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Monday, February 1, 2010

Examining Free or Money Maker Deals

Sometimes you really have to decide if a FREE or MONEY MAKER is worth it or not. This is especially true if you are in an area that charges tax on food and/or merchandise. You should know that tax is charged on the amount that rings up, not the item total after coupons. For example lets take the Rotel deal at Kroger this week.

On paper it looks like this.

Rotel, $0.50 with Mega Event
-$0.30 coupon (will double to $0.60), 1/24 SS

On further inspection, it looks like this.

Rotel, $0.99
+$0.06 for tax
-$0.50 for Mega Event
-$0.30 coupon (will double to $0.60), 1/24 SS

Rotel is on sale for $0.99. This is the price that it will ring up and, in my area, I will be charged $0.06 for tax. When I purchase 10 participating Mega Event items, it will automatically take $5.00 off my order or basically $0.50 per item. Finally, I will use my $0.30 coupon, which Kroger will double, bringing the total down to -$0.03.

In this particular case, the deal isn't as good as it originally looked when you consider the tax factor. However, it still ends up making the Rotel a teensy bit better than FREE. I try not to just randomly purchase things, even if they are FREE, unless I know that I will use them or I know that I can donate them. If you can use them and they are a MONEY MAKER then you can't really go wrong there.

Here's another example using Knox Gelatin which I have tried successfully at Publix. I don't use gelatin a whole lot but I can donate this item to local food banks and I am happy to have around $2.50 come off my total.

See full size image

Knox Gelatin, $1.39
+$0.10 tax
-$4.00 off Knox coupon, 1/24 RP

The same concept has to be considered for FREE items. If an item is on sale for $0.99 and you have a $1.00 coupon, it looks like you will get it for FREE. Yes and no. If you live in an area where they don't charge tax on food then, yes, that food item will be FREE. Now, if the item happens to be toothpaste, then we all will end up paying a little bit for it. In my case, it would be $0.09.

Either way you look at it, these deals are all great finds and I purchase them often. My point is this. Just be aware of how it breaks down and know exactly what you are paying for because, in my house, every penny counts!

*In Davidson County, Tennessee I am charged 7.75% tax on food and 9.25% tax on merchandise.


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