In the eyes of my family, January has flown by us at supersonic speeds. My household has had some major changes in these past few weeks. We moved into a new home, and my son has started public school for the first time since kindergarten. As we were preparing for the move, we stopped couponing and lived off our stockpile for the last month.
As a result of my absence from couponing, my stockpile has shrunk considerably, so I could end up paying full price for a few items until I build it up again. In a way, it’s almost like starting over.
I would still need to purchase what I need each week while stocking up on what’s on sale. I would have to go through a whole sales cycle of about 12 weeks to get back on top of my normal savings of 65 percent off retail prices.
I am in luck, though, and so is any new couponer. If you live near one of the three closing Food Lions, they are accepting manufacturer coupons along with the 25 percent off closing sale. These closings are a rare opportunity to jumpstart your stockpile and fast-forward your savings.
Food Lion does not double manufacturer coupons, so they will redeem for face value only.
One way to maximize your savings is by sticking to products that have coupons with amounts that won’t double, such as coupons for $1 off any two, 65 cents off any one, etc.
The reason this is a great opportunity for new couponers is that you don’t have to wait for the traditional sales cycle. The sale is 25 percent off full retail values on nearly everything in the store.
If you don’t live near a Food Lion, don’t despair. February does have some great promotions. February is National Hot Breakfast Month, so look for savings on frozen pancakes and waffles, syrup and grits. Look for savings from brand names such as Post, Quaker, Kelloggs, General Mills and Eggo.
February is also Canned Food Month, so it’s a great time to find deals on canned items such as tuna, chicken, vegetables, beans and fruits.
The famous Westminster Dog Show is Feb. 13 and 14 and has some big-name sponsors promoting it. Pet food sales will be found on brands such as Pedigree, Eukanuba, Purina and Iams.
Don’t forget to sign up at Petco and Petsmart for your store savings cards and register your card and e-mail on their Web site to take advantage of special promotions at each store. They will have some great sales this month for card holders.
This is also National Heart Health Month. Look for sales on low dose and regular Aspirin, vitamins and supplements, and several brands that promote a low-cholesterol life style, such as Cheerios.
Of course, February’s major holiday is Valentine’s Day. Many sales will feature items such as candy, chocolates and those cute cards for your little ones.
Jan. 23 marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year. Many Asian product brands will have promotions on items such as soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, canned water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, noodles, stir fry packages and kits and frozen-dinner items.
Other promotions in February are for the National Children’s Dental Health Month, Great American Pies Month, National Cherry Month, National Snack Food Month, National Fiber Focus Month and National Grapefruit Month.
Vegetables in season include artichokes, broccoli, celery, fennel, collard greens, chard, celery root, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, leeks, kale, radish, carrots, Haas avocados, red potatoes, russet potatoes and spinach.
Fruits in season are grapefruits, kiwis, lemons, Navel oranges, raspberries and some varieties of strawberries.