How to Calculate the Sale Price

••• ATU Images/The Image Bank/GettyImages
Share It

In these days of higher prices caused by inflation, it pays to always be on the lookout for items on sale. If you're living on a fixed income, and prices go up for one category in your budget, then you have to make up for these higher prices by cutting your spending in another part of your budget. One way to do this is to take advantage of retail discounts.

Retail stores often offer discounts on items as a percentage off the original price. The discount means the store is offering "x" amount of money off the original price of the item. Finding the sale price of an item isn't difficult and knowing how to find a sale price of an item can save you money.

Discount Formula to Calculate Sale Price

There are several types of discounts and different ways to calculate the sale price of a product. One way to find a sale price is to subtract the amount of the discount from the original price.

As the CK-12 Foundation explains, the mathematical formula for calculating a sale price is as follows:

Original Price – Discount = Sale Price

As an example, suppose a store has an item that is selling for ‌\$10,‌ and they are offering a “20 percent off” discount. The amount of the discount is ‌\$2.00 (\$10 x 20 percent).‌ The final sale price would be:

\$10.00 – \$2.00 = \$8.00

In another example, a sign in a clothing store advertises “Save 25 percent” on a jacket with a list price of ‌\$100‌. For this item, the discount amount would be ‌\$25 (\$100 x 25 percent‌), and the final price would be:

\$100 – \$25 = \$75

But what if you see an item in your grocery store that advertises “Buy two get one free?” How much is the discount, and what is the sales price for each item? This calculation to find the actual sale price is a little trickier.

Suppose the offer is for a carton of blueberries that sells for ‌\$8.00‌. To take advantage of the free offer, you would have to buy two cartons and spend a total of ‌\$16 (\$8.00 x 2 cartons‌) to receive three cartons. Therefore, your average cost per carton would be ‌\$5.33 (\$16 ÷‌ ‌3).

The dollar amount of the discount would be ‌\$2.67 (\$8.00‌ ‌‌ ‌\$5.33)‌, and the percentage discount would be ‌33 percent (\$2.67‌ ‌÷‌ ‌\$8.00).

Other Costs to Consider

Even after you've found the discounted sales price, don't overlook the other costs that might be added before you get to the total cost.

• Taxes:‌ According to the Idaho State Tax Commission, you'll usually have to add the amount of the state sales tax which will be based on the sale price. And in some municipalities, there might also be an additional city sales tax.
• Shipping costs:‌ If you're buying a large item that must be delivered or if you're buying online, there could be additional costs for shipping.
• Installation:‌ Some items may require installation or assembly, which could add additional charges. For example, if you are buying an office chair, you could have an additional cost for delivery and another charge for a technician to assemble the chair since it will come in separate pieces (arms, legs, casters, seat and back).

How Do I Figure the Discounted Price Without a Calculator?

Instead of trying to calculate the amount of the discount and subtracting from the full price or using a discount calculator, you can calculate the sale price from another direction. Suppose the discount offered is ‌10 percent‌ off the full price of ‌\$5.00‌. You could mentally calculate the sales price of ‌\$4.50‌ by multiplying the original price by ‌90 percent‌ (100 percent less discount of 10 percent equals 90 percent).