Sunday, July 15, 2012

Target Price vs. Sale Price

I've talked a lot about buying things in bulk at my target price, rather than using coupons. In reality, this is known as Badgering the Sales.

This can be confusing, so I will give some examples.

But, before I go any further - let me state: You *could* get some of these sales even more cheaply with coupons, if you take the time to coordinate sales and coupons.

I know that my target price for a staple item such as butter is about $1.75/lb - regardless of the day, week, or month of the year. I know I can get it for that price at Sams Club. I shop accordingly, and buy a couple month's worth of butter at a time when I go. Butter freezes tremendously well. I also save gas by not needing to constantly replenish our supplies.

The price I get at Sams club at any time: (Also the same for salted butter)

This week, Kroger is running their butter for $1.99/lb - on sale:

Needless to say, I don't wait for Land O' Lakes coupons - I buy my butter from Sams year round.

Let's look at another item of Sams club vs. Kroger Sale.

Here's the Sam's Club price on a 48 oz loaf of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. This is my year-round target price of the equivalent of $1.08 per 8oz bar. I can guarantee I'll get this price any day of the week, year-round.

BUT - here's the Kroger sale on Philadelphia cream cheese this week:
Yep - it's cheaper at Kroger - this week, IF you buy ten of their sale items. And, if you have access to coupons, you could, of course, get this more cheaply than 99 cents. However, most of us won't have access to a coupon on Philadelphia cream cheese at the same time a sale is running on the item. It happens, sure. But here's what I've learned from talking to people who work at the grocery store: Most grocery stores are well aware of what coupons will be coming out in upcoming circulars. Food manufacturers let them know so that if they choose to, they can run a sale in conjunction with the coupon.

Most rarely choose to do that anymore (in my area, at least) because of extreme couponers that have taken them to the cleaners. It is also for that reason that the local grocery stores in my area have seriously altered their coupon policies, and reduced the amount of coupons they will take.

It's the same reason manufacturer's coupons are now issued with very short expiration dates, unlike a decade ago when coupons were good for several months: Manuacturers and stores no longer want to take the chance that you will hold on to coupons and combine them with a really good sale - the same good sale they need to run in order to get people who don't use coupons into the store.

This Badger tracks prices, keeps a target price for items, and buys at that target price or below. Once again, I'm NOT advocating against using coupons - quite the opposite, really. If you are organized and diligent, you can grab some amazing prices with coupon use. I'm just showing the way that works for how the Badger household buys and uses items, and how we shop accordingly.

Mr. Badger does NOT prefer frozen Hot Pockets over Mrs. Badger's homemade calzones that she stuffs the freezer with. But, those with kids may find just the opposite is true.

Do what suits you, your family and household budget best.

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