Saturday, December 18, 2021

When Buying SMALLER Saves Money

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links. 

Like the rest of the world, we are getting ready for Christmas.  Our niece was born during lockdown in 2020, so in my very well stocked gift closet, I found some diapers but instead of the size six she is now wearing, they were size two.  For whatever reason, I often have trouble with store employees helping me, so I asked my husband to see if CVS would return them and give us the same diapers, but in the correct size.  Most stores will do this as babies and toddlers are ever growing and it's not uncommon to get too many of a size.  

­čŹ╝Check out my article: A dozen tips to getting free and low cost diapers.

CVS put the money on a gift card, and the next thing I knew as I was doing my shopping, my husband called me asking what coupons on our card he should be using.

When we got to the car and I saw what he had done.  It was a mistake that most normal people would make.  He assumed that buying the largest size of diapers was most cost effective.  So he bought one box and since that was the only box they had, he bought a smaller package.

What he didn't notice, though was the signs that said "Buy One Get One 50% Off".  Since he bought one box and one bag of diapers, he got 50% off the smaller one.  Had he bought four bags of 36 ct, it would have been the same price, but he would have gotten FIFTY MORE DIAPERS!

We don't have children, and diaper buying can be confusing in the best of circumstances, so it wasn't a big deal.  But I took the time to explain this to him. . .


I explained to my husband that back in the 1990s my store doubled coupons to 99 cents.  I had a bunch of 75 cent off ANY SIZE Cornflakes coupons.  There were boxes that were like 8 ounces for $1.50.  Yes, they had huge boxes, but let's say it was $4.29 for a 32 ounce box.  Let's break that down. . . 

Without coupon:

                            8 ounces at $1.50 =  19 cents an ounce

                             32 ounces at $4.29 = 13.4 cents an ounce

Now, let's look at the prices with that 75 cent coupon doubled.  This is, of course, assuming that I have enough coupons to meet the need I have for the item.

8 ounces at $1.50 - .75 doubled coupon = Free or 0 cents per ounce

32 ounces at $4.29 - .75 doubled coupon = $2.79 or 8.7 cents per ounce

Always Check Unit Pricing for the Best Deal

Stores like Sam's Club and Costco have gotten us into the thinking that buying the bigger package is always the better deal, but it isn't always true.

Always check unit pricing for the best deal.  It's not that hard anymore with smart phones everywhere.  I know when I was in school our teachers always said we wouldn't always have a calculator with us, but we do, and it's one of my most used tools when shopping.  (Another secret tool I use is something I wouldn't have thought of even a year ago.  A hand held clicker!  Why?  Because sometimes you need to meet a minimum spend, especially at places like CVS and Dollar General, and using this, it is so easy to see where you are with your spend while freeing up your calculator app to figure out unit pricing!

Sometimes you will find that what we are conditioned to believe -- that the largest package is the best value -- you will find that to be true, but other times you will find with your discounts, the total opposite is true and you should purchase the smaller packages for a lower cost per unit.

Check out some of my other articles on saving money!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip and your example. Time to think outside the big box!