You’ve got your grocery list & your coupons in hand, and an idea of your budget in mind. You’ve also reviewed the sale advertisements to see what opportunities exist for compounded savings. It’s time to head to the store. You get through your budgeted shopping spree at one store, and move on to the next; calculating your savings as you go. Low & behold, you run across an item at the next store at a better deal than at your previous stop, where you just purchased it. It happens all the time. Sometimes stores run unadvertised specials. It’s not just what you by, but particular sizes & flavors that can make a difference pricing.
Watch item sizes & “flavors” when shopping for savings. Here’s where the slight of hand occurs often. Although items may be on sale, specific flavors of a product may not be on sale, or may be on sale, but at a higher price, thus reducing your savings. The advertisement tagline might read “varieties & sizes vary by store or region.” This gives the store the opportunity to put all products in a product line on sale, but vary the price. Another curveball occurs when only the items in the advertisement are on sale. In other words, other varieties in the same product line are not sale. So, when you would rather have flavored crackers instead of plain, you might not be getting the same cost savings.
Sizes may vary by store or by flavor. In this region, we have nationally-recognized box stores, as well as some regional chains. Even though the price may be the same per store, the SIZE of the item may vary. The item may be on sale for the same price at each store, but which store gives you the better value based on product size – 12 ounces versus 14 ounces? Also, do double coupons factor into the equation. It is not uncommon to find that if I perform a quick price comparison between the store offering double coupons, and the store that only offers single coupons, I’ll find that the item is still cheaper at the store that only offers single coupons. Plus, the size may vary by flavor. In one instance, I found a six ounce variance in size for a dish soap based on the flavor. Although, even visually measuring out six ounces doesn’t seem like much, it’s up to a 20% difference in volume. That’s a lot of extra dishes! This is when it’s important to pay attention to store pricing trends. After a while, you will know where you get a better deal on your crackers, or be able to get more dishes washed.
The intent of this article is not to dissuade you in any way from buying the size & flavor of product you enjoy using most; the intent is to make you aware of pricing differences to get the best value. When you are living on a tight budget, 2 ounces of crackers, or six ounces of dish soap can help you make it that little bit of extra distance on your shoestring. Of course, every now and then, it’s good to “get crazy” and buy the better flavor in the smaller size just to live a little!
Image Credit: Food Clip Art