By MoneySavingExpert's Coupon Kid, Jordon Cox
Planning the right time to spend your coupons is essential to maximize supermarket savings. Even without coupons, finding the right time to buy can save you £100s each year, and there’s a way for you to predict supermarket offers and create price alerts to help you do this.
Supermarket comparison website MySupermarket has current and historical pricing for all the major supermarkets for a lot of products. You can see a graph of the last year of pricing to see patterns in offers, while you can also set up email alerts for when specific products are reduced in price
Setting price alerts
By searching any product in the search bar and clicking on them, you will be able to compare prices in all supermarkets – already a handy tool. Make sure you are searching in your preferred supermarket, and then flick the ‘add price alert’ switch so it looks like this:
Once that has been added, you will receive an email when the product you have selected drops in price.
If you are clicked into a specific product, scroll down and you’ll find a graph. Quite often you will be able to spot patterns of sales over the past year. Let’s take this Kingsmill medium sliced bread (400g) graph as an example:
As you can see, the price regularly drops and stays at 50p. Today it’s just dropped down in price, but if it goes up, by looking at the spikes in prices in the past, you know the increase will only last for one week.
If I had a 25p off coupon for this exact product and used it a week ago, I would’ve payed 50p. By predicting the price drop, and waiting until this week, it has now dropped to 50p (as per the trend). If the 25p off coupon was used now, it’d only cost 25p total.
Harder ones to predict
Not all of them are as easy as the one above, here is a slightly harder one for a 6 pack of Walkers crisps:
This one might look confusing, but is easy to work out. You can see the same pattern nearly repeats if you split them into two from 1 Sept 2015. From this, if you look where we are today, you can see it is most likely due to rise in price in the next month. History might even repeat itself and rise in price at exactly the same point as last year, which was early March.
By looking at this wealth of data, you can formulate well-reasoned predictions as to sale patterns, which will aid you when it comes to using coupons at the right time, and matching with sales. Just from a little effort, you could cut costs and feel very smart by getting inside the heads of major supermarkets!