Couponing for Preppers Part II
Part II-How to Get the Good Deals!
In my previous post, I explained the things that would be good to be stocked up on and why they’re good to have a lot of on hand. In this article, I’m going to explain how you can get them for really cheap, if not for free. I have yet to get a ton of items for free, but I have noticed that couponing in my town is not as amazing as they make it seem on TV (or even in the other blogs that I follow). The truth is, my Northern Arizona mountain town is a rather expensive place to live and the sale prices here just aren’t as good as they are in other towns and cities. It’s kind of a bummer for me, but hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to live in a location where you have access to the best sale prices around!
The one thing that I can recommend to anyone and everyone interested in couponing is having a coupon binder. It allows me to be super organized—without it, I would feel outrageously overwhelmed. I found the printout for my coupon binder here as it was a great place for me to start and was recommended to me by a friend. I’m sure there are many others you can find on the internet too. The printout has 40 different categories ranging from frozen foods to vegetables to hair products and so much more. It also leaves space for you to add your own categories.
What you need for the coupon binder is a 2” or bigger binder with pockets, page protectors, baseball card protector pages, a little pencil holder, a pen/pencil, scissors, a small calculator and paper clips. All of those last items will go in the little pencil holder and they all come in handy when cutting your coupons. You’ll want to put each category page into a page protector and then put a couple of pages of the baseball card protectors in each section as well. That is where you’re going to keep the coupons for each category. See the picture below for a demonstration.
So each Sunday, you should either have the newspaper delivered to your home or you can go to the local grocery store and pick up a few newspapers. I’ve heard a variety of different amounts of papers to buy, the most logical being to purchase the amount of papers equal to the amount of people living in your home. So for a family of four, you’ll want to purchase four papers, or for a family of two (like us), you’ll want to purchase two papers, etc. Of course, this is completely up to you. We also recently learned that our local Dollar Tree sells our local newspaper for $.81, which was a steal as its shelf price is $1.50!
I highly recommend following websites like thekrazycouponlady.com and the thecentsableshopping.com as they post what coupons will be coming out each Sunday, what deals you can get at all the different stores and more importantly, how to get the good deals. My main issue with using these two sites is that they show a retail price or a sale price for an item at a specific store, and then I’ll go to that store, thinking that I will get the same price and it’s not. But I’ve come to realize that that is just a reality of the town I live in. Either way, they know more about what coupons are available than I do, so they’re a great resource to at least get some ideas as to where to start on your coupon deals each week.
I have found that it’s very important to make lists of what I’m going to be buying each time. I have a list for each store if necessary and on each list, I write down how much the original price should be, how many of each item I should be purchasing, what coupons to use and how many and then I write down what the final price I should be paying out of pocket is. Like I said, it rarely ever is the price that I was expecting to pay if I went by the deals found on the above websites, but it’s almost always still a better deal than I would have normally paid for the items.
While I’m putting the list together, I will pull the coupons out of my coupon binder and put it into one of those small accordion coupon folders. I have a section designated for each store that I shop at and that way, the coupons I’m taking are organized by store.
From the above websites, you’ll find that there are links to certain coupons that you may not have received in the Sunday paper. Most of these coupons come from coupons.com, but there are some other places they come from too, such as from the manufacturer’s websites or Facebook. But, no matter where they come from, they always add up to make your deal a little or a lot better!
Each store has its own coupon policy and each coupon itself has its own rules, so you must follow them correctly and be ethical. Sometimes the cash registers won’t realize that you used a coupon incorrectly and will let you have it when you weren’t supposed to. And vice versa; sometimes the coupon should have gone through but didn’t. Try not to overreact when that happens, and if the cashier doesn’t know how to fix it, ask for a manager. This can be a little embarrassing when there’s a long line behind you, so honestly, it’s up to you if you want to get that extra $.50 off or not. Sometimes it’s worth it, sometimes it’s not.
Those are my tips for today—I hope they were helpful to you. My next post on couponing for preppers is going to feature some tips that I’ve learned over the past month and a half since starting couponing so hopefully those will be helpful to you too!