This special offer (absolutely genuine by the way – my photo taken on actual book cover) is not a bargain – obviously. However, not all fake ‘bargains’ are as easy to spot. Many do not even scream ‘bargain’ at you. They just offer themselves in a way that we have been trained to assume is a ‘bargain’. Even this blatantly wrong bargain sticker would still draw the customer to look at the goods
Come on woman! I hear you say – what are you getting at?
Well, I am an inveterate checker of ‘price per 100g / kilo’ at the supermarket, if I weren’t I would have frequently paid over the odds per weight by going automatically for the ‘multi-pack’ or the larger size – but it isn’t always the cheapest option! [And getting duped into paying more than I need, annoys me!]
‘Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves’
Recently I have noticed ‘Family Value packs of Carrots’ at 6p/kg over loose carrots. Large packs of mushrooms marked ‘special’ at 15p /kg over loose mushrooms and broccoli (or calabrese) vacuum-sealed in plastic, also at a reduced price, that was still more than the loose per kg.
Away from the fresh produce and onto the packed goods: Multi-packs of fruit-juice, that you might reach for, suddenly 80p over the price of the individual ones – when they have a special on singles but not the multi-packs. Specials on small boxes of cereal / tea that make them cheaper per 100grams than the large boxes of the same, again, by having reductions on one size only. If the goods inside the package are being reduced – then be honest with it and reduce them across the range!
I have no problem with the supermarkets putting down the prices of the smaller packs – indeed I often feel that those who have to buy small-and-often due to finances or usage or space difficulties ought not be over-penalised for their need to buy smaller. (Whilst taking into account that packaging for small quantities probably costs almost as much as packaging for large – yet is frequently disproportionally charged for)
The question is – who is it that are being targeted by the supermarkets when they flag-up these ‘spurious’ special offers?
OK, so you might say it is those with an eye to a bargain, but you can look at it another way, they may be someone who needs to watch their pennies.
However, if you combine that with someone who lacks the time, or the peace and quiet, to read the price per 100g / kg and compare – the ‘special price!!’ ‘Family value!!‘ ‘multi-pack!!‘ ‘larger box!!‘ – is mainly going to catch the harassed shopper for the family.
Someone squeezing in the shopping after work and before getting an evening meal together. Someone with children in tow. Someone who cannot spend too much time shopping as they have dependants to care for. Someone who has to get the shopping and be back to the bus-stop before the bus leaves*. (*Rural readers will understand this more than urban)
‘Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish’
There are other costs to consider when you head off to shop at the supermarket too. Unless you are highly organised, or live within walking distance of the big supermarket, the trip to get something you need, but forgot, can cost you dear. Unless your one trip into town makes sure you really have everything – when you nip back a couple of days later for the item you forgot you will be paying well over the odds – fuel prices being what they are!
How useful, how nice if you could just pop along to the corner / village shop and pick it up there? Well, you can if the little shop is still open, and to keep the little shop open we all need to make sure we do SOME of our weekly shop there, every week. They can’t be expected to stock the esoteric and exotic (as everything has a use-by date now-a-days) but they usually have all the basics and staples that most of us buy on a regular basis anyway, and can supply other things if there are regular firm orders for them.
Do you know where my best bargains were to be found last week? In my local post-office stores! There, two of the items I buy every week were on special offer. Real special offers. Orange juice at two boxes for £2 (where they are usually £1.19 each) and sliced pineapple (to go with the delicious Cornish Bacon Company gammon I buy there too) at 2 cans for £1 instead of 62p each, plus I didn’t have to drive into town and back to get them (average fuel cost: 6miles = £1.00) and shopping locally helps to keep our local shop going and our village community alive – making it worthwhile even if I hadn’t saved extra. Win – Win! Much better than just doing the supermarkets!
Well, what do you think?
Where do you live? Do you have a local shop?
Do you love or loathe the supermarket ‘bargains’?
Do share – you know I love to hear from you
P.S. It is one of our WI campaigns too – shop local!