Stock-Up Prices

Have you ever wondered if something you want to buy is really a good deal or not?  One thing that many stores will do is try to make their prices sound as appealing as possible without really lowering their prices!  For example, when we first started couponing, a store advertised that their laundry detergent was buy one, get one free.  We bought a ton of it, thinking it was a great deal.  We were very surprised to go to another store and see that the regular price of the same detergent was less than what we had paid at the other store!

So how do you know if you're getting a good deal or not?  The best way to do that is to look at the unit price.  This requires doing some math (we can hear you groaning from here!), but it's really not that difficult.  To find out the unit price of an item, take the full cost of the item and divide it by the number of units in the item. Ex: A 10 oz bottle of detergent that costs $4 would cost $0.40 per oz. ($4 divided by 10 = $0.40/oz)

Many times the unit price will be on the tag of the item at the store, but that isn't the most useful when you are at home making your shopping list!  Here is an example of the unit price on a tag:

If you have a coupon for $.50 off one of these cans, then it would be best to use it with the smaller item.  If two items are the same unit price, use the coupon with the smaller item each time (provided the fine print on the coupon allows it).

One thing that can make calculating unit price difficult is if the items are in two different measurements.  One can might measure in ounces, and the other might be in grams.  In order to get the right unit measure, you MUST be comparing the same units!  When they are different, use this unit converter (or you can Google one!).

Here is an example of how to do this:
One bottle of Fiji water is 500 ml and costs $1.53.  Another bottle of Fiji water is 11 fl oz and costs $1.29.  When we use the converter, we see that 500 ml is equal to 16.9 oz.  We can then divide $1.69/16.9oz = $.10 per oz.  For the other bottle, $1.29/11oz = $.12 per oz.  This means the 500 ml bottle is the better deal.

Whenever you think you have found a good deal, it's a good idea to check the unit price.  Some people like to keep track of the best deals that they have found in the past.  When you're first starting out, that can be difficult to do.  We have put together a list for you to give you a good starting point.  This list has three columns:
  • Purchase price: unless it is an emergency, you really shouldn't be paying more than this price.
  • Stock-up price: this is a really great price, and you should stock up.
  • Personal price: the price that you are willing to pay.  Since prices can vary depending on where you live, it's important that you keep an eye out for what is best for your area, not just a general idea.
We hope that this is helpful for you!  We recommend printing this list out to take with you in your binder (go here if you need a organization ideas).  This way, if you happen to see a clearance or close-out item in the store, you can know if it's really a good deal or not!

Lastly, it's important to make sure to keep on eye on expiration and sell-by dates.  Some shelf-stable products do not last indefinitely!  Here is a general list of about how long many items will last:

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Do you have any price suggestions or other ideas you'd like to share with us? Please comment at the bottom of the page! Or feel free to contact us here.

Note: any links in our posts may include affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure Policies here.Please make sure to double-check store policy and coupon fine print before shopping. Please follow all coupon rules.