Calculating the best price to get the best deal
When you are in the store and you need to buy, say, a jar of jam, how do you know what the best deal is?
If you are like me, I usually want to best deal, not really caring too much what the brand is.
The first thing I will do is check the coupon database to see if there are any coupons available. This will determine what brand I start with. If there is a coupon available, find that brand and see what the price is.
Here is how you determine what you are getting for your money:
Take the price of the item, (say $3.50)
Divide it by how much you are getting (32 oz jar…so by 32)
This determines your price per size (about $0.11 per oz)
Now you will look around, for another brand that you like, say there is a 48 oz jar but it is $4.29, let’s see if you will be getting a better deal:
Take $4.29 and divide it by 48, and that makes this jar basically $0.09/oz. That is the better deal since you are paying LESS per oz. Most stores have the price per oz marked on the price tags, so if you pay attention you will see the numbers. You will have to do some calculating for items you have coupons for, to see if they are really the better deal. This is just another reason why it is recommended to have a calculator in your coupon bag.
Tips for getting the best deals:
- Have your shopping list ready a head of time and check the store ad matchups to see what the best prices are.
- Check for coupons for items on your list by using the coupon database
- Be flexible (If you get to the store and something on your list isn’t on sale and is more expensive, then check to see if you can get something else that will work, and won’t cost as much). For example, you want mozzarella cheese, but its way more expensive than Colby jack, so you may be able to substitute).
- Compare prices for the items you are buying. Don’t be in such a hurry that you just grab your “regular” brand without looking at prices or sales. I have found that the generic brand is as good or better in almost every case! I have also found that the store brand is MORE expensive sometimes that the name brands! Keep your eyes open and really compare prices. It only takes a minute and will most likely save you money.
- Don’t feel stuck! If you buy something that doesn’t taste good, don’t be afraid to take it back. There have been very few times that I have been disappointed, and in those times, I haven’t been afraid to take it back to the store and tell them it tasted bad, and get my money back so I could use it to buy a better kind. (Since we have such a limited budget, I don’t feel like “throwing money away” on something if it doesn’t taste good. The store sends it back and gets their money back too, so I don’t feel bad.) I also like to contact the company and tell them about my experience so that they are aware of how I feel about their product. In most cases they send coupons for the item so we can try it again.
- Keep a price point list handy so you can keep track of the most you want to pay for an item. If the store is having a GREAT sale on items you buy every week/month, be sure to buy enough to last you through 2-3 months, until another sale comes along. That way you can “shop” from your pantry and know you got a great price on that item, instead of getting it on sale for one week, and then having to buy it at full price for the next 4 weeks until it goes on sale again.
How do you get the best deals and keep track of your spending?