Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Saving Money vs. Spending as Little As Possible

When you do your shopping/planning, how do you do it? Based on where you can "save" the most or where you can pay the lowest price possible for the product? Most people don't realize there IS a difference!

Picture that you have 2 ads for 2 different grocery stores in your area in front of you. Store 1 has your favorite brand of Ice Cream on sale for "$2.00 off" and the Store 2 has it on sale "2 for $6". Store 1, regular price is $5.99 Store 2 regular price is $4.49. So the "savings" are easily recognizable, Store 1 you can save $2 on it, Store 2 really only has a savings of $1.50. BUT at Store 2 you'd only pay $3, instead of the $3.99 at Store 1. Which one would you go for? Ah ha! Spending as little as possible.

When purchasing anything, it's always best to consider the bottom dollar out of pocket (OOP) cost. This can apply to small grocery purchases or larger ones like vehicles. Advertising is such a huge roll in giving the illusion you are getting a great deal on something, when it fact it may be a mediocre or terrible deal! Watch out for %-off vs $-off deals and even the "buy more save more" sales. Compare everything! All it takes is a few minutes and a little math.

I always think back to a few years ago, when my first son was starting solid foods. Baby food was on sale 10 for $10. The shelves were pretty well picked over from people trying to stock up. Well, I notice under the sale tag, the regular price for this baby food is only 99¢. People were paying 1¢ MORE for the product (yes, it did ring up at $1) but thought they were getting a great deal!

Whenever I plan my grocery shopping lists I always have a top dollar amount in mind. Our weekly budget is $60. I try to get the MOST out of that money as possible. Which means spending as little as possible on individual items. When I first started couponing I didn't change my budget, I simply shopped smarter. I was getting more food for my $60. I'd stock up on essentials when they were extremely cheap, thus meaning I wouldn't have to buy them at a later date at a higher price. I spend at my budget almost every week, even if I don't *need* much I use it to stock up on other higher priced things like meats that I can put away in the freezer. A well stocked kitchen is the best savings in the long run. Fewer unnecessary trips to the grocery store paying full price on last minute ingredient.

So what about you? How do you normally think about your shopping?


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