I thought I would share some practical tips that help me save a few cents.
$$ In order to know if you are getting a "good deal" you need to know what the "going rate" is.
Start with something you buy often or regularly and notice the price.
If your memory (or lack of) is anything like mine it would be helpful to have a small note pad or an awesome electronic devise that you know how to use to keep notes.
Log the various store prices for the same item about 3-5 times.
(Make sure to log which store has which price.)
So how do you know if the price at Sam's Club is better than the one at Target if the sizes are different?
Well, it's time to get out your handy dandy calculators (unless you're the Rain Man) and punch in the price first.
Here is an example:
This week Kmart has a 63-80 load powder Tide on sale for 10.99.
Target also has it on sale but it is a 95-120 load size for 17.99.
I am starting with 10.99
Then divide it by the loads (or ounces)
(Ah, no math symbols on my computer)
10.99 div 63 = .174 (plus more #'s that don't matter)
10.99 div 80 = .137
Kmart 10.99 div by 63 = .174
10.99 div by 80 = .137
Target 17.99 div by 95 = .189
17.99 div by 120 = .149
So here the best deal is the larger size @ Kmart.
It used to be that buying in bulk always cost less, but that isn't necessarily true anymore.
Especially if you have coupons.
It may be much cheaper to buy several of the smaller size.
Some things to look out for:
$$ A package that says 30% more free ( or any percent-the higher the better) for the same smaller size price.
$$ A coupon included on or in the package.
Sometimes these can be used instantly and other times the package has to have the coupon cut out of the actual package. (I sometimes go out to my car and cut it out and then return to the store and buy another one. I know a need a more exciting night life!)
$$ Mail-in rebates on packages. Try to read the requirements if at all possible before you buy to make sure you can meet them all in order to receive the rebate.
$$ Extra add-ons are sometimes included for free. I always choose those ones.
$$ Sometimes you get a buy-one-get-one-free. Right now there is a sale for 4 items at the price of 2.
$$ Bright orange/red clearance stickers on items (usually not on food).
Each store may post a different sale than their sister store. (Is that what you call them?)
So if you are in another store stroll the isles for those stickers.
I hope this has been a little helpful.
And make sure to share YOUR Cents-Less tips with me too!