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Archives Last Updated: May 31, 2013 - 11:52:45 AM

Deciphering the Sunday ads to find the best deals
By Penny Heater
May 14, 2009 - 10:06:20 AM

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Contrary to what my husband may say, I really am easy to please. Take my one and only Mother’s Day request: to get through the entire Sunday paper without changing a diaper or filling a sippy cup. My wish was granted and I thoroughly enjoyed devouring every last sales ad over my cup of hot joe. Thank you, Dan.

I began with a list of must have items and started noting where they were on sale. Having the unusual luxury of time, I even went through some of the ads I typically don’t even touch and noticed many of my needed items to be on sale at multiple locations. So being the money saving geek I am, I grabbed my calculator and began a little sales analysis. What I found was that not all sales are equal.

On my list are all the usuals, English muffins, chips, cereal and brownie mix. I was happy to discover my weekly trip to Publix would be my best bet at saving money on almost all these items even though several stores were running sales on them.

I found Publix’s current sale price on English muffins saved me more than 50 cents a package over Target’s sales circular price. I saved an additional $2 on my Lays chips buying them at Publix versus the current sales price at Target and another $1.11 on my brownies. Seems Target’s sales can’t measure up to Publix’s current buy one get one free deals.

These comparisons were the easy ones, same items with the same quantities. Where it gets a bit more complicated is when they try to confuse you with all the different sizes. Time for my trusty calculator, and a quick yell to my husband to figure out the decimal settings. Seems on this front Target has the Publix deal beat by offering their 25 ounce size Honey Nut Cheerios for only 14 cents an ounce, compared to Publix’s 23 cents an ounce for their 8.9 ounce box.

Think cereal comparison is bad? Trying to comparison shop for diaper deals is down right maddening due to the various size offerings making it nearly impossible to decipher how much you are paying. This week however it is CVS that had the better deal on Huggies at $0.30 per diaper, saving you over Targets $0.32 per diaper. (I know $0.02 doesn’t sound like much, but when you go through as many diapers as we do that’s a $10 monthly savings!)

Target came out a winner, beating out Walgreens current sale price on Lean Cuisine of $2.50, by offering this week’s sale price for only $2 each. The biggest loser of the price wars was without a doubt Rite Aid. The only two items where they beat out their competitors was on Similac Formula, a savings of $3 over CVS, and Suave hair care products at 77 cents, compared to 99 cents at Publix. The rest of their sales ad didn’t even come close to the other deals on similar items.

Bottom line, I found the first page of every sales ad for the drug store chains had the best offerings of the entire circular. So if you must skim the ads as I generally have to do between diaper changes and sippy refills, hit the first page and forget the rest. For the best deals leave the buy one get one 50 percent off deals to the amateurs, you’re only saving 25 percent on each item, and wait for the buy one get one free sales. Then, stock up on your needed items as these deals are hard to beat.

Now I wonder if my husband thinks his hour of full time daddy duty was worth me saving him about $20.


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