Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How to Shop A Sales Flier

It is that time of year when I get really excited about sales fliers. I love them in general, but right around Thanksgiving the really good stock up your pantry deals hit the grocery stores and the rock bottom prices on toys get me through a year of birthdays. This week's grocery fliers will go through Thanksgiving week for me (our sales are Wednesday to Tuesday) so I was excited to sit down and scope out the deals. While perusing my fliers I was reminded that the old adage of "buyer beware" still rings true today.

I noticed that a lot of stores have conventional butter on "sale" for either $2.50 or $3.00 per pound. The thing is, that's much of sale. I pay $3.50 per pound for organic butter at Costco. For me, paying a dollar or less more per pound for a conventional product is just not a good sale price.  I also notice sour cream on "sale" for $1.25. But the normal price in the store is $1.16! And it frequently goes on sale for $.99 or even $.88! The store is charging more this week than their normal everyday non-sale price.

The lesson here: you have got to know your prices so that you don't get caught up in tricky advertising. The best way to do this is to keep a price list or price book. You just jot down low prices when you see them so that you know a true sale price when you see it. You can keep a spreadsheet on a computer, but it's handy to have with you in the store (someone should create an app or a smart phone for this!).  I actually don't keep a price book because I have a very good memory -- I just know my target prices by heart.

This time of year is a great time to start a price book because many pantry staples will be on sale for the next month or so. You'll have a great reference later on in the year when you run out of flour after stocking up this month!

2 Thoughts From Others:

ErinOrtlund said...

SO true! I keep a price book in a notebook, with a separate page for each of my staple buys. Just took my first trip to Costco last week with a friend--now I am running the numbers and finding out what were great deals, average deals, or not deals at all.

Good idea to stock up on kids' gifts!

Camille said...

Whatever toys I don't end up using within the year, I give away to a toy drive. This way I keep a good stock without going overboard.

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