One of the most commonly asked questions about couponing is knowing when to is the best time to use your coupons. It really is quite easy – the best time to use them is when the product is at its absolute lowest selling price, or Rock Bottom Price as I like to call it. By combining the Rock Bottom Price and the additional discount offered by a coupon, you are sure to save as much money as possible on that item.
A Rock Bottom Price Book is basically an essential piece of couponing. Once you have been using one for a while you will become less dependent on it but it is always a great resource to have. Here we will detail how to start, use and maintain a Rock Bottom Price Book.
Pick Your Book
What you use to start your Rock Bottom Price Book is entirely up to you. Some suggestions include:
- Spiral Notebook
- Index cards
- Binder with lined paper
- Binder with Rock Bottom Price List sheets
- Sheets kept in your coupon binder
- Electronic spread sheet
You may have to play around with a few different options before you figure out what works best for you. I personally have a 3 ring binder with Rock Bottom Price List sheets in it.
We have created a simple, easy to use system to help you start your Rock Bottom Price Book. You can download your FREE Rock Bottom Price List sheets here.
Pick Your Products
Keeping a Rock Bottom Price List for every item you’ve ever bought would be great, but it is entirely unrealistic. You would spend way too much time at it and your book would be a half metre thick!
Using a Rock Bottom Price Book effectively means knowing the prices for the products you purchase most often. Walk through your home and wonder in and out of each room and jot down a few things in each room that you purchase frequently. Some examples include toilet paper, paper towel, eggs, milk, deodorant, shampoo, laundry detergent etc. These are the items you will want to keep in your Rock Bottom Price Book.
Get The Basics Down
Most couponers are not brand loyal. A sad truth, I know, but a truth nonetheless. We buy what we can get the best deal on. This isn’t always the case, many people are loyal to one brand when it comes to specific products. You will need to determine if you are brand loyal or not before deciding on how to format your Rock Bottom Price Sheets.
Next, start a Rock Bottom Price Sheet (or a sheet in your notebook) for each product you are going to track. This is where being brand loyal comes in. You can be vague (toilet paper) or you can be specific (Dove Shampoo). This is where you are going to have to put a bit of work in.
Visit your local Walmart or where ever it is you do most of your shopping. Right down the regular retail price for each product in your book. If you are are not being picky about brand, just average out the cost of several brands & sizes. If applicable, divide that number up to give u a price per unit. This is especially useful when dealing with products that come in multiple sizes. This gives you the absolute bottom dollar for each unit of the item you are tracking.
Now that you have your Rock Bottom Price Book started, it is time to start monitoring those prices. Each week as you are browsing the SaveaLoonie Coupon Price Match-Ups and looking through the flyers jot down any great deals you come across for the products in your book. There won’t be sale worth recording every week and it will take you a few weeks or even a few months of tracking prices before you have well established Rock Bottom prices*info tip – Rock Bottom Price is the lowest price that item has been sold for according to your records. *
Once you have those Rock Bottom prices, you only need to record prices that are comparable. You only need to know the cheapest prices, right!
What To Track
Rock Bottom Price Books are not just about prices. It is important to keep track of other information as well. Stores operate on sales cycles so knowing the date and location of the sale is also valuable. This will give you an indication as to when the next time that item may come close to your Rock Bottom Price again. I recommend jotting down these few pieces of information:
- Date sale started
- Store sale is at
- Item description (brand name, size, variety)
- The sale price
- The price per unit (when applicable)
Add In The Coupons
Now that you know how to start and use a Rock Bottom Price Book, now comes the fun part! The whole point of keeping that book is knowing when the best time to buy is!
Use your book to determine if the sale on this week is worthy of your coupons. If it’s not close to Rock Bottom for you, don’t do it! Especially if your Rock Bottom Price List tells you that, that item can be sold cheaper! But we all know coupons don’t last forever and sometime you just need something. If the deal is good and your coupons or close to expiry, go ahead a buy it. You aren’t saving anything letting your coupons expire.
Keep at It
The most important thing about having a Rock Bottom Price Book is keeping it up to date! With the constant change of prices and never ending flyer specials, you have to stay current. The Rock Bottom Price in January might not ever been seen again – you have to watch for the next best deal.
As I mentioned before, once you have been at this a long time, your Rock Bottom Price Book may become more of an accessory than a weekly reference guide. You get to learn the prices and how they change and fluctuate. But for getting started, I will always recommend a Rock Bottom Price Book!
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