If you missed Day Two, find it HERE.
Yesterday, we started talking about what to put into your stockpile. Today, we are going to talk about how to know when to purchase and item for your stockpile.
How to recognize a good price
In order to save the most money possible, you need to be able to recognize a good price. Just because an item is on sale at a particular store does not automatically mean you should stock-up.
To help you learn what a rock-bottom price is, keep a price book of the items you have chose to stockpile. You can sit down with your receipts or sales ad and track prices on a worksheet. Eventually, you will notice the rock-bottom price.
1) Transfer the information from your stockpile worksheet to the price list worksheet.
2) Use the product you purchased or store ad to record the size. The size is extremely important for determining if you got a deal or not. More on that in a minute.
3) If you have the original price, make a note of it. This is optional.
4) Figure out the price per unit at the original price. This is also optional.
How to Figure the Price per Unit
A key to saving more money, whether you are using coupons or not, is to train yourself to shop by the price per unit (PPU) instead of the price per item. Companies are shrinking their packages but leaving the prices the same. When you shop looking at the price per unit, you will not be affected by these subtle changes.
To figure out the price per unit, you will divide the price of the item by the unit, whether that be the weight or the number of items.
In the example, the PPU of the brownie mix is calculated using the number of ounces in the mix. This method works for all items that are sold by weight. Typically, you can find the weight of an item along the bottom-front of the package.
The PPU of the toilet tissue is different because it is figured using the total number of items in the package, or the total number of sheets. The total number of sheets is not given on the package but they do give the number of rolls and the approximate number of sheets per roll. So, to find the PPU, you would multiply the number of sheets by the number of rolls and that gives you the total number of items. This method works when trying to find the PPU of diapers, eggs, and other products not sold by weight.
Many stores (like Target & Walmart) will put the price per ounce on the shelf tag for grocery items but do not put the price per unit on other items such as household cleaners.
Take a calculator with you to get the best deal!
5) Record the sale price.
6) Figure the price per unit. This is the most important number of the sheet. From this number, you will be able to determine if a large box is cheaper than a small box and such. Bigger is not always cheaper.
7) If you want to learn the cycle for when your favorite items are on sale, you can track them by writing the week’s number.
Setting Up Your Calendar
If you want to track prices by week, I recommend setting up a calendar. Just put a number on your wall or desk calendar (one that you keep and will not toss at the end of the month) for each week.
You might want to do an “A” calendar for drugstores and supercenters that run their ads from Sunday to Saturday and a “B” calendar for grocery stores that run ads from Wednesday to Tuesday.
Tips for your price list
*Write in pencil.
*Only track the items you use the most in the beginning.
*Grow your list over time. Record 20 items here and 20 items there until you finish it.
*In the mean time, use a short cut by getting a 4-week free trial to The Grocery Game at www.thegrocerygame.com. The Grocery Game list alerts you to free items and items at rock bottom prices. This offers you great mind training to help you recognize low prices.
Before you start your free trial, I urge you to begin collecting coupons for a few weeks and read the book by Teri Gault, Shop Smart, Save More, so you can understand how it works.
Homework ~ Start your price list or go check out www.thegrocerygame.com.
Do you keep a price list? Do you notice the price per unit?
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