This week we are going to hear from Stephanie, a mother of two that currently works full time while her husband stays home with the kids. Stephanie is going to share with us her experience of building a stockpile over the last year - it's a story that I think many of us will relate to!
Last year we found out my husband was losing his job which would cut our income in half. I knew we needed a way to save money, since we certainly didn't lose our bills along with my husband's paycheck. A few friends told me about how to get things cheaply from the drug stores, but what they were saying didn't really sink in. I subscribed to our Sunday paper to get the coupon inserts, cutting out each coupon I thought I would need – of course, I've since come to find out this was not only a waste of time, but actually cost me in lost money & products in the months following. However, something finally clicked for me when I was referred to the weekly Publix deals at I Heart Publix. Soon Tuesday became my favorite day of the week - it was 'Super Deals from Michelle' day!
I started out only saving a little, but I got it little by little, and I will never forget my first real coupon experience. I went to Publix on a Saturday and filled my cart with 5 Dr. Pepper (my husband’s poison), 20 boxes of Ziploc bags, 16 boxes of Hefty produce bags, produce, a Publix sub, 20 bottles of A1, 16 bottles of BBQ sauce, and a few smaller things that I can’t recall. The grocery manager was my cashier that day, and I remember being excited as I handed over my STACK of coupons; my total before coupons was $245, and when he was all done scanning coupons, I paid just $13.17 oop. The older couple behind me said, “That’s it?!??!?” and the manager just couldn’t believe my oop. I walked out of Publix smiling and couldn’t stop laughing at my success! I have officially earned the title of “Coupon Queen” at my Publix now, and that same manager always remembers me and says "Hi."
Since that first success, I have been stockpiling many things for my family. Recently, I have been following the drug store sales, too, in order to roll RR (Walgreens), ECB (CVS) and GC (Target) and to build my stockpile of other things that I can’t find or get at Publix for super cheap (or FREE!). I have found it so helpful to know that when we run out of things, I can go to my stockpile and get whatever we need – with variety. My husband always comments about the amount of feminine products I purchase 🙂 – but hey, they are essential, and sometimes that's where the overage occurs!!
Here's some pictures of my current stockpile:
I’m not sure how much I have saved as I’m not that good at keeping track, but I do know that my family has all the essentials and we have been able to pay for other things with the grocery money I have saved over the past year. More recently, a few friends and I have been able to get together and make care packages for some people in need. It's a great feeling to know that we can help out others in need with our huge stockpile of non-food items (thanks to the super deals we all get by using coupons!).
If you're just starting out like I was a year ago, know that you too can have a great stockpile of food and non-food items. Of course, like Michelle said a few weeks ago, your stockpile won’t look like hers or mine, but in time you will have enough for your family. It’s a process and takes dedication, but at the end of each week, just think of it like this: “this week I saved $_____ and I have a healthy supply of _____.” Thanks Michelle for all your hard work and what you have shown me to be possible. I no longer pay full price for items!
Thanks so much, Stephanie! Remember I am always looking for more of you to jump in the spotlight!! If you would like to share something I'd love for you to email me at [email protected] You can write about anything that you would like to share...stockpiling, budgeting, coupon highs and lows, your best shop--anything! We all love to read others experiences so c'mon and share yours!