In prior articles, I have written about knowing your rock-bottom or stock-up price. This week, I am writing more about stock-up prices and buy prices.
A stock-up price is the lower of the two. This is when you want to buy enough to last you between two or three months to get you to the next stock-up price sale. The stock-up price is where you want to be doing most of your shopping.
The buy price is a good price; it is the price I would generally pay with coupons or on sale. This is the price at which you will most likely purchase only one of the item in order to make it to the next stock-up price sale.
Finding your stock-up and buy prices is a process. It is dependent on where you shop, what region of the state or country you live in, the time of year, and brand loyalties. It is because of those factors that the prices will vary from person to person. Keep track of the prices you pay for the items you frequently buy in order to figure out your stock-up and buy prices. With time, and as your couponing skills grow, you may find your stock-up and buy prices lower. Unfortunately, the opposite effect is also true. Due to changes in coupon values and coupon policies, sometimes these prices will need to increase.
Remember, the goal in stockpiling is to buy items your family uses when they are at their best price. Stockpile prices should happen about every three months and you want to buy enough to last your family until the next sale in order to see the biggest savings.
Here is what I consider to be stock-up and buy prices on commonly purchased items:
- K-cups coffee -stock-up: under 40 cents each (buy: 50 cents each)
- Coffee (name brand, 11 oz.) - stock-up: $2/bag (buy: $3/bag)
- Coffee creamer - stock-up: 60 cents (buy: $1)
- Olive oil (8 oz.) - stock-up: under 75 cents/bottle (buy: $1/bottle)
- Potatoes (5 lb.) - stock-up/ buy: $2
- Pasta - stock-up: free (buy: 50 cents)
- Mustard - stock-up/buy: 25 cents or less
- Soda (12-pack cans) - stock-up: $2 (buy: $2.50)
- Toilet paper - 1 cent per square foot
- Paper towels (per roll) - stock-up: 50 cents (buy: 55 cents)
- Tissues - stock-up: 25 cents (buy: 50 cents)
- Band aids - stock-up: free/50 cents (buy: $1)
- Toothpaste (regular) - stock-up: free (buy: 50 cents)
- Toothpaste (sensitive) - stock-up: 50 cents (buy: $1)
- Shaving cream - stock-up: free/25 cents (buy: 50 cents)
- Razors (disposable) - stock-up/buy: free
- Razors (per cartridge) - stock-up: 50 cents (buy: $1)
- Laundry detergent (32 loads) - stock-up: $1 (buy: under $2)
- Dish detergent tabs (per tab) - stock-up: 8 cents (buy: 10 cents)
- Dish soap: stock-up: free (buy: 50 cents)
- Cleaners (all purpose/bathroom) stock-up: 50 cents (buy: $1)
- Bleach - stock-up/buy: $1
- Diapers - stock-up: 10 cents smaller sizes, 13 cents larger sizes (buy: 15 cents/20 cents)
- Baby wipes - stock-up: 1 cent/wipe (buy: 2 cents/wipe)
Beth Long, a mother of two young boys, is a self-taught "extreme couponer" who lives in Lock Haven and uses coupons - mostly from the newspaper - relentlessly to save money. In this weekly column, she hopes to teach Express readers the ins and outs of good couponing ... and how to save lots of money. Beth would love to hear from you. Please email her at email@example.com, or write a letter to Saving 'Cents with Beth, c/o The Express, P.O. Box 208, Lock Haven, Pa. 17745.