This post over at A Thrifty Mom reminded me that when using coupons, calculating the price per unit is more important than ever. That’s because, when you have two sizes, a coupon will have a bigger effect on the price per unit of the cheaper/smaller item.
Here’s an example: Target sells single rolls of Bounty Basic paper towels for 99 cents. Using a 25-cents off coupon from the P&G insert makes the price 74 cents per roll. Last week, I used the P&G insert coupon and a 50-cents off Target coupon to make the price 24 cents per roll.
Now, let’s say that there’s an 8-roll pack on sale for $5.99. That makes the per roll price 74.9 cents per roll. With the P&G coupon, the price comes down to $5.74, or 71.8 cents per roll. If you only have the P&G coupon, you’d be better off buying the multi-pack. But if you have the Target coupon also, the price on the multi-pack is $5.24, or 65.5 cents per roll, meaning you get a much better deal on the single rolls.
Granted, you’d need eight of each coupon to get eight rolls for just 24 cents apiece. I usually get two sets of each week’s inserts, so I usually have two of each coupon. But I’ve found that unless I’m in desperate need of something, I can buy enough small packages of things over the weeks and months that my family’s needs are met. This may change as my boys become bigger consumers of household products, but if it does, I’ll probably just get one or two extra newspapers and do more bargain shopping!
(ATM has a great example with Arrowhead water in her roundup of this week’s Safeway deals.)
Previously: Why you need a price book