I’ve been reading a lot of posts in various coupon forums for the last few months, and it’s generally fairly easy to spot a good deal: the item in question will be free or mere pennies after the sale price and coupons.
But sometimes, someone will ask, “Is this a good deal?” And whether the item in question is laundry detergent or hot dogs, the same answer always pops into my head: You’d know if it was a good deal if you kept a price book along with the coupon binder.
If you don’t know what a price book is, read my explanation from earlier this year. And then start one. You don’t have to maintain it forever, just until you’ve been doing it long enough to be able to recognize a good deal when you spot one. I have maximum price points in my head for almost all of the things we buy regularly, and I adjust that price as the deals get better or worse.
For example, a few months ago, I was happy to see Kleenex (our preferred brand) on sale for $1 if we needed it, and if we didn’t, I tried to wait for a price of around 90-cents. But during the last few weeks, there have been some amazing sale prices of 64 cents for Puffs (after coupon at Walgreens) and 77 cents for Kleenex (this was at CVS, and the price came down to 47 cents if you factored in the ECBs). So now I’m looking for a sale price under 80 cents.
If you already have a price book, please consider leaving a comment about how it’s saved you money. Let’s inspire everyone to make their own!