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So you wanna build a coupon stockpile and stop paying full price for groceries, eh? Smart move, friend.
Couponing stockpiles are not just for people with big families or who have loads of room to store random boxes of oatmeal. The strategy is to buy items when they are at their lowest price possible (with sales, coupons, etc.) so you never have to pay full price. There’s nothing like that glorious feeling when you think you’re out of toilet paper, but then you remember you’ve got an extra package on hand that you paid almost nothing for.
Get ready to learn how to build your own stockpile without blowing your weekly budget.
1. Use the KCL stock-up price list and know how to read deals.
When it comes to building a coupon stockpile, the name of the game is knowing when to buy.
The KCL Stock-Up Price List will tell you what prices to aim for when you see a good deal. It’s like a map to discover at what price point you should stock up on each item. There’s another way to do this too….
Look for “Great” or “Hot” deals inside the KCL app. What does that mean? There’s an indicator on each deal and when you can decode this crucial tidbit, you’ll have confidence you’re getting items at the best price. Here’s what the little temperature gauges mean:
- “Good” = A good price to buy at if you’re running low on something.
- “Great” = Time to buy a few even if you aren’t out yet.
- “Hot” = Buy! If you can get a few months’ worth, this is the time to stock up.
2. Sign up for and use store loyalty programs (especially drugstores!).
If you’re serious about stockpiling, signing up for the CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Kroger rewards programs is a must. Here’s why:
All three major drugstores offer rewards points in exchange for buying certain products, which are advertised weekly in the store ad.
When you combine a sale with a coupon and store loyalty points or promotions, you can come out paying very little for staples you want to have on hand. Plus, you’ll accumulate more points that translate into savings you can cash in on on future hot deals.
For example, in 2022, I paid just $0.77 per box of cereal because I stacked a sale price and a CVS store coupon with an ExtraBucks promotion. I knew I was safe to stock up at this price because it was a “Hot” deal. Check it out:
3. Sign up for text alerts so you’re the first to find out about hot deals.
Text DEALS to 57299 to be the first to find out about KCL’s very best deals.
This is especially important for building a coupon stockpile. Hot deals sell out fast, but they offer the deepest savings.
4. Print two of the same coupon from each registered phone number.
In order to score stock-up deals on KCL, you’ll often need as many of the same coupons as possible. Why? Because you can use one coupon per item you buy. To stock up, you’ll want more than one item.
Most coupon sites (like Coupons.com) allow you to print the same coupon twice from each registered phone number. Each print will generate a different barcode. The best way to get multiples of one coupon is to ask your partner, roommate, mom, or friends to print the coupons for you to use.
Learn How to Find and Print Free Internet Coupons to get more ideas.
5. Redeem offers from Ibotta, Checkout51, and Fetch Rewards more than once.
Ibotta, Checkout51, and Fetch Rewards are fantastic (and easy!) ways to get deep savings on top of coupons and sales.
For Ibotta and Checkout51, you’ll unlock the offer you want to redeem by tapping it inside the respective apps. You won’t take any action at checkout, but afterward, when you have your receipt in hand, just take a picture of the receipt or scan it (the app will tell you what to do). You’ll receive payment via PayPal. You can usually redeem an Ibotta offer up to three times, and a Checkout51 offer up to five times! Hello, coupon stockpile.
With Fetch Rewards, your payment will be in the form of gift cards once you earn enough points. One thousand points are equivalent to $1, and you can cash out once you earn 3,000 points (or $3). Redeem up to five times!
Read the Ultimate Guide to Rebate Apps for a deeper dive.
See Ibotta coupons
See Checkout51 coupons
See Fetch Rewards coupons
6. Focus on one household necessity per week.
Household items like toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, and diapers are some great items to stockpile first because you know you’ll use them, they tend to be more expensive, and there are frequent deals available. When you see the big savings after you cash in on items like detergent and diapers, it’ll motivate you to keep couponing and saving money.
Focus on one item per week and work little by little toward having extras on hand for each category you use:
- Laundry detergent coupons
- Dishwasher detergent coupons
- Diaper coupons
- Paper towel coupons
- Toilet paper coupons
7. Every week do freebie or moneymaking deals for razors, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, and more.
If you’re trying to stay under that $10 a week limit, freebies and moneymakers won’t even count toward your couponing budget. So, plan to do these every week and build your coupon stockpile without even paying a clean cent. Then, use your $10 budget on deals that are not in these categories.
A word about moneymakers: It’s rare for a cashier to open the till and give you dollars and change back. The way you get money back is if it’s an Ibotta rebate and the money goes into your PayPal account. If what you get back exceeds what you paid, that’s a moneymaker. Same goes for drugstore freebie deals. You might pay a bit out of pocket, but you’ll get store rewards that you can use like cash on your next couponing deal. It’s like a wash.
I combed through all the 2021 – 2022 deals and found trends. These are the items I saw multiple freebie or moneymaking deals for every single month. Never, ever pay for these items!
- Shampoo (Pantene, Garnier Fructis, or Suave)
- Air Wick or Glade PlugIns
8. Buy Sunday newspapers at Dollar Tree to get your hands on multiple coupon inserts.
In order to do a lot of the freebie deals, you’ll need newspaper coupons. I know it’ll eat into your $10 per week budget, but if you buy them at Dollar Tree, you’ll save at least 50%. When you consider how much you’re saving by getting some big ticket items for free (razors, etc.), you may see that it’s worth it to spend $2 – $3 on newspapers.
If you really don’t want to do that, you could also ask your friends and relatives who subscribe to the newspaper for their coupon inserts. Or check out these ways to get a free Sunday newspaper.
9. Buy in bulk through Amazon Subscribe & Save to get hot deals.
Another way to build your coupon stockpile with just $10 a week is to spend $40 on one big Subscribe & Save order per month. (Or two $20 orders per month.)
With Subscribe & Save deals, you get more savings when you subscribe to more items in an order. Use your whole month’s couponing budget and get up to 15% savings on items.
Just add items to your order until you’ve reached your $40 limit after savings!
Learn more about how Subscribe & Save works.
10. Plan ahead to buy items when they’re at their lowest prices of the year.
Products go on sale in cycles. This is often intuitive, meaning it makes sense based on the season. February offers great deals on cold and flu medication and Kleenex because people tend to be sick in the winter. But sometimes there’s no real reason for seasonal sales. Like in March, body wash and deodorant are great things to stock up on. Why? No idea. People are stinkier at the beginning of spring, I guess? Maybe there’s no real reason.
Lucky you, I wrote a whole article about the best groceries to stockpile by month of the year so you can anticipate great deals and use your $10 per week wisely.
(Non-grocery items have a seasonality to sale cycles too. To learn more about retail items, check out What to Buy Every Month of the Year.)