I keep a 3 to 4 month stockpile. I don't have much space so I can't keep more. I keep a stockpile because of the cycle of my businessbecause I live in a hurricane zone.
2. I do not buy coupons. They come in the mail every Wednesdaythe local paper gives away a free insert on Saturdays to entice people to subscribe to the Sunday paper. Once in a while I will buy a Sunday paper if there are a lot of coupons that I use in the insert.
I do occasionally print coupons from coupon websitesI will visit the websites of products I normally usesnag printable coupons from them. These are for items that I normally usethat might not appear in my local inserts. but these are free websites. The only thing I'm paying for is the paperink to print them.
pay attention to your magazines:
I had a coupon for eggland's best eggs that made them cheaper than the store brand eggsanother coupon that would take $4 off my fresh meat purchase if I bought a Mrs. Dash salt free seasoning. . found in a Cooking Light magazine
found in a Real Simple magazine: coupons for Vanity Fair napkinsplates; Solo cups, plates,utensils; cetaphil skin cleanser; Olay Regenerist products; numerous cosmetic coupons (Revlon, Maybelline, Physician's Formula, Rimmel, Cover Girl, L'Oreal)
pay attention to the coupons the grocery store gives you:
My store gave me Catalinas for $4 off my next purchase of fresh meat, $2 off my next purchase of fresh produce,$2 off my next purchase of cheese in the deli department.
3. know your store's coupon policy.
none of the stores in my area do coupon doublingmany of the items I like to purchase have "do not double" on their coupons.
however my local grocery store has their own coupons for items in the storethey will allow you to combine their store coupons w/ the manufacturer's coupon. Ex: I had an Activia coupon for $1 off 3 Activia Selects. My grocery store had the Activia Selects on sale for 89 centsthey were also offering a coupon for $1 off 2 of any Activia yogurt. I bought 3 Activia Select yogurts for 89 cents each ($2.67)used my coupons ($2). 3 yogurts that normally retail for $1 each cost me a little over 22 cents each.
my local Target will have coupons for itemsif you read the fine print on the Target coupons, they will allow you to combine the Target coupon w/ a Manufacturer's coupon. Last week I purchased 2 Olay Regenerist lotions at Target for $12 ($6 each). They normally retail for $17 each, they were on sale for $12 eachI had an Olay Regenerist coupon for $10 off of 2 Regenerist itemsa Target coupon for $2 off any Olay product. (it's a shame that I didn't know about the rebate when I bought them. I could have been reimbursed for them at the sale price precoupon. which meant instead of me paying $12 for 2, I would have been paid $24 for buying them--a $12 bonus for me)
also: my local grocery store will not give cash for overages w/ coupons. If you get your bill down to a negative amount then they won't give you any change, so make sure if they don't offer a gift card for overages that you have enough things like fresh produce or fresh meat or other items that you don't normally have coupons for to absorb the overage.
4. buy your items on sale for the biggest savings.
this means you pay attention to the sale papers that usually get stuffed in your mail box on Tuesday or Wednesday. Sale papers will also alert you to any rebates. for produce, shop in season. FruitVeg are cheaper when they are in season.
My local hardware store had a sale on potting soil for $7.99 (regular $9.99)Ant Killer was on sale for $15.99 (regular $19.99). I had a $5 coupon for the hardware store,2 $2 coupons for the ant killer. the manufacturer was also offering rebates for the purchase price of the items up to their normal retail price. the limit was 2 each. I bought 2 potting soil2 ant killer ($47.96). I used the coupons ($9)was out of pocket for $38.96 before tax. I mailed in my rebateswas paid $15.98 for the potting soil (Scotts)$31.98 for the ant killer (AMDRO). so I got the $38.96 back. after taxes I was paid almost $8 to buy the products.
5. buy the smallest size available for the biggest value. If you are allowed to buy the trial or travel size w/ the coupon then do it. otherwise buy the next smallest size.
for me: 75 cents on a 500 ml bottle of mouthwash is not a good value so I'll pass on that. but if the coupon doesn't say what size I have to get then that 75 cents on a trial or travel size mouthwash means I'm getting the mouthwash for free or I'm getting a "regular" size mouthwash for a great discount.