Someone asked me to define why my stockpile is one years worth. Coupons are distributed like fashion; seasonally. You will only see that rock bottom price once maybe twice per year and that's when I strike! There's sale and than there's SALE but unlike fashion, these sales happen at the start of the season not the end.
Example: January - everyone wants to get healthy. We buy gym memberships or workout videos to start the New Year off right. And Vitamins go on sale like nobody's business. Spring? Time to clean! Dish soap, toilet bowl & window cleaner as well as cleaning wipes. Summer? It's all about the outdoors! Sunscreens, paper products (yes TP and paper plates), ketchup, mustard, b-b-q sauce & luncheon meats. Did you take advantage of the S'mores deal?
When you start to coupon you learn two things:
1) What is your timeline threshold - meaning how long do you want to keep products on hand / when do you want to refresh your stock. I chose a year because that's when I'll see these low cost/no cost deals again, in 12 months. You figure out how many to buy by answering 'how long does it take you to go through one.'
2) When should you stock up rather than just buying one to get by. I stock up on laundry detergent when I can find it for 6.5¢ per load. 7.5¢ is my goal cost, anything more than 9¢ per load is a waste of money because it's too expensive.
My stockpile is one years worth for a few reasons. I buy 10 newspapers at once, giving me 10 coupons. When I find a hella deal I strike an buy 10. Unless, of course the coupon says limit 4 per transaction then I only buy 4 or do multiple transactions in order to use all my available coupons. 10 of one thing (unless it's cookies) lasts a pretty long time with 2 people and a cat, so my stockpile made it's way to a years worth without my planning; it just happened that way and I'm keeping it that way because it works. The trick now is to resist the temptation of buying more. It's hard to believe that I have 4 years worth of window cleaner. But I do. And it cost me a total of $1.50.