Okay, I’m sorry this is a little off topic, but keep reading, you’ll discover I’m not that far off… If you’re using coupons to add to your food storage, this is a good example of doing the math before you use those coupons.
I have been working on a best price tracking sheet to see if using coupons really does make a difference to the ordinary shopper (not the folks on the extreme couponing shows). I’ll get more into what and how I’m tracking prices in another post. But for now I wanted to show you what I discovered this morning.
If you take a look at the spreadsheet below, you’ll see I’ve tracked three purchases of Huggies diapers.
My baseline is my normal shopping location (Costco). You can see that the baseline price is .155 per diaper. That’s the price I’ll use to determine if a coupon is really worth using.
On 04/23/11 you’ll see that I used a $2 coupon at Walgreens where the #2 diapers where on sale for $8.99… this was actually one of my first diaper purchases in some 20 years! I had no idea what the normal price was or even if this was a deal. But I figured how could I go wrong with a $2 coupon! As you can see from the math, I ended up spending 4 cents more for each diaper than if I had just ignored the coupon and went to Costco.
On to the third line in the spreadsheet is my Target purchase, which I figured out before we even left the house. Target was having a sale that included a free $5 gift card when you purchase three packages. I had plenty of $2 coupons that I could use. So the price of three packages was $26.97, minus $6 in coupons ($2 coupon per package) makes the diaper total $20.97, which is .145 per diaper!!! Now that’s a deal and I have $10 to spend on my next Target shopping trip! (Wait, I said Target was giving one free $5 gift card with the purchase of three packages. So how did I get two? I brought hubby along and he bought three, used three $2 coupons so we got a second $5 gift card!)
This next part is interesting, but not on my spreadsheet. I actually have one $3 and two $3.50 coupons. But they are for the bigger boxes which cost $19.79. I was going to use those instead because I thought, “bigger boxes, better price, bigger coupons, more savings…” I WAS WRONG…When I did the math it ended up being .17 cents per diaper. Even though it goes against the grain for me to not use a $3.50 coupon, I must resist unless there is a REAL savings.
For now, I’ll keep the higher coupons until they expire because you never know what next week’s sale ads will offer. And I’ll remember to do a little math before I jump into using a coupon in the future.
I can’t wait to show you the tracking system I have. And I’ll be posting it as a page on my blog and updating it regularly so you can see what my best deals are and compare them to yours. Please feel free to comment on any of these posts and let us know about your best deals. There are also couponing websites that you can go to on Facebook that will give daily updates on coupon/savings deals at most stores. I use these a lot: Krazy Coupon Lady, Frugal Coupon Living, and Dixie Coupon Chicks. They also have links to the best places online to print coupons.
“‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Take these deeds, both this purchase deed which is sealed and this deed which is open, and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may last many days.”” – Jeremiah 32:14 NKJV