You don’t need to build your own grocery store in one or two trips. Start small and keep adding to your stockpile each week with things you find deals on. When I started I focused on a few things at a time, and once I thought I had plenty (like a more than a year’s supply of toothpaste!), I moved on to other things.
Start with things that are often “free”
I started with toiletry items because it seems that you can always find them really cheap or free. In the first few months or so, I managed to accumulate enough toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, etc. to last me into the next year. I found a lot great deals on these items at Walgreens by watching their sales and using my Register Rewards and coupons.
Things you don’t want to run out of
The next group of items I try to keep stockpiled I like to think of as “things you don’t want to run out of” or “things you seem to run out of all at once.” Before I started coupon shopping, I hated that when I ran out of one thing, I ran out of everything. Then when I went to the store to get everything, I would have at least $50 worth of stuff before I even started buying my groceries. Now if you look at my stockpile, you will almost always find extra things like toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels, dish soap, laundry detergent, and some cleaning supplies. Watch for these items on sale at places like Walgreens, Target, and CVS. Your local grocery stores probably run sales on them often too.
My family’s favorite things
I also have a group of items in my stockpile that I call “my family’s favorite things.” At my house it includes things such as pasta sauce, pasta, salad dressing (especially Ranch because my kids will put it on anything!), ketchup, mayonnaise, cereal, crackers, peanut butter, and Goldfish crackers. I remember the day I came home with 15 jars of Ragu that I had paid next to nothing for. My husband asked me if we would really use them all before they expired. Well, in the last 6 months or so, we have used every single one (some didn’t expire for 2 years or more!). I’m waiting for Ragu or Prego to have another good sale right now.
Stock up on “Seasonal” Items
Another group of things I like to try to stock up on, I would call “seasonal” items. Now that we’re headed into the fall/winter seasons, watch for coupons and specials on soups and other “comfort foods”.
Hilander/Kroger stores are running a Buy 10 save $5 instantly in their ad this week through Wednesday. There are some okay deals in this promotion. If I remember last fall around this time, they ran this “Kick off to Savings” Promotion for a few weeks, so I would watch for a similar sale beginning
Thursday. The only other things that jump out at me this week are milk for $2.39 at Walgreens. This is much cheaper than the $4 or more per gallon that is being sold at the Walmart in town. Walgreens also has Revlon make up 40% off, and “free” Blistex too. CVS is also running a promotion on Huggies Diapers this week. You can get them as low as $2.67 after coupons and Extra Bucks.
FatWallet tip: This post is part of an ongoing series of posts for the couponers and those who wanna be couponers! You may access all the posts on Shannen’s author page. Please be sure to check out the grocery coupons and deals forum here on FatWallet to get great deals and connect with other couponers!