Tuesday's Tip 30: Do the Math

by Beth Montgomery on January 1, 2009 · 1 comment

in Frugal Series, Tips & Basics

Math gives me a headache, but when it comes to frugal shopping, you have to do that math to figure out what sales truly constitute as a good deal. Unit prices are every where. Both stores and manufacturers use them to trick your mind! It’s the reason you often see huge packaging, but open up to find it’s half empty.</p>


First, when you see a sale listed 10/$10, that doesn’t mean you have to buy 10 items to get each product for $1. In fact, you can buy 10, 1, or 103 and each item will be only $1 each. The same goes with sales marked 3/$8 or 5/$10.   Second, to match up coupons with sales, you also have to figure out those $1/2 coupons. To use a $1/2 coupon, you do have to buy 2 products. However, to figure out how much your’e saving, think of a $1/2 coupon as a $0.50 off each product. Remember, if you have a $0.50/1 coupon and frequent a store that doubles coupons up to $0.50, you’ll save more money using it, since it will be worth $1/1.   Finally, to figure out if a sale is really a deal, you have to calculate sales into unit prices even further. For example, figure out what laundry detergent costs per load or what toilet paper costs per roll, to see where it is truly less expensive. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples!

One week, Arm & Hammer 2x Laundry Detergent was on sale at Walgreens, Marsh, and Meijer. The cost at Walgreens was $3.50 for 25-32 loads, at Marsh Supermarket $2.50 for 32 loads, and at Meijer $5.49 for 96 loads. Sometimes you’ll find that buying in bulk actually saves you more money, like in this instance. The 96 load detergent is only $0.06 per load, while the 32 load detergent is $0.08 (Marsh)-$0.11 (Walgreens).

However, throwing a coupon into the mix can change things. This particular week a $1/1 coupon was available, making the sale at Marsh Supermarket $1.50 for 32 loads and the sale at Meijer $4.49 for 96 loads. Now both stores are only $0.05 per load. So which store has the better deal? Which ever store is more convenient for you!

It pays to do the math.

To help you figure out the best sales, keep a grocery price list of items you buy and sale prices. This will help you know when a item has hit rock bottom prices and it’s time to stock up.
  • Like on FaceBook
  • Pin It
  • Print Friendly and PDF

Enjoy this deal? Sign up for more!

Subscribe to our FREE deals newsletter to get great deals by email daily and never miss a deal!
More Options

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 comment }

Previous post:

Next post: