When to buy coupons…

Did you know that you can BUY coupons? Well, technically, it’s illegal to buy coupons. You are paying for the time of the seller to find and clip the coupons, but not the coupons themselves! So you can’t REALLY…

Legal talk aside, you can buy from Ebay, or direct coupon clipping service websites, such as The Coupon Clippers. It’s a few cents per coupon (depending on the value of the coupon) and you also usually pay shipping and some sort of handling fee.

I don’t buy coupons as much as I used to. It’s taken me quite a while to figure out when it’s a good idea to buy coupons, and when it’s not. Because you have to buy quite a few coupons at a time to make the cost worth it, I’ve found that there are only a few reasons to straight out buy coupons.

1) There is a high-value coupon for something that you use frequently. If you consistantly buy/use something, and coupons are few and far between, this is a good way to stock up at a low price. For example, my husband and son are lactose-intolerant. I have finally found, after much trial and error, that they do best when consuming Lactaid, which is lactose-free milk, not soy or rice milk. The milk can be bought with an expiration date of about 2 months in the future, and it’s usually about $3.79 per half gallon, so that’s some expensive milk! Luckily, I’ve been able to really stock up in the past few months using some $2/1 blinkie coupons, but if I hadn’t been able to find any of the blinkies, this is one coupon that I would definately be willing to buy. Spending up to $.10 per coupon in order to save $2 on something that I KNOW we’ll use, is worth it!

2) There is a coupon that will make something free or a money-maker. Mahatma rice is a good example! Mahatma has been publishing a coupon for $.50/1 package of any size rice. Publix frequently has the package of Mahatma saffron rice on sale for $.69. Publix is one of the grocery stores that doubles coupons up to $.50, which means that that $.50 coupon will give me free rice, and $.31 in overage! A few months ago, I bought 40 of these coupons for about $.10 each after shipping. This means that I came home with 40 packages of free rice and a profit of $8.40, even AFTER paying for the coupons.

3) There is a coupon for something that, when paired with an awesome sale, will make a long-term storage pantry item extremely cheap. A great example of this is pasta. Starting Wednesday, Publix will have Barilla pasta BOGO $1.27. There is a coupon out for $1/2 whole grain Barilla pasta. This means that, with the coupon, the pasta will be $.13 per box. For a large family, or one that uses pasta a lot, this is a great deal! Pasta also has a very long shelf life, so buying a six month supply, as long as you have shelf room for it, is a good investment.

Here’s the breakdown to get the actual cost when you’re buying coupons for this kind of a deal. If you’re looking at a six month supply of pasta (estimating two boxes per week) that’s 48 boxes. Say the cost of the coupons are $.15 per coupon. The cost for the pasta would be about $.21 per box (each coupon good for two boxes.) The cost for the six month supply would be $10.08, about the same price as 8 boxes at regular price. The total savings for those 48 boxes of pasta would be $50.88.

If you’re interested in “buying” coupons, Ebay is good for large amounts of one specific coupon or hard to find coupons. The Coupon Clippers is a good site if you have a few different coupons that you want.

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