Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Q & A

From an email...

Coupon Clipper: I just had a question about your blog on the rice.

It looked like your coupon said that you saved a $1.00 when you buy three boxes of rice. But from your blog it sounded like you just bought one box per coupon. That leads me to my question on multiple purchases.

It doesn't seem like a good deal to only save $1.00 when you have to buy three (or more) of something. For example, I have a coupon for Cheerios where it says save $1.00 when you buy any three General Mills cereals.

Cheerios was on sale this week at Meijer at 3 for $8. That would mean that by using that coupon I would only save $1 and still end up paying $7 for three boxes of cereal. I know that I can get the store brand for cheaper than $2.33 (Kroger brand is usually $1.89).

So I guess my question is are the multiple coupons worth it?? Buy "X" number - save a $1.00... How do you seem to get things a lot cheaper?? :) Thanks for your help on all this!

Me: First of all, I had coupons for three different rice brands. I priced out which rice company, including the store brand, to find the least expensive box to purchase... to me, rice is rice- so I am not brand loyal in the least.

The Success Rice coupons that I spent (these may be old coups...I don't remember) were actually to save $1 on each box. Each box was selling for $1.29- so I purchased each box for $.29 - or all six boxes for $1.74.
I hope this clarifies the confusion of the coupons that I used.

As for the 'buy three items and save $1'- personally I almost NEVER even clip these coupons,- unless I am planning on making a specific purchase of that item (like a once in a lifetime purchase... maybe for a vacation or something) and I'm pretty sure that there are no other coupons for that item. I feel like that type of savings is a waste of a coupon and a waste of money.

We are in the Cheerios stage of life in our house as well. I am sometimes able to print- or find $.50 off per box coupons in the paper. So when Cheerios are on sale like they were at Kroger a few weeks ago for $1.67 a box (3 for $5) I snagged several boxes... one box per coupon that I had. This is where it pays off to purchase several Sunday newspapers.

I really do prefer to purchase the national brands- but only if they are the better deal. When a person, such as yourself, is new to using coupons it takes time to build a stockpile (multiples of each item used most frequently in your household) and sales for specific items preferred by your family may not hit every single week.

The good news is that sales are cyclical, meaning that they are most likely to reappear in 4, 6, 8 or 12 weeks. Yay! One of my basic rules of thumb is that if you frequently use a product- stock up for 3 months worth of that product when it is on sale- especially if you are able to use coupons (or doubled coupons) in addition to the sale price. Then, by the time the sale reappears you will not be out of the product- but you will be ready to replenish your supply.

So if I use my rice example, say that we make a rice dish twice a month- then I just purchased 3 months worth of rice. I am confident that by the time my supply is running low that another sale on rice will come my way. Maybe when I have just two boxes left I will begin keeping an eye out for my next sale.

Keep slowly adding to your stockpile and do not get discouraged. Every stockpile starts somewhere. Three months from now, once your stockpile is up and running- you will have very few items that you are at the store's mercy for purchase pricing. (Meaning you would need to pay full price because you are out of the item.)

In the short run- before you are able to get a stockpile of an item, do purchase the store brand of an item if that is the least expensive brand. In the long run you will begin to have mostly national brands, using sales and coupons, for less that the store brand prices!

Keep hunting for the best deals- you ask awesome questions!!!