Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lesson #4 - How to be a Couponer -When is a deal a deal?

For those readers, just joining me, please read lesson 1 - 3 before this one.

Start a price book!

Whether you keep this in your head, in your smart phone or written down, if you don't know what you are currently paying for items, how will you know what is and is not a deal.

Keep in mind what is a deal for some people might not be great for you.  Don't trust a blogger (including me!) to tell you what is and isn't a deal, this is what your price book is for!  Sure Blogger X says wow, print this coupon, then run to Walmart to pick up this Glade spray for .25.
Great price agreed, but if your allergies won't allow you to use air fresheners, why waste that .25 on a can?  Buying anything you don't need is NOT saving and is not the deal for you.  There is ONE huge exception to buying things you won't use.  If they are 100% free and the coupon is going to just go to waste otherwise, by all means pick up that free item and donate it to someone who can use it.

Another deal, Blogger Y says wow, toothpaste for just $1 a tube, RUN!  Well if your price book says you only pay .50 a tube, I would hope you would pass on that deal.

One thing to note is that you will need to break down the price by a comparison unit so you can compare different size packaging to determine if it is your buy price.

BASICALLY - Know you prices by a comparison unit.

Ex: Package of diapers - know your PER diaper price so you can compare the Jumbo back to the boxed packs.

Wipes - know your per wipe price, I know I won't pay more than .01 a wipe so if that 76 count goes on sale, it better cost me under .75 to even get me interested.

Toilet Paper - this is a tricky one, some people use the per sheet price but you can't always know that figure without physically looking at a package(and it can and will change over time).  For this reason I like to use the per roll pricing, for double roll packages I double the number - so a 12 pack double roll I calculate as being 24 rolls.  If you are not brand loyal to your toilet paper then keep in mind you can typically pick up a 4 pack at Walmart for ~$1 so anything more than .25 a roll seems excessive to me.

I can add more examples for those that would like, just leave questions in comments or email me.

Also, this is a great time to determine how brand loyal you are and to what products.  The more products you add to your "any brand" list the more you will save overall.  There is nothing wrong with being brand loyal, but it will cost you extra on that item(we still have about 5-6 items in our house that we are extremely brand loyal).

Don't understand my lingo? Go here.  
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