Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Case Lot Shopping

In the "olden days", when I was a child, my family lived in Utah. In those days, there were yearly sales where if you bought a whole case of something, they gave you a discounted price per can. When we moved to Illinois, I remember Dad going into one of the local stores and asking if they had case lot sales. They had never heard of such a thing. Dad was so disappointed!

Now I am living in Utah again, and there are still case lot sales. They may be a bit different now days. Some stores you have to buy a whole case to get the sale price, but other stores you can buy a can or a case and pay the same price per can. This is a very popular time to stock up on pantry staples. Now they come twice a year, and I look forward to them, even saving money to be able to stock my pantry. I am finding more and more , though, that I have to be careful to be sure the "sale" price really is a bargain.

The spring case lot sale season has started here, and I have been able to get some great bargains. But you have to know what a good price is, because not all the case lot prices are any cheaper than normal everyday sale prices. For example, a recent case lot sale had cans of spaghetti sauce for 99 cents a can. Not a bad price, but not a super bargain. In fact, just the week before, I got the exact same brand of spaghetti sauce for 79 cents a can, just on a regular sale. The best thing to do, is to know your prices. You may want to make a price book, or at least know what normal sale prices are for your area. Don't just assume that because it is a case lot sale that it is the best of the year. Then study your weekly sales flyers, and stock up on whatever the best bargains are every week.

Having said that, do take advantage of those items that are truly bargains, and stock your pantry. If you buy enough to last you until the next great sale, you can eat all year for those bargain prices. My mother-in-law used to buy a can of tuna every week. At the time, she usually paid 79 cents a can for it. But it often went on sale for 50 cents a can. By buying a case when it was on sale, she could have saved $15 a year. That may not sound like a lot of money (of course, this was 20 years ago, too), but using that principle with many items could save a substantial amount of money each year. With the economy the way it is, and food prices rising, we need to take whatever savings we can find.

Happy shopping!