Thursday, February 17, 2011

Couponing & Stockpiling

So anyone who has been to my home knows I have a wonderful walk in pantry and a wonderful stand alone freezer - they would also know both are usually pretty full!  I am a couponer and frugalista at heart - seriously I feel I have found my calling in finding good deals (thanks mom for those genes)! 

Where do I get my coupons?
  1. Sunday Paper - I only get one copy of the paper!  But I do swap coupons I won't use for coupons my mom won't use so sometimes get doubles! (I get the LA Times Sunday Edition for 9.99 for the entire year - all 52 weeks)! Sometimes my paper has double inserts!
  2.  Online at sites such as http://www.coupons.com/ http://www.redplum.com/ http://www.ralphs.com/ http://www.upromise.com/ http://www.target.com/
  3. Follow other blogs such as http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ (she has nationwide coupons and deals - mine are much more local to SoCal)
  4. From the stores themselves - after signing up for rewards cards and online with other store I started to get mail and e-mail coupons very regularly!
  5. By liking my favorite brands on Facebook - there are almost always deals on the Facebook walls of brands I buy.  Brands like Stonyfield, Green Giant, Nabisco, Kraft etc.
  6. By visiting manufacturers websites - these sites aren't always stocked with coupons but checking your favorite 4-5 (or more if you have time) brands websites can rack up some high value coupons - think $1 off a $1 box of pasta!
  7. In magazines (Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Taste of Home, All  You etc)
  8. In the local newspaper that gets thrown on my driveway once a month or so - sometimes these are the best local coupons and recently they have had the SmartSource insert too!
  9. Ask friends or family who receive the newspaper but don't coupon they can give you theirs!
  10. If you are ever at a Starbucks, Cafe, or Other place on Sunday morning check out the newspapers left on the tables or in the recycling baskets - they almost always have coupons in them!
Once you have coupons what do you do with them. 
  1. Match coupons with sales in your weekly grocery store ads (mine come on Tuesday and Thursday)
  2. Get to know prices - yes pasta might be on sale for $1.50 but I know it goes on sale for $1 shortly after this sale so I wait it out and get pasta at the $1 price with a $1 coupon it is free!
  3. Know your store - my Ralphs (and most socal Ralphs) will double a coupon up to a total value of $1.00 i.e. a  $0.75 coupon would be $1 a $.30 coupon would be $.60. Stater Brother's doesn't care for electronically printed coupons valued at more than a dollar or so.
Some myths:
And don't be fooled that coupons are only good for highly processed junk foods - they most definitely aren't - I buy tons of fruits and veggies with coupons as well as whole wheat breads and pastas.  Whole milk organic yogurts and meats.

Tomorrow will hopefully yield a garden update as my kale is getting out of control!  And yes I jinxed our awesome California weather and we are getting hit by yet another rain storm - just praying this one doesn't leave roads flooded so my hubby can get home!
And later in the week the ins and outs of shopping at Ralph's and why I think they are my go to store for the every day things!

Best of luck if you decide to start couponing,

Ash of All Trades

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