When there is a great deal advertised it is tempting to run out and get it, especially when you are first starting out couponing. Here are a few things to think about when deciding whether that deal is worth chasing or not.
Is it in the budget?
The first thing to always consider when deciding whether to head out to get a deal is whether there is money in your budget for it. I have a monthly food budget which also includes 50.00 of stockpile budget to stock up on items that are a great price for later. If it is towards the end of the month and my grocery budget is low and stockpile budget is gone there is no question in my mind whether a deal is worth chasing, it’s not! There is never a deal so good that it worth spending money you don’t have.
Will I use it?
A great deal that is a moneymaker comes up on hair dye, you are so excited to get the moneymaker you are ready to run out the door. Do you use hair dye? No, well will you use it if it is free or a money maker? No. Then the deal is not worth chasing. When you figure the time and gas involved in getting that deal it is only worth it if you will actually use the product (or if you have a plan to donate items and have that in the budget). I only chase deals on products I know I will use or have a specific plan for donation.
How is my stockpile looking?
If you have been couponing for a while you already know that stockpiling is a great way to save money. My stockpile grew very quickly when I first started couponing, especially on items that went on sale free or for pennies all the time like toothpaste. The first couple of months I was couponing I felt like I had to run out and get toothpaste every time it was free and soon my stockpile was overflowing with toothpaste which was great! Once I reached the point of having about a years supply of toothpaste I realized I really didn’t need to chase those deals for a while. Know your stockpile, what do you have? What do you need to stock up on if a good deal comes along? What is your stock up price on items you use often? My stock up price is a little higher than other couponers on things like deodorant (which can be free) because I have allergies and can only use one kind. If I find my deodorant on sale for a dollar or less I stock up so I don’t have to pay four dollars for it when I run out. I find that a year’s supply is the most I ever need on anything so I try never to stock up more than that. I do have family members who I give toiletries to but I take those out of my stockpile and then try to replenish it as sales come up.
How far am I willing to chase that deal?
Drugstores can be the worst for stocking products that have amazing sales on them. If I really need something that is on sale at the drugstore I try to get out the door to get there when they open. Once Walgreens had an amazing deal on toilet paper and we were running really low (toilet paper is one of those items that don’t always get great sales) so I got the kids up and we went out to get the deal when they opened at 8am. I was lucky, two packages of Cottonelle toilet paper stood there waiting for me (which was what you needed to buy to get the deal). Unfortunately that was all the store had! There have been other times that I have not been the lucky one to get the deal so I have chased it all over town trying all the Walgreens stores in my area. Maybe toilet paper is worth it to you or maybe not that is what you have to decide before heading out for that amazing deal.
Once you have been couponing for a little while you realize that there is always another deal. Your family, time and budget also need to be taken into consideration when deciding how much you need to make that trip to the store right now. I find that when there is balance in my life I am much more at peace with everything and I don’t often have to go chasing down the deal but rather make it part of my normal shopping trip and I am still able to find what I need within my budget.