I am a bit ashamed to admit that I haven’t been couponing in a LONG time! I mean, in a way, that’s a good thing, it means that my stockpile has sustained us, but it also means that I am noticing because I am running low on a lot of things. It is about time that I really get back into building up my stockpile. As many of you know, I live on a very small income, one that might work for a single person, but generally doesn’t work for a family of our size. It helps that our house and van are paid off and that all of our regular bills are finally up to date, but I still don’t have much leftover to shop with, so couponing is a MUST.
Since we are making the switch to more natural, Earth friendly products, I find that I can usually barter with the items that I get from couponing, for things we can use. People are willing to buy me a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap, in exchange for about 8 bottles of Pantene. I know that may sound a little crazy, Pantene is around $4 a bottle and Dr. Bronner’s is around $16, but I find that in the time I would normally have gone through a bottle of Pantene shampoo AND a bottle of conditioner, I am only down 1″ of my bottle of Dr. Bronner’s because you have to dilute it like crazy and end up getting far more out of a single bottle.
Couponing isn’t for everyone, and if I have the time, knowledge and means to do it, I might as well get the items, even if I don’t use them. I know I can barter to get what I need. If I can generally stock up on Pantene for around $1 per bottle, then trade 8 bottles for 1 Dr. Bronner’s, I’ve just saved 50% on the Dr. Bronner’s, and the person trading with me has also saved 50%! It’s pretty much a win-win!
When I decided to make the switch to more natural products, I pretty much stopped couponing, but then I was spending more than normal and I began to do the math. So, I will be getting back into couponing and stockpiling, while adding bartering to the list, so that I can get the more natural products at less cost for me.