How much of a “value” is it?

by Laura on October 13, 2009

What do diapers and yogurt have in common?

Bigger is not always better.

I got an e-mail from a friend of mine in Florida, Leanna, about a recent discovery she made at the store.

“Did you know that when you buy Gogurt at Wal-mart you have two choices- you can buy an 8 pack or the 16 tube ‘Value Pack’?

The value pack with 16 tubes cost $4.48 while the 8 pack of tubes cost $1.80.

So….for $5.40 (3 of the $1.80 Gogurt packs) you can get 24 tubes. That is $.92 more for the extra 8 tubes of Gogurt! Just thought I would pass my discovery along. Just because it says value pack doesn’t mean it is the best value!!!!”

She is absolutely right. Just because something comes in a larger quantity it’s not always the best deal.

I have asked another reader to keep me up to date on the big expense at her house- diapers. I had no idea how expensive diapers could be until I started trying to help her out. Their family used to go to Sam’s Club twice a month and buy their diapers- they figured it was the cheapest way to go.

Now when I talk to her, they are spending about 75% less than what they used to spend by buying diapers at drug and grocery stores. They just shop the sales and use their coupons wisely.

So before you go to the big box store, ask yourself 4 questions:

1. Do I have room for all this stuff? It’s not worth buying 48 rolls of toilet paper if you don’t have room in your bathroom for them. Make sure you can store stuff so that things don’t take over your house.

2. Is it really cost effective? Compare the cost per unit at the big store to your normal grocery store. Remember that some big box stores will not accept coupons, so take that into account as well.

3. Can I use this before it goes bad? If you are the Duggar family you can probably eat the big pack of anything. If it’s just you and your smallish family it might take months to go through a crate of oranges. Or that 5 pounds of ground beef might be in your freezer for year. If you have to throw it out, it’s not worth the money!

4. Do I really need this? Impulse buying in a big store happens just like in a normal store except the items are much larger. If you do go to the store, make a list before you go and stick to it.

So thanks to my two readers who made this post possible.

Thoughts? Does anyone shop at those stores and get good deals? Let me know about them!

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