now and if you do see it grab it. Now its closer to a dollar more a pound.

I can’t think of anything there isn’t a coupon for. Yes even meat. There’s one right now if you buy Kingsford Charcoal you get $3.00 off meat. Oh another thing. Know the stores coupon policies. Some have gotten strict. Walmart is real easy though. However if you know policies you can know when a cashier was either misinformed about the policy or is just being lazy. I had one young girl say couponers were just “taking advantage” of the system. I asked her how was it taking advantage of anyone when the manufacturer issues the couponsfor their product. Its how marketing works. And hey if its cheap and I use it go ahead and pay me to use your product.

Coupons are money. I wish more people saw it that way. I mean if you saw $2.00 laying on the floor would you not be “Hey! Two bucks!” But I have seen someone with an item I had an extra coupon for and said “Here is a $2.00 coupon for that” Sometimes they say “No thank you, I don’t use coupons”. Puzzles me to no end when its a product you buy anyway.

Do you have to use a coupon if you have it. No. Only use if its something you buy anyway or a good value. Do I ever buy store brands? Yes if I like the quality and value. For example my family really doesn’t prefer Walmart’s Great Value Tomato Soup. We love the taste of Campbell’s. Its obvious to us when its not Campbell’s. It isn’t saving money to buy the off brand if you know your family wont eat it.

Well I hope I made you think more about a coupons place in Homesteading. Let me know if you have any questions.

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