Thursday, February 25, 2010

Coupon question: How do I eat healthy and save?

Q: Most coupons are for prepared foods that are truly not good for you. How can I eat healthy and still save?

Actually, most coupons are for non-food items: health and beauty, paper products, over-the-counter medicines, etc. And those are typically your biggest cost items at the grocery store. Slice your spending on those and you'll have more to spend on healthier foods.

But, as you'll find in the mini-course, the biggest paradigm shift you have to make has nothing to do with coupons, but buying at the lowest possible price and stockpiling. THEN, you stack savings by using coupons, if any, rebates, loyalty cards, and register rewards, etc.

Hope that helps.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Secret to Couponing: Buy Low, Use High

I recently received this question from a friend:
Ok. I watched this. Seemed rather simple. But I didn’t see anything healthy in her pantry. I saw lots of boxed foods and frozen pre-made food. My biggest expense is fish, veggies, & meat. You are the coupon guru…..are you able to save on healthy fresh food? Yes, I saw she got fish. But it was a ¼ pound of various fish, not one type of fish. I want only the healthy fish.

The main key to winning with couponing is NOT using coupons. It is stacking savings. What that means is you want to buy when you can get the product at its lowest possible price—its "rock bottom" price.

Dollar for dollar, item for item, your goal is to buy as much as you need to last for 3 months (about how long it is between rock bottom prices) when the price gets as low as it will go. For most of your grocery purchases, you can stack savings on top of the rock bottom price by using store coupons, manufacturer coupons, your store card, and rebates. On some items, the coupons are a little harder to come by, but that doesn't change the principle of "buy low, sell (use) high."

For "healthy fish," you need to watch the flyers and track when it sells for the least and stock up and freeze as much as you'll use in 12 weeks. If it's a certain brand you want to buy, look up the brand online and see if they have (a) coupons on their website; (b) an email newsletter in which they send out coupons; and/or (c) a contact email that you can request coupons.

For more, see my article on Frugal Hacks: Five Secrets to Maximizing Your Coupon Savings.

Hope that helps.