A key component to couponing is learning to plan ahead. This is something I am learning to do because I don't do this naturally. I am one of those people who wakes up to the first snowstorm of the year and realizes the kids don't have snow boots that fit. Thankfully my husband is a planner, so rarely do our kids wind up with frostbite on their toes.
I am getting better at planning ahead when it comes to couponing. I used to only buy what I needed exactly when I needed it. The stockpile concept requires you to plan ahead and get things you know you will need BEFORE you need them.
Here's an example of some of my recent plan-ahead couponing: We bake a LOT of cookies at Christmas and go through a ton of ingredients. Last week I was able to get a great deal on white, brown and confectioner's sugar. Just today I got 8 packages of butter at a great price (expires April 2012). I am now on the lookout for flour, vanilla extract and a few other ingredients. My hope is to have most of what I need in place so I don't have to buy it at full price right before Christmas. Wish me luck!