Creating Your Own Coupon Price Log

Sure, coupons are a great source of savings for a frugal shopper, and when appropriately applied, they can save you a ton of money.  In fact, some shoppers even walk out of the store getting paid to take home groceries!  Yet if you don't know what a good price to pay for a food item, beverage, or hygiene product, you may wind up paying more than you should have just because you used a coupon.  To prevent that from happening, you should start a price log for your regularly purchased items.

Calculator for coupons price logsStart by making a list of all the items you buy on a regular basis.  This can be anything from items you purchase twice a year (packs of razors) to items you purchase twice a week (a gallon of milk).  Go through the major categories: bread, grains, meat, seafood, dairy products, snack foods, beverages, alcohol, vegetables, fruits, cooking fats (butter, oil, etc.), sauces, hygiene products, baby products, paper products, batteries -- whatever it is that you buy on a consistent basis, put it on the list.

Next, look over some past receipts to find out what some good sale prices you paid might have been.  Depending on where you live in the country, some fresh foods or specific meat products may cost more or less because of transportation costs.  Milk may cost $3 a gallon on one end of the country and $4.50 on the other.  Because of this, we can't provide you with a solid list of how much each food costs; but you can figure it out pretty easily by looking at past instances where you saved money.

Now it's time to factor in coupons.  Do you regularly use coupons on your favorite shampoo brand?  Are you normally couponless when it comes to your deli meat and cheeses?  Factor in the regularity of the coupons (some are so good, they only happen a few times per year, while, say, 30¢ off diapers may occur weekly in the Sunday paper); will you see this coupon again enough to count on it?  If you're not getting enough of a coupon supply, ask friends if they would be willing to give you the ones they don't use.  Factor those in, too.

Now, you can start making a list of prices.  A computer document works well, because you don't have to worry about scratching things out or tearing paper to make room, and also because you can alphabetize no matter how many items you tack on the end.  Excel or another spreadsheet document can be a great way to record your findings (make column A for breads, column B for bread prices, column C for meats, column D for meat prices, etc.).  When you're done, print out a copy and save the document for further updating when you get more information, in case anything changes.  Keep the copy with you when you go shopping, so you can stop to see if you're getting a good deal even when you use a coupon.

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Comments (6) -

Brandon Lopez
Brandon Lopez
3/3/2013 5:19:33 PM #

I don't usually coupons but I always come across them in books, computer products and etc... I just ignore them and move on to the next page until I read this article. I realized that I could save some cash out of this simple act everyday. So, before adding your coupons, check on the items you're buying a lot. If you're fond of buying magazines, shoes or caps, then you could start from there. You could start finding stores and areas which offer coupons and discounts like your favorite item.

Renaldo Silva
Renaldo Silva
3/3/2013 5:27:35 PM #

Collecting your coupons and using them is one thing but keeping them intact is a whole different story. It's useless if you get a lot of coupons but when you need it, you can't find it and some of it eventually gets lost. It's advisable to store them in a place where you're actually familiar with and where it's very visible everyday. Don't store it in a very dark place where you would not access it very often. Remember, check the expiry date in your coupons so you can utilize them while they're still valid.

Adrian Tucker
Adrian Tucker
3/4/2013 11:28:00 AM #

Collecting coupons could be fun if you were to do it with your friends. You can make it as a game where, the one with the most coupons at the end of a certain time would be declared as the winner. Just to change things a bit and not be serious at all times. It's fun and competition at the same time. At the end of the game, you could then share your coupons and barter or even just ask for coupons which you can actually use.

Doris Claxton
Doris Claxton
3/4/2013 11:36:09 AM #

Take note of the items that you purchase most often. That's will give you an idea on what kind of coupons are you going to look out for. For example, if you're always buying facial products/set of make up then you should focus on the cosmetics department to see if there are any coupons available in their products. I proved it that it can save you some money which is actually more than you expected.

Antonio Deng
Antonio Deng
3/4/2013 11:37:29 AM #

Take note of the items that you purchase most often. That's will give you an idea on what kind of coupons are you going to look out for. For example, if you're always buying facial products/set of make up then you should focus on the cosmetics department to see if there are any coupons available in their products. I proved it that it can save you some money which is actually more than you expected.

Shawn Lang
Shawn Lang
3/4/2013 11:42:30 AM #

I've not used or even tried to use a coupon before. I just don't believe that it's effective. I can't waste my time on such non-sense activity. I really don't enjoy arranging things to put them in order, how much more if I will be dealing with a mountain of coupons? So, i opt to ignore those as if they're not there, besides, I can afford.

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