I still have a good stockpile to work from, so I have not organized any real shopping trips. However, even without pursuing a couponing trip, there are still things to do to get the best possible deal.
- Check for in-store deals. At Bi-Lo, they heavily discount the deli items when they are approaching a sell-by date. I was in just the other day for toilet paper and browsed the store for non-coupon deals, and I found sliced fresh turkey for $1.99 a pound and Sara Lee cheese for $2.99 a pound. Both freeze well, so I bought extra.
- Check for clearance items, in all departments.
- Check all departments for Buy One Get One Free items that may be out of stock and get a raincheck. You might not need to buy that particular thing right now (laundry detergent, soup, pasta) but if it is on your long-term list, get a raincheck while it is on the lowest possible price. Usually that is Buy One Get One Free, but there are sometimes massive deals even better than that. For example, right now Bi-Lo has 8 ounce Philadelphia Cream Cheese at 99 cents (usually $2.29) so that’s worth getting and freezing if they have it. And, if they run out, get the raincheck so you’ll have 60 days to get it at that lowest possible price.
- Look for the Fuelperks bonus on items you would get anyway, that you may not have a coupon for. An example would be their store brand toilet paper, which was on sale plus a fuelperks bonus, so I went ahead and bought a few packages.
- Always check for pet food – pet food companies are always coming out with new formulations and flavors, and when they do, shelf space gets cleared by a 50% or more clearance price. I found several cans of cat food at 25-33 cents each, before coupons, that were normally 60 cents or more each.
- Always bring your re-usable bags. Bi-Lo, and many other stores, give a 5 cents credit per bag. If you are doing a non-coupon trip, this is a quick way to cut down a little on your bill. I used 6 bags, that’s 30 cents off, and why not? Don’t turn up your nose at 20 cents or 30 cents here and there. Think what it can add up to if you do that every time.
- Speaking of saving pennies … I’m using the same strategy this year as I did last year with my change and it adds up, literally. I keep the change after paying cash and I put it in a change bucket at home. At the end of the year, I roll up the change and use it for Christmas shopping. I had $122 in change last year, so far this year I have $28.
- Watch for the seasonal deals – I’ve noticed a lot of frozen foods on really good prices at all the stores this month.
I’ll be back with more details when I’m ready to do a stockpile shopping trip again! I’m going to try to make what I have last through this month at least (February), then I imagine I’ll have to get serious.