I’ve been working on a series entitled Strategic Shopping for awhile now. The first part of this series was devoted to coupons:
- How to speak the coupon language
- Where to find coupons
- How to organize coupons
- How to use coupons effectively
Now we’re going to discuss stockpiling.
Wait, let me rephrase that…now we’re going to discuss realistic, sane stockpiling. We won’t be taking out insurance policies on our stock piles and we won’t infringe on our day to day living with our stockpiles.
Why Stockpiling Make Sense
Over time, when you strategically shop, you’ll start noticing trends in sales cycles. You’ll also begin to be able to gauge what is a *buy* price for something and what is just an over hyped deal (just because they stick the world “sale” on it, doesn’t mean it’s a good deal!).
So it makes sense that you’ll want to buy enough of a product at it’s rock bottom price to last until the next time the price drops.
This way, you decide what you are going to pay for something.
Let me give you an example.
Dora finds cereal at her local Kroger for $.69 a box. There is a sale going on and she has a coupon and maybe the sale is part of a bigger store promotion (like a Mega Sale). $.69 a box for cereal that’s normally $3.50 a box is great news, so she buys a box or two.
The next week, she’s out of cereal, so she goes back to Kroger. Only the sale is over and she’s out of coupons! Her family needs the cereal though, so she sucks it up and pays $3.50 for a box. The cereal sale doesn’t come around again for another 7 weeks, and her family buys 2 boxes of cereal a week.
This is how much she pays for her family’s cereal over the course of 8 weeks (2 boxes of cereal each week = 16 boxes total):
1 week @ $.69: 2x$.69= $1.38
7 weeks @ $3.50: 14x$3.50= $49.00
Total for 8 weeks of cereal: $50.38
Diego finds cereal at his local Kroger for $.69 a box. There is a sale going on and he has a coupon and maybe the sale is part of a bigger store promotion (like a Mega Sale). $.69 a box for cereal that’s normally $3.50 a box is great news!
Diego has looked at the sales ads before he left the house and he calculated that his family goes through approximately 2 boxes of cereal a week. He also knows sales cycles tend to run between 6-8 weeks. So to be on the safe side, he gathers enough coupons to purchase 16 boxes of cereal at the $.69 price. He buys multiple papers each week, and he either prints more coupons online or buys some from a coupon clipping service.
He heads to the store with his coupons and buys his cereal (if it looks like he might clear the shelf, he might buy less to be considerate of his fellow shoppers. Or he could ask the manager if there is more cereal in the back!) with his coupons.
This is how much he has paid for his family’s cereal for 8 weeks (he purchases 16 boxes of cereal at one time):
8 weeks @ $.69: 16x$.69=$11.04
Diego (I know I know…I have preschoolers!) saved $39.34 over Dora!
Not only that, but you better believe Diego also took advantage of some other great deals to add to his stockpile as well!
This example is a bit extreme, especially for a beginner. It’s mainly showing you the WHY of stockpiling (because you can save a LOT of money!). To be honest, stockpiling should be done little by little and bit by bit.
Will you ever buy 16 boxes of cereal at a time? Maybe you will. Maybe you don’t have room for 16 boxes of cereal!
That’s okay…this is where being flexible comes into play. Maybe you cut your consumption of cereal down to 1 box a week and stretch out 8 boxes of cereal over 8 weeks. Or during the same sale you also took advantage of an oatmeal sale and on the days you don’t eat cereal, you eat oatmeal. Maybe you have a secondary price point that you are comfortable paying.
Regardless, some kind of stockpile is going to be essential to truly shopping strategically (based on the same principles as the Gift Closet).
You have to make the decision that paying $3.50 for a box of cereal is NOT okay.
Not when you can spend a mere fraction of that by planning ahead! To get the most of out of strategic shopping, you have to set guidelines for what you are willing to pay for what and work within them.
I rarely pay full price for anything anymore. I either grab from my stockpile, or I substitute until I can hop on the next sale. I rarely have more then 6 weeks of anything on hand though. It’s just not necessary with how sales cycles work!
So forget about that show Extreme Couponing, we’re talking Realistic Couponing here on FFF!
Stockpiling just makes sense. You choose what you are willing to pay, and you pay attention to sales cycles to stock up when the price is right!
PS: Next time we’ll go over the How of stockpiling. I’ll show you how you can start a stockpile even if you are living paycheck to paycheck.
Be sure to check out the ENTIRE Strategic Shopping Series today!