Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Saving money without coupons

Did you ever think you'd hear me say it? "Saving money without COUPONS!"
"Is she ill?" you ask

The other day I had to make an unplanned trip to the grocery store. (I know--unplanned!! another thing you thought you'd never hear me say!) I had a special event I was cooking for. I thought I had gotten everything I needed. I was down to the last hour before go time and AAAAAACCCCCCHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I didn't have the right sauce! I had to run to the nearest store and do my best without sales ads and coupons.

The first thing I always do in this instance is take a few minutes to stare at the ads that are posted as you walk into the store. Perhaps the item is in the ads as part of a buy one get one free or a get $3 off when you buy 2 deal or something like that. This two minute peruse can occassionally reap decent savings. Unfortunately the other day it did not help one bit.

After having satisfied my need to know at the posted ads I walked straight back to the aisle the sauce was located. I was very, very careful not to look at anything else. NOTHING! Those grocery stores are so good at product placement and misleading signs and the such that I must keep myself very focused so as not to be sucked in. I didn't look at signs along the way, I didn't take long cuts through favorite aisles, I didn't even meander past the clearance baskets. I refuse to be a sucker!

Finding myself in front of the sauces I found several different varieties and brands available. Yes, I have my favorite but when a buck or two is hanging in the balance no holds are barred. I quickly took in the best prices being sure to calculate the cost by weight. I know that sounds very complicated and mathy but it isn't, it is located in the bottom corner of the tags at most grocery stores. Take a close look at the tag and you will see the "price per 100", or "price per ounce" and so on. So anyways, I found the price per ounce for the various sauces and found that the brand I prefered anyways was indeed cheaper than the other brands. What luck!

But uh oh, only when purchased in the larger size. Hmmm, time for some more math. I spend a minute to figure out whether or not I will really be able to use that much sauce 'cause in the end if I only use half the sauce then I've just paid twice the price. In this instance I will indeed use the full bottle of sauce and it is definitely worth it to buy the larger size for the lower per ounce price.

Time to hurry back and finish up some cooking and now you see: when you don't have time to cut coupons, when you must rush in and get an unplanned item, when you have no idea what's on sale you can still save money at the grocery store. Just check ads as you go in, don't get distracted by the store's marketing, compare per ounce or item prices and choose the size product that fits your needs.

1 comment:

  1. Fortunately, or un....that's how I do my grocery shopping on a regular basis. I haven't used coupons in years because I feel like they entice me to buy something I normally don't. The store brand is typically my staple. I'm trying to get inspired to use coupons, but I don't even get the Sunday paper, so I don't even bother. Sad? :p


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