Hey y’all! Today is a fairly quick post on how to calculate that all enticing percent saved. 
Here’s the equation (I bet you never thought you’d need to use that as a grown up…):

Now let’s do an example:
Remember this receipt? 
At Target, they don’t put the “regular” price in line with the sale price up at the top. Instead, you get this at the bottom:
Basically, they take the markdown amount and your coupon savings and lump it all together at the bottom. Some stores (my grocery store is one) list the store card discount in line with the item on the receipt and then have a summary at the bottom. Some even go ahead and give you the percent saved. (I love it when they do that!) 
Let’s calculate percent saved for this trip using my equation up there: 
$3.36/$3.36+.07
$3.36/3.43 = 98%
Easy peasy! 
BUT (You knew there was a catch right?):
Here’s the deal. I routinely only hit about a 30 – 40% savings at Wegmans, the grocery store I shop most often and I’m still saving more than I would going to one of the other local chains. Why? Because Wegman’s regular prices on most of what I buy are far lower than other local stores. Since their regular prices are lower, what I save using my store card, coupons, etc is going to look like less. 
For example, they routinely run meat at or below my target price and since it’s meat, there aren’t many coupons – but when I get to the register, it rings up full price because it is and so my percentage saved (on paper) is virtually nothing – even though I know that I’m saving a ton compared to other stores.
One of my other favorite local stores is Giant Eagle. Their regular price on meat is higher (and generally outside of my target price) so I have to wait until they run meat on buy one get one free (BOGO) sales. When they do, it brings down their base price a bit to within my range and it makes my percentage saved 50% (or better if I have store coupons) because I’m getting one free. It doesn’t happen often though, so I shop more often at Wegmans because their prices consistently run lower. 
 This is why it’s so important to know what is and is not a good sale, and to have target prices. Percent saved can be a big rush, but it’s not the gold standard when saving sensibly.
Questions? Comments? Say hello in the comments below! :)

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Compare Grocery Prices for Frugalific Savings! | Frugal.ly Frugal.ly Compare Grocery Prices for Frugalific Savings! | Frugal.ly | Skills To Shrink Those Grocery Bills

  2. I was working on a post that touched on calculating your percentage savings. I wanted to include a link to a site parents could use as a reference to help their kids calculate percentages. This came up on the second page of search results – everything else was financial and investment stuff – and this was just perfect! Hope you don’t mind me linking to your page – fully attributed and full of link love!

    • Christina Reply

      Of course! I’m so glad it was what you were looking for.

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