Extreme Couponing – Price Comparison Shopping – does it work?

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Anther question we are asked very frequently is:

I wanted to know what is the best and easiest way to compare store to store and prices? How do you plan to know how much your retail is to cost from one store to another to know you are getting the best deal? I may be overlooking and just can’t seem to find it.

Well it depends. There are endless factors that come into play. And each person will have their own factors that weigh more to them then the other. So many different scenarios that come into play that do not make one answer more correct then the other.

Here are just a few of the factors: distance, gas prices, each store has different sales each week, complete over all savings, coupon friendliness, brand availability, product availability,  cleanliness, shopper traffic, produce and department size or amount and variety amounts, and your time…
time does cost money and sanity..

If the majority of items are cheaper at one store and a few things a little more then at the other, and the over all store is closer or maybe easier to get in and out of… like easier process of going through the check out, verses taking for ever at the other store in check out lanes.
Or maybe the one is more “coupon friendly” and have less overall issues verses the other store.
Take into account the entire picture, not just one or two items.. take into account the entire picture to save you the most time..
Comparison pricing from one store to the other will drive you nuts. Each week prices and deals fluctuate. Try to get the ultimate lowest price is not worth it and will drive you nuts, or at least your family nuts.

I (Matt) used to sell cars. One thing that really made sense to me in the buying process is to ask your self – Am I happy with this price?

It’s not if it is the absolute lowest price in the city, or state or even the country. Trying to find the ultimate lowest price will drive you nuts and waste your time or even money searching for the best… Just say to your self – Am I happy with this price and if I continue to look for the best price will the overall time and money put into finding that “best price” truly save me more money then if I just got this one in front of me?

I used to see buyers travel all over from state to state, and repeatedly visit the same store over and over trying to get the best overall price. Only in the long run save maybe $100 bucks. They spent numerous days shopping, the cost of gas to drive from dealership to dealership , over and over. If you take into account the cumulative cost they spent searching for the best cost, they spent more in the search then the immediate savings on the sale itself.

This is amplified in couponers. I never understood why a couponer would drive 5 miles to one store and buy $2o worth of products. Then drive 5 miles to the next store to get $20 worth of other products. Then drive 10 miles back home only to save 20 more cents on items at store “A”. And then save 50 more cents at store “B”. When they drove all that way and burned up that fuel that really is out of site out of mind all to save a few cents here and there.

So that everyone knows – Sarah shops at TWO stores – One Albertsons store, and one Walgreens. Every know and then she may stop at Walmart (like maybe half a dozen times in a given year). And maybe another store every few months… And still our last years overall shopping was 87.25 % off.

DON’T DRIVE YOUR SELF NUTS. Start small and keep your focus on saving but not going insane…


  1. This may sound like a stupid question, but I am BRAND NEW to couponing (haven’t actually made a shopping trip yet) and I’m a little overwhelmed. So….how do you find what the product is going to cost? Am I just going to have to make multiple trips to the store to find out what I’m actually going to pay after my 50 cent coupon?

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