RICHES: How to Find the Best Price When Shopping

If you’re in a tight spot financially or you just want to pay off bills or get ahead financially, then you need to know how to find the best price when shopping! It all comes down to simple math. Learn how to find the best deal with these 3 ways to find the best deal for the same item! Then use your savings to get out of your debt crisis or to start building wealth.

How to Find the Best Price When Shopping

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Why You Need to Check Prices:

If you’re one of the smart ones, one of the penny pinchers, or one of the “I don’t make enough money” types, you need to be vigilant with checking prices on everything when you shop. There are three easy ways to do this: compare the name brand product to the identical store brand product and buy the cheapest one, compare the name brand product price with a coupon and/or discounts to the identical store brand product and buy the cheapest one, and break down the prices per measurement to compare unit pricing.

Why Comparing Prices is Important

OK, real talk. You aren’t going to get massively rich by saving a few dollars here and there. But you will learn how to be a smart consumer through these shopping tips. And that’s what it’s all about. You’re deal comparing practice and mindful shopping will prepare you for the financial future. You’ll start asking “Do I need this new $50,000 SUV or can I get by with this $200 bike?” in no time and that is how you become rich.

Related: 50 Ideas to Save Money

Name Brand Product vs the Store Brand Product

Difficulty: Easy

This method of comparing prices is very easy and you should do this every single time you go shopping for every single product! If you see the item you are looking for, glance around in the same area (usually lower on the shelf) and locate the store brand that is the same exact item. Then buy the cheapest one.

I’ve been doing this forever I cannot even tell you how much I have saved over the years. It adds up to a few dollars every single time I go shopping. Be careful of thinking you found a deal (like the $1 items at Kroger) and be sure to check before buying. It’s the easiest way to start saving money immediately.

Example of Comparing Name Brand to House Brand

Today at Target I went to grab a box of cotton swabs. I always get a 500 count because it’s what fits best in my bathroom drawer. I know what I want, I just need to find the best price.

Now, remember, companies are really great at marketing. It’s why we call tissues Kleenex and cotton swabs Q-Tips! Instead of grabbing the name brand, I got the exact same thing for $0.60 less. This is just one example in a sea of thousands of products at each and every store.

The Math

$2.99 (most expensive) – $2.39 (least expensive) = $0.60 savings

Compare Name Brand to Store Brand with Coupons

Difficulty: Medium

This method of comparing prices is a little more detailed. What most people do is they clip coupons or pre-shop with an app like Ibotta or Cartwheel and then go to the store. When shopping this way, you’ll need to compare the prices after discounts.

The (Hypothetical) Math

I don’t have a real life example of this one, so hang in there with me! Let’s say you’re using the above method and you’re comparing a brand name item and a house brand item that is the same size. Let’s use glass cleaner as an example. I grabbed the real-life Target prices off their website but let’s pretend you have a coupon for $1.25 off Windex.

Up&Up – $1.99 vs Windex – $2.99

Right off the bat, you can see that the house brand cleaner is cheaper. But with the coupon of $1.25 off Windex, it’s now cheaper to buy the name brand!

The Math

Windex: $2.99 (no coupon)
Up&Up: $1.99
Windex: $2.99 – $1.25 coupon = $1.74

You can see the cheapest option is the Windex with a coupon ($1.74), the middle ground option is the house brand ($1.99), and the most expensive option is just grabbing a bottle of Windex with no coupon ($2.99).

Comparing Different Sizes of the Same Product

Difficulty: Harder

This method of comparing prices is probably the most frustrating. Companies know what they’re doing when it comes to the math and you’ve got to watch what you buy. Have you ever walked down an aisle and seen 42 different packages of the same thing?! Detergent, toilet paper, paper towels… all of them come in different packing with different prices. So, how do you find the actual price and the cheapest option? 

The Math

What you have to do is follow one of the following equations to find the actual price per unit/pound/ounce/etc.

Example: Say there are two sizes of the same exact product. Take the current marked cost (full price or tagged sale price) and divide that cost by the number of units or measurements to get the price per unit.

Cost / Units = Price Per Unit

$100 (cost) divided by 10 pounds (unit) equals $10 per pound (unit)
$50 (cost) divided by 25 ounces (unit) equals $2 per ounce (unit)

Real Example

This example is a little bit harder but this is what actually happened to me in Target today. I was faced with about 80 feet of 7-foot tall shelving filled with Charmin. How on Earth are you supposed to know which one is the best buy?! Math.

Let’s take a look at a few of the options available and the math equation to use.

This package appears to be the cheapest at $14.99 a pack. There are 163 sheets on 30 rolls in this package. So there are 4890 sheets of toilet paper. The price of the pack is $14.99 so divide that by 4890 sheets and it comes to $0.0030 per sheet.

This package has an incentive: buy more and get a gift card. Ignore that distraction for now! This option is $16.99 a pack. There are 426 sheets on 12 rolls in this package. So there are 5112 sheets of toilet paper. The price of the pack is $16.99 so divide that by 4890 sheets and it comes to $0.0033 per sheet. This pack is more expensive!

This package appears to be in the middle price range at $16.29 sale price a pack. There are 163 sheets on 36 rolls in this package. So there are 5868 sheets of toilet paper. The price of the pack is $16.29 so divide that by 5868 sheets and it comes to $0.0027 per sheet. Winner!

This package breaks down to only $0.0027 a sheet or about $0.45 a roll. And I scored a $5 gift card for next time because of the promotion because I bought 2.

Like I said earlier, you are not going to get rich off saving a few pennies. But practice smart shopping and be proactive now. This practice will start to pay off when you make bigger purchases you need.

TIP: ALWAYS watch and read the tags. Retail is mistagged often. Watch where you get something from off the shelf and pay attention when you are getting rung up!

Related: Earn Money on the Side

I hope these ideas help you save more money than ever! Keep your money in your pocket and grow your wealth!

If you have suggestions or recommendations, please comment below to share your advice!