Now that this blog is linked to my facebook page and not just to the ladies at The Grocery Challenge, I feel that I should explain why and how I stockpile. I know that it looks and sounds a bit strange to those who do not shop the same way.
I really don't remember the first time I used coupons. I never remember my mom or dad using a coupon or stockpiling anything. I must have been started during college. I know my dorm had a table by the front door where you could leave or pick up coupons that were clipped out of the Sunday papers. I would look through them once a week or so to see what I could use. Then I got a subscription to the Sunday paper from Louisville (still has the best coupons around!). I also remember going to both Kroger and SuperWal-Mart for my grocery shopping. Kroger would double my coupons up to 50 cents, and at the time, they would take expired coupons.
When I started working summers at Wal-Mart, after my freshmen year in college, I started a mini stockpile I guess you could call it. I worked 25+ hours per week in the summer and only 15 hours at my work study during the school year. Therefore, I bought enough toiletries to last for entire the school year. That way I could use my employee discount PLUS coupons. I was then able to use my income during the school year for food and gasoline.
I continued using coupons and sales ads ever since then. However, the major stockpiling and going to CVS started a year ago this past February after I discovered the helpful ladies at The Grocery Challenge. I wish I'd started shopping at CVS years ago! There so many things that you can buy and get the whole amount back in Extra Care Bucks (CVS store credit type coupons).
You may have noticed two tickers at the top of my blog page. I have never kept track of how much I'd save with coupons, Extra Care Bucks, or Walgreen's Register Rewards. I thought I would keep track of it on here. I'm trying to see how long it takes to save $1,000 in coupons and $1.000 in ECBS and RRs. I've only been keep track for 15 days and already saved nearly $100! And I haven't speant a whole lot either. Here's a good story I found on MSN about saving money buying food inexpensively: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/the-dollar-food-pantry.aspx
Ok, now you know a little about HOW I do it. So WHY do I do it? Well, to be honest, some of it is because it's a challenge. I like to see how much I can get for so little. But the major part is because my paychecks are so erractic. During March and April my paychecks from school (at assistant pay, NOT teacher pay), were only for seven days each because of a two week long spring break. Ten day checks are pretty good, I can make that work. But four 7 day checks in a row was tough! Because of my HBA and food stockpile (haven't showed a picture of that yet) I could use those tiny checks to pay the bills and not worry about having food for me and the furbabies. All I really had to buy was perishables, dry cat food and Diet Cokes. I can never have enough dry cat food and Diet Cokes stockpiled!
Another reason why I stockpile is to help friends and family who need it. A month or so ago a family member and his three kids moved and were starting over. I could not help with money, but I could help with HBA products! Below is a picture of things I gathered up from my stockpile. I probably spent less than $5 on all of that!