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MATH TIP: How to determine Unit Price after coupons

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If you want to know how to pick the cheapest item off the shelf, the easiest way to do that is to look at the unit price on the tag. If the store brand says the unit price is $.29 per ounce and the name brand says $.35 per ounce, you know you’re getting a better deal per ounce with the store brand.

When you add a coupon to the mix, it can be a bit harder to figure out if you are still getting the best deal. I’m going to solve that problem for you.

First rule is to always have a calculator with you. No couponer should ever be without one!

Second rule is to know which number you enter in the calculator first. This trick will make that easy for you to remember.  All you have to do is say it in your head.

What are you trying to figure out?

Price per pound?
Price per ounce?
Price per sq ft?

Do you see a pattern here?  Every time you say it, you always say “price” first (you would never say pound per price). So that is the number you put in the calculator first!  The “per” is the division sign, then the “unit” comes next.

Let’s see which deal is the better deal on this Reynolds Wrap. It’s not easy to decide at a glance because you have two different value coupons and two different sizes of rolls.  But we can figure it out!

Hannaford has Reynolds Wrap 75 sq ft for $3.99
There is a coupon for $1.50/1 Reynolds Wrap, 35 sq ft or larger
After the coupon you would pay $2.49… but how much is that per sq ft?
Say it to yourself… price per sq ft (price goes in your calculator first)
2.49 divided by 75 = .03, so you pay $.03 per sq ft

Hannaford also has Reynolds Wrap, 200 sq ft for $8.89
There is a coupon for $2.50/1 Reynolds Wrap, 200 sq ft (zip code 06607)
After the coupon you would pay $6.39… but how much per sq ft?
Remember… price first!
6.39 divided by 200 = .03, so you pay $.03 per sq ft
They end up being the same unit price, so buy either one!

But what if you have the $2 OYNO Hannford coupon too?

The 75 sq ft deal would cost only $.49 after the manny Q and $2 hanny Q
.49 divided by 75 = .006 so not even a penny per sq ft

The 200 sq ft deal would cost $4.39 after the manny Q and $2 hanny Q
4.39 divided by 200 = .02 so that’s $.02 per sq ft

If you use the $2 OYNO Hannaford coupon, the smaller box of foil is a better deal!  Just think, 3 boxes of the small roll would only cost $1.47 and you’d get 225 sq ft… that’s a much better deal!

I know this can sound confusing!  Just remember, enter price first, then hit divide, then enter the unit. You’ll be saving money the smart way next time you shop!


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