This may help the newcomers with couponing. I wish I had this info when I started.
Stores have sales cycles which forecast items that may be on sale at a specified time. They usually coincide with an event, season or holiday, typically lasting about 3 weeks.
These two suggestions should be followed to get the best value for money.
- TRACK your regions cycles.
- STOCKPILE enough to get you through the cycle (this is why you track, so you know when the next cycle will be)
Each cycle happens approximately every 12 to 16 weeks.
Each region has their own sales cycles. It is extremely important to track your regions cycles, this will directly affect your bottom-line when you're at the checkout counter. What may be on sale in another region may not be on sale in your region.
My BIG mistake when I started was not tracking anything. I had not heard there were cycles which should be tracked to get the best value. I missed out on a lot of stockpiling opportunities.
If your iPad or Android tablet has a spreadsheet program, take it with you while you shop and add information as you go.
My tracking spreadsheet has the following columns:
- Date (very important)
- Category (baking, dairy, canned, meat, etc.)
- Sub-Category (Dairy: butter milk, yogurt, etc)
- Size (examples: can, box, ct, ea, 1/2 gal, gal, qt, pint, pkg)
- Unit Price
After 12 to 16 weeks, you will start to see cycles coming around again. At this point re-stockpile until the next cycle. Don't give, keep going, and soon you'll reach desired savings. It's worth the savings in the end.
Hope this helps. I'd love your feedback.