Sunday, 05 November 2017 11:53

Don’t Fall for Deals in Supermarkets

When is a good deal not a good deal? When it turns out to be more expensive than buying separate items.

We’ve all read stories about fake deals in supermarkets and other shops, but do you know how to spot them? Supermarkets employ various tactics to get us to spend more. They make sure we can smell the fresh bread so we’re tempted to buy some whenever we walk in there (I always fall for that one). They put yellow discount stickers on shelves. They put offer items in bins at the ends of aisles, and in other places they know we will walk past.

But do you ever stop to look at those prices, or do you grab the items without even thinking about it?

If you fall into the second group, you might be spending more than you need to. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, you may not need the item at all. We all love a bargain, true, but if you weren’t going to buy it, you’re spending more than you were going to – bargain or not. Secondly, the bargain item you’ve picked up might not be a bargain at all.

Now, I realise it sounds odd, but I’ve spotted this plenty of times in the supermarket. We all want to try and save money where we can, and few people can enjoy paying more for something than they need to. But pay close attention to the price information before you buy anything. These should have the price per item as well as the total price, or in some cases, the price per 100g or 100ml, or whichever measurement is relevant.

Most of us assume buying a larger bottle or packet is better value. But this isn’t always true. I picked up a large bottle of squash the other day that looked to be cheaper than getting two smaller ones. But I’m glad I checked the shelf edge for that extra information. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have seen that it would cost more to get the bigger bottle. Unless the bigger bottle is on offer, two smaller ones give you more squash that one large one, and the price per 100ml is lower, too.

That’s the kind of trick you need to watch out for, if you are going to keep more money in your pocket. Bigger does not always mean cheaper. The same goes for multipacks. Always look at the price per 100g or similar measurement to get a proper comparison. The price you pay doesn’t always give you the most accurate picture of what you are paying for something. Multipacks often have smaller unit sizes, and these can easily catch you out.

Try it the next time you go shopping and see how many examples of this you can spot. It’s surprising how many products are sold like this – and it makes you wonder how many people are buying what they think are great deals, when in fact they are anything but.

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