Hi again! We're now going to go more in depth on each of the points I touched on. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section! I love input from readers and welcome help and advice from others! The first one we mentioned was checking price per pound or price per ounce vs. overall price.
1. One way I save money is to check price per ounce or per pound, this is probably the best way to save on items you already buy and the price per oz is usually listed right on the tag.
During hard times, like the Depression, people had to carefully consider where there money was going so to make the most of it. Stores know this and will often try to scew your view of their prices by offering sales on name brand items or smaller packages. Tactics like 50% off and 5 for $5 deals are common, but they don't really give you enough information to know if you're getting a good deal or not. I try to avoid those, or do my best to figure out if it's a good deal before I go to the store. $4 for a whole chicken seems like a good deal, but for a 4lb chicken that's $1.00 a lb. For another example take almonds, $10 for a 3lb bag, nice round number sure, but that's about $3.33 a lb. I buy them in bulk for $2.89 a lb.
When there is a good deal I stock up. That's part of deal seeking is buying stuff when it's cheap so you can use it at the lower price when the price is high. When whole chicken is on sale for $0.69 cents a lb, I stock up and fill my freezer. Then when it goes up to 1.09 a lb I'm paying the lower price every time I use it. At .40 cents a lb savings, if I found all my chicken at that price, and used 1 chicken a week it would save me around $83 a year! So when a store tries to lure me in with a .99 cents/lb deal on chicken, I pass, because I know I can do better.
Stores and product manufacturers will often label their items so it's harder to find the price difference. In one instance, 2 jars of peanut butter, one was listed with price per oz and the other just had price per unit (each jar). (that was the one that was "on sale") With calculator in hand, it only took me a second to figure out that the sale priced item was actually .03 cents an oz MORE than my usual brand. Back in the day grocers would put things on sale to move merchandise, you get a good price and they free up shelf space for newer items. But I'm sorry to say those days have gone by. To quote a store owner "we don't mark down old bananas because we know people will use them for banana bread". Great sales aren't always good for YOU. So keep your eyes open, and always bring your calculator.
Price per pound or oz is also helpful in deciding what to buy, when. We try to keep a varied diet, but you can really save money by buying what's on sale, or in season. Bananas are about .60 cents a lb while apples right now are up to .99 cents a lb., so for fresh fruit bananas are the first choice, followed by oranges at .65 cents/lb. For apples I use home canned that I bought for .10 a lb from a farmer during apple season. What about cheese, you can get bulk cheddar for 2.99/lb (or more), or you can get cottage cheese, higher in protein and lower in fat for less than $2/lb. One final example is that I usually make my spaghetti sauce from scratch, it's cheaper and better for you. But occasionally the "good brand" (high quality and free of nasty additives) goes on sale for about .05 cents/oz. cheaper than the cost of my home made stuff.
Greed has gotten the best of most markets now days and we have to be smart enough to figure out what the good deals really are and why they're offering them. That's not hard to do if you just keep this in mind. Take a little time (really it's seconds!) to figure out if you're being duped into padding their pockets. And if you think it's not worth it, remember the chicken figure ($83 a year! on chicken alone!) and think of your family. What could that money mean to you in hard times. What would it mean to the littlest member of your family if you were going hungry and found $83? It's never too much work to save money that you or someone in your home has already worked hard to get. And for most parents, putting a little extra work in to ensure the health and safety of our children is it's own reward.
16She considereth a field, and buyeth it...27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:16 and 27 KJV
Blessings to you and yours,