I know it’s hard to believe, but the secret to couponing is not the coupons, it’s knowing what price you should pay for an item. It’s very easy to get swept up in a sale, especially BOGO sales or 50-60% off sales. You need to know what price is the everyday price, a good price, and a great price. What I’m talking about is having a price list. A price list tells you when you’ve found a good price, even if you don’t have a coupon to use. After all, who could know the best price for every item from memory?
I have already created a rock bottom price list for the East Texas areas that don’t have regular double or triple coupons. Most of these prices are the same prices I paid back in NW Arkansas as well, so I would imagine the prices are similar for most areas of the mid-south. You can find a tab for my price list at the top of my site, as well as a button on the right side bar. If you’ve looked at it before, you’ll notice that it’s a printable google document now. I’ve recreated this list to be a 3 column list that you can print out and fill in the 2 remaining columns yourself. I’ve also left some room for you to add other products that your family uses.
The 1st column still has my rock bottom stock up price. At this price I would buy as many as I could afford to buy, had space to store, and could use before the item spoiled or lost it’s potency. If you are in an area that doubles, you may want to make changes to some of these prices on your list.
The 2nd column is intended for the price you can usually get an item for by using a coupon and/or combining that with a sale. There are many products that are regularly on sale and also have coupons- like Grands biscuits and many cereals. This is the price that I would buy an item at if my stockpile was getting low. I would only buy a small supply though, as I should be able to get this price frequently. No reason to store items that are regular prices.
The 3rd column is intended for the lowest price you can get an item for everyday. I know that I can get generic cans of vegetables for $.62 everyday, so I know that I have to beat this price to buy any other canned vegetables. I’ll only buy a week or 2 week supply at this price.
By having all 3 prices at your disposal (kept in your coupon binder of course) you’ll be armed with the information you need to determine if you should buy a product at all. I find canned vegetables at grocery stores with a regular price of $1.29. A 10/$10 sale or 50% off sale would be tempting, but having my price list tells me it’s higher than the average price I could get generic for and I know not to buy. Carry this price list with you and fill in a few blanks every time you go to the store. When armed with an accurate price list, you’ll be a pro shopper in no time, with or without coupons!