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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My twittering friend, Jose Castillo, just emailed me with info on savvy shopper, a new applications that takes uploaded photo of product UPC then searches the net for the lowest price available.

Maybe this is what Quicken is using for it's 2009 update -- Quicken will auto send you info on savings on products that you by a lot. I haven't tested it yet.

Has anyone tested this? Please comment if you have!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bounty Paper Towels and the Target Gift Card

Bounty Paper Towels pricing policy is annoying. I love their paper towels, but it's getting hard to figure out the best value for the towel. It's a game with the manufacturer that I'm determined to figure out. Is it the mega roll? The giant roll? The super roll? Or is it the basic that you are buying? If so, how much per roll is enough? And when is it a deal?

To make it easier, I did some research on pricing when I could, use "sheets" as the common denominator for comparisons and found the purchase strike point in November 2008 of:

$0.009 per sheet at Sam's
Paper Towels, Bounty, 12 mega rolls, 160 sheets/roll
$18.12 total

I could just go back and get another 12 mega roll box from Sam's, but Target has upped the interest these days. Their flyer shows a $9.99 per 8 pack of giant rolls PLUS a combo purchase of other Proctor & Gamble items will snare you a Free $5 target gift card! Sweet....

But is it really a deal? If the sheet count holds true, in the past I found the giant rolls to hold 84 sheets per roll. So 84*8 = 672 sheets. 9.99/672 sheets = .0148 cents per sheet. If I paid that same price at Sam's, I would pay much over $28.00 for the same 12 mega roll pack. Or to make the comparison easier, the Sam's price at Target should be 672 sheets *.009 cents per sheet = $6.72. That's $3 out of the $5 gift card I can get myself, just by going to Sam's instead of Target.

But maybe the second product will make it worthwhile. I would have to add another purchase from the selected list to get the gift card. In my case, I picked the $12.99 63-80 load powder version of Tide. Is that a good price? Checking back on my pricing research, the $12.99 deal is unfortunately $2.00 higher than the same Tide powder version 2 months ago ($10.99). I don't have noted where it was priced at that amount, but I know it wasn't Sam's, so it's a good possibility it was Wal-Mart or Target, where I was doing most of my price comparisons.

The liquid Tide version is a little better buy, if you do choose to take the deal at Target. It's currently .20 per load at Sam's (21.97 / 110 loads) and the same price per load at Target ($12.99/64 loads).

So the Target gift card isn't really a free offer at all. Not a big surprise, but it's really a crummy deal if you think about the time involved in getting the gift card from the store, and the possibility that it won't all be used by the person you give it to.

But at least you can buy the liquid version of Tide at $12.99 per load for the 48-64 ounce packaging and know that you are getting Sam's pricing at a much nicer store to shop in....(in my personal opinion, anyway). And if you go, don't forget your $1.00 off coupon for Tide products of any size in Sunday, November 30th's flyer. Then it really is a deal!