Extreme Couponing and the Three-Month Rule
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Extreme Couponing and the Three-Month Rule

Posted on Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 at 7:12 pm
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When it comes to extreme couponing it can be hard to know when the deals are going to happen and how to prepare for them. Most grocery stores and “box” stores follow the three-month rule. Knowing what this three-month rule is and how to take advantage of it may mean the difference between extreme couponing and just average coupon savings.

Another way that the three-month rule helps coupon clippers is by establishing guidelines for stockpiling. Knowing exactly how much to buy as well as when to buy it can help you build a healthy grocery stockpile and prevent grocery hoarding.

Here is all that you need to know in order to use those grocery coupons in the right way and stockpile just the right amount.

The three-month rule refers to the scheduled time between sales of any given items. Most stores will put an item or an item type, for example pasta sauce, on sale every three months. Knowing the schedule of sales will help you prepare for the next trip, gather your coupons and get ready.

At the same time, manufacturers also follow a three-month rule. Usually, the sales and the coupons match up easily, but sometimes they can be a few weeks off. As an extreme couponer, you’ll have have an understanding of both sets of three-month cycles, the sales cycles and the coupon cycles.

Sometimes coupons follow a holiday or seasonal cycle instead of a three-month cycle. This means that you should see a lot of baking coupons around Thanksgiving, for example. If you get plenty of new coupons each week, you will always be prepared to match them with the sales.

When your item does go on sale, stock up on it by using your coupons but purchasing only enough of the item to last you for 90 days, because you know that the next sale will happen within that time or the next set of coupons will be issued.

Having a stockpile is absolutely necessary to be an extreme couponer. You will be able to hold off buying anything that is not on sale and matched with a coupon. This way you always get your groceries for free or almost free. You are only buying those few items each week that are the rock bottom best deals.

With the three-month rule, you’ll be able to build up your stockpile gradually. Not only will this let you take advantage of all of the deals, but it will keep your grocery budget under control, since you don’t have to buy too much at once.

As your stockpile builds up, your grocery bill should be reduced more and more. Get the three-month rule under control and you will soon be an official extreme couponer.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.