- Build up a coupon stockpile. If you've only been couponing for a month, you won't have the months of inserts, blinkies, tearpads, etc. that come over time.
- Build a food stockpile. A food stockpile is buying a lot of an item at it's lowest point, so that you will only need to buy it at it's lowest point. The best example for this is pasta. If you buy several boxes of pasta when it is 10¢ or less, you probably won't need to buy pasta when it is $1 a box. However, if you buy two boxes of pasta when it is 10¢, you may find yourself out of pasta when you need/want it, and will have to break down and buy it regular price. The best time to stockpile is when an item is at it's lowest point, and to maintain that stockpile from then on out.
- Learn to buy only what is on sale or you have a great coupon for (but preferably both!). The key to great savings is to adapt your needs to the sale circular. Until you have a great stockpile going, you may need to create meal plans around the sales, otherwise your savings won't be huge until your stockpile has grown. Over time you won't want to buy things at their peak because you know they will be cheaper.
- Learn to wait. Just because a coupon looks great at that moment, doesn't mean it is the best time to use it. Sometimes that great coupon actually makes for a free or MM item later.
- Remember to compare to where you've been, not where others are. Sure 90% savings looks great, but it doesn't happen every week. If you really want to know how well you are doing, compare how much you are saving to how much you used to spend on groceries.
- Buy things free or money maker things (but don't go overboard). It's ok to buy items that are free or money makers if you don't use them. These items are great to donate to charities! But, I caution you to not go overboard as there are people who may actually need those items.
- Patience. It takes time. It takes deciding what is a need and what is a want. It takes deciding to switch brands. It takes time learning when a price is a "good price." It just takes time.
- Don't get discouraged! Remember, most of the people's show and tell posts (mine included!), have been doing this several months or longer, if you follow us long enough you will see us have bad weeks too!
The best advice I have is any money you save is more than you used to! Happy Couponing!