Originally I wasn’t going to write an article for the Prepper Writing Contest because I am BRAND NEW to prepping. I mean to say that it’s been about a month, so I feel totally unqualified to speak on the topic of expert prepping secrets. Then something happened.
The other day, I was reading someone else’s article about how to get free stuff for your stockpile by going online and requesting free samples and getting these samples delivered to your home, when it occurred to me that there has been no mention of something I’m fairly well-educated about, and that is: couponing your way to a huge stockpile.
A few years back, my family and I were really struggling financially because we lived in a home in the northeast that relied on oil heat. So with an annual heat fuel only bill to pay of $1200, and in a poorly insulated 1950s house in Pennsylvania, I felt compelled to find ways to save money. One variable was food shopping.
During this time, I happened to see the shows on TV featuring the extreme couponers. You know the ones…they go into a grocery store and spend $966.87 before coupons and walk out after paying 75 cents or something crazy like that. It was amazing! My daughter and I were compelled to learn more.
As I watched the show, I learned that these families went to great lengths to build enormous stockpiles. They even had what appeared to be their own personal grocery store in their basement, and everything was lined up neatly on the shelves. I found out how they would often go dumpster diving sometimes to get the coupon inserts thrown out in the trash by the local stores that sold newspapers, but I knew I wasn’t going to go quite that far.
You can definitely get into that, but if you are like me and most people, you don’t have time (or the inclinations) to dumpster dive for coupons, beg convenience stores for their leftover coupon inserts, and you don’t want to order 25 newspaper subscriptions, then keep reading to see how I coupon. I like to call myself a not-so-extreme couponer.
I may not be an extreme couponer, but let me tell you, there are many fantastic deals you can get to help you create a massive stockpile. We have since relocated to a warmer state, so now I’m starting over with my family’s stockpile, but these ideas work. They can help you stockpile your food and save money on what your family is buying and consuming currently.
Extreme Coupon – Get Your Supplies Cheap
First, you use couponing to get what you need now on the cheap, so you can free up other money to get your prep materials ready. Think shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes, hair products, and cleaning supplies. Also think seasonal foods that are nonperishable, canned goods that go on sale, etc. There are a lot of ways to coupon. For example, if you can get your toilet paper for $5 a pack instead of $10 a pack, take your $5 in savings and buy some bottled water and canned food, or add it to your amazon wish list fund.
Secondly, use couponing to acquire some items that you’ll put into your stockpile. It completely depends on what is available on a coupon deal. You might find that at the end of camping season, Kmart maybe has a clearance on those supplies. Perhaps Target has a deal where you can buy food for your pet combining a Cartwheel offer with a printable coupon and a Target coupon, and when you buy 2, you get a $5 gift card.
How Can You Do This Without Tons of Time Effort and Energy?
All you need to do is go to the couponing websites. My favorite by FAR is the Krazy Coupon Lady. She’s even got an app. My favorite stores that are easy to use without acquiring tons of paper coupons are Target and CVS Drug Store. Another great site to look up is the Coupon Diva. There are many more, but of course, a search engine query can find you as many as you would like.
If you want to get a smidge more past this level, I would definitely recommend that you go ahead and read up on the ins and outs of creative and complete couponing. You can get completely nuts and find ways to acquire those extra coupons from grocery stores, drug stores, convenience stores, or any other place that sells the Sunday newspaper.
For a while when I was into heavy couponing, I kept a binder full of all my coupons. This is one method for keeping your coupons together and in some sort of orderly fashion. I would use baseball card holders for the different sections, and on eBay or Amazon you can certainly find a variety of binder inserts to do the job for various types and shapes of coupons.
Another method that some coupon collectors like to use is to take all the inserts – say a Smart Shopper insert, and put them in a file folder by date. Some sites, like the Krazy Coupon Lady, do have indexes of what coupons have been released in the Sunday papers. They have listings of which coupons were in which inserts, so this is definitely another way to keep good track of them.
When I wasn’t stealthily saving tons of paper coupons, there was one other way I could stock up on things that would use paper coupons for the deals, but without having to actually acquire or save the coupons myself. There are websites out there where people who DO save and clip coupons will sell you their “services” of coupon clipping and mail you the coupons you need for a very reasonable price.
As you can see, there are many ways to go about saving even more money to help you acquire more prepping materials or save money so that you can even buy some materials for bartering in the event of a SHTF type of scenario. I hope my tips have helped you in some ways to move forward with securing your family’s future.