I don't carry the Sunday paper anymore, so I look at the store ads on-line on Sunday mornings. When I teach coupon classes, I encourage people to keep a grocery journal that lists the different products their family uses and keeps tract of when it goes on sale. For example, All laundry detergent is on sale this week at Fred Meyer for $2.99 a bottle. I quickly jumped over to ebay to see if there are any coupons available for this. Sure enough, there are save $1 on each floating out in cyberland. I didn't see any coupons on some of the main coupon websites, so I know that there aren't a lot of them in circulation. Obviously with a $1 off coupon, each bottle of ALL laundry detergent becomes $1.99. At Fred Meyer, they are normally $5.69 a bottle. $1.99 is a pretty good price to set 3 or 4 aside for a rainy day (when you'll have loads of wet and muddy clothes to wash in your free time ;) **Disclaimer: I haven't bought laundry soap in a couple of years and probably won't for at least another year, because this same deal went down a couple of years ago at Fred Meyer, but there were $2.00 off coupons at the time. You know where this is going, huh? A couple of Fred Meyers later and about 50 coupons--I was stocked for a few muddy seasons. But with 5 kids and a resident germ-a-phobe--we do a lot of laundry at our house. I don't have to worry about running out for awhile. I use this as the perfect example of "money in your pocket"--because if I had to buy the monthly supply of laundry detergent at the going rates, or even sales' rates, I'd wouldn't have any extra cash during the month because it would go right to the profit margins of the local stores every month.
Couponing Tip: look at the ads and see if there are any match-ups between the sales' prices and available coupons. Mini stock-up sales happen every week, sometimes we just don't know what the sale item is going to be. We need to be open and ready to set somethings aside that will be a great investment in our future savings. I've been stocking up on Campbell's' cream soups (cream of chicken and cream of mushroom), because they are staples in the dinner department, but also because now is the time of year that they go on sale for more than 10 cents off a can. Plus they are generating HUGE kick-backs for the schools, as noted in previous entries on this blog. I was positively thrilled to get those soups at 29cents a can and a 500 point coupon for the elementary school. And thinking frugally and to the future, the expiry on the cans isn't until 2012...so to stock up on this kind of product at such a low price is totally MONEY IN MY POCKET!! I've had to learn from sad experience that when I run out of these kind of soups, I immediately need them and have paid what normal people have paid...$1.29-$1.49 a can. OUCH!! I have issues and am obviously a control freak. I like to control what I pay for things. Most people grab extra cans of what they deem as a "good deal"--but when the expiration dates are so far out, my advice is to stock the pantry with the products you routinely use when you can get them for 75-90% off. Think of all the bucks you've saved throughout the next year and a half on one product alone!