Q & A: question from a reader:
I have heard and seen expressed by many couponers that it is usually the best deal to use your coupons to buy the smallest size items you can (trial or travel sizes.) I am having a hard time understanding this concept - sure you get lots of free stuff by doing it that way, but what if you really need and use that item, a travel size really isn't going to last very long. So maybe that's the key, those coupons you have that aren't your regular items, you can use for small sizes but ones for things you would use regularly use for a more normal size product. I don't know - what is your take?
Good question, I have been going to address coupon/product size for awhile now. First of all I am not a huge fan or the travel section, simply because most of that stuff, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, I can get free or very cheap by doing other deals, especially at drugstores. A lot of couponers on other blogs might get 10-12 copies of the Sunday paper, so they have 10-12 copies of every coupon. Buying ten travel size bottles of mouthwash for free, easily equals a larger bottle, even though it is less convenient to use. The reason most couponers say to buy the smallest size, is because it drives your out of pocket expense lower. For instance if the 24 oz size is $1.99 and the 36 oz size is $3.19 and you have a $1 coupon, it is the better deal to use it on the smaller size. Ounce per ounce, it is usually cheaper to do it this way. I usually buy the smaller size (not trial) because of this. Three more things to consider when using coupons:
1)How often you use this item? Many jumbo size items, might go bad before you use it all anyway, so the smaller size is better. If you use it everyday, the large size might be better.
2)Try not to be brand loyal. There are some things I have to have a certain brand of and so I watch for sales on these, but for the most part for me, juice is juice, cereal is cereal, shampoo is shampoo, cleaner is cleaner, etc, etc... Some brands that have been around for years have few coupons, whereas newer brands have lots of coupons. When a product is released, it usually is quickly followed by coupons, sales and rebates. This is a great time to try new products. You might find one you love better than your old standby.
3) How often do you see coupons for this product? I will use Huggies Diapers for an example. About once a month Huggies has coupons in the paper, often they are on the internet, and I can request to get them from the website. Since I usually have a coupon for Huggies, I will buy the smaller size because I know I can get another one soon. Some products like Dreyers Fruit Juice Bars (one of my favorites) only come around about twice a year. I might consider buying a larger size on this because a coupon is so rare for this item.
I hope that helps. It is really up to personal discretion. Remember your primary goal is drive down your out of pocket expense, so look for the best deal for you. Have a question, let me know because someone probably has the same one. Email me at dealsbydawn at yahoo dot com.