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When I talk about my shopping trips and deals I receive I always get a lot of questions. Here are answers to the most common questions I get which will also explain a little more about my shopping strategy.

FAQ #1 – Where do you get all of your coupons?

The Sunday paper is my #1 source. The key is getting a hold of multiple copies of the Sunday paper. I have friends and family members that save these for me and I also go through the recycling bin at work and pull the coupons out. I know people who “dumpster dive” for coupons on Monday mornings but have not done that myself…yet, lol!

Vocal Point I also print coupons from the different online coupon sources like Coupons.com, RedPlum.com, etc. Another great source for high dollar coupons is Vocalpoint. It’s free to be a member and you not only receive coupons but great product samples as well. Click on the button to sign up!

FAQ #2 – How do you figure out these deals?

It’s so easy! I follow CouponAllies.com for Giant Eagle deals and RefundCents.com for Walgreen’s & Rite Aid deals. They spell everything out for you including where to find the coupons.

FAQ #3 – Do you really need everything you buy?

My dad often said to me as a child “You only need a roof over your head, water to drink and clothes to wear.” So technically we don’t need everything I buy. We do however use almost everything I buy. This morning when I was at Giant Eagle purchasing 18 boxes of free Swiss Miss the guy behind me said “boy you must really like hot chocolate” and laughed. We do really like hot chocolate! Over the course of the winter we would have bought that much hot chocolate a box or two at a time. By taking advantage of the deal I saved us over $18 we would have normally spent.

There have been times I have bought items we don’t need or use. The exception is when I can get something cheap or free and give it to charity or if I can make money by purchasing the product. I do believe that even if you get a great deal on something, if you don’t use it you are wasting money.

FAQ #4 – Where do you store all of the items you buy?

We have a small chest freezer and two bookcases in our basement that we use for our “stockpile.” The benefit of having a stockpile is that you can be pickier about how much you pay for an item. For example, I won’t pay more than $.25 for a tube of toothpaste. I have extra tubes in my stockpile and can hold out for the next great deal on it.

The key to stockpiling is not going overboard. If our stockpile starts to get “overstocked” I weed out the extra items and give them to charity. You don’t need 2 bookcases to start stockpiling! I started off with just one shelf in a closet and then grew from there.

FAQ #5 – Your shopping trips don’t seem to include items to make a complete meal. Is this the only shopping you do?

No, we do other shopping. It would not be healthy for us to make meals from only the free or cheap items. We “fill-in” our meals with other shopping at Marc’s, Food 4 Less and Aldi’s. Our monthly average for groceries is $200-$300/mo for a family of four. I hope to do a post soon about learning the best prices in your area and how to set a maximum price you’ll pay for an item.

If there’s a question you’ve got that wasn’t included post a comment below or use the “Contact Me” page. Feel free to ask me anything!

2 Responses to “My Shopping Strategy and Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. Diana West Heiss says:

    With the help of my friend, Ronda Ohalek Hutchins, I’ve been learning how to find great deals at both Walgreens and my local grocery stores (Fred Meyer & Safeway). I, too, am developing a “won’t pay more than x” price for items. I know I can get shampoo / conditioner for (0.01). Walgreens recently paid me 10 cents for 10 bottles of shampoo, conditioner, hair gel and hair spray. The same with toothpaste. Stove Top Stuffing? 63 cents. I’ve only been doing this for a few months, so I’m anxious to set more “won’t pay more than x” prices in the future!

  2. Mom B says:

    Have you found a good place for budget printer cartridges that work well and have a decent supply of ink?

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