The Deal with Dealing with Supermarkets Deals
Each week supermarkets battle against each other by lowering
prices, placing items on sale and various other 'tricks' which
encourage you to buy more while you shop in their grocery store. Price
reductions, offers and other tactics used by supermarkets to
encourage spending can sometimes confuse consumers when it
comes to doing their weekly food shopping.
Have you ever wondered if Stop and Shop*, Shaws, Market Basket, or Hannaford mark up their prices on
groceries so they can later knock off a few cents and pass them
off as being "ON SALE"? They do and it happens on a regular
basis. They're selling items at inflated prices, but know that you're
more likely to buy them if you think that they normally sell for even
more. For example, if broccoli is on sale for $1.29/pound, and you
see that they're marked down from $1.99/pound, is that a good
deal? Maybe, but compared to what? An inflated price of $1.99/
How can you tell what's a good price, and what isn't? Is the price
low enough to buy or really stock up? How can you tell, unless
you know what the real price is? What has been the lowest price
would be of great benefit in determining when to stock the pantry
with non perishables or freezer with rock bottom frozen food.
Shopping with a Grocery Pricebook
You could start by keeping track of prices with a “pricebook”. By
recording prices for about six to nine or more months you would
be able to tell that $1.29/pound is still about 30 cents higher than
the best price of $0.99/pound, and that broccoli usually goes on
sale in the fall. That is a lot of work to do but if you stuck to it you
would found out that you have not been getting the bargain you
thought you were getting.
Although the price book has been around for year and people
have been saving people money with it actually doing the work
can be overwhelming. The other thing that makes tracking difficult for the average person is that the manufacturers modify sizes
to keep you off track. So you have to be careful when tracking
an item like a half gallon of ice cream. Half gallons still exist but
fewer retailers carry 64oz containers and people easily think that
the 56oz container is the same and the size has shrunk yet again
to 48oz. So you have to track by unit measure. Supermarkets
have to give the price per weight or volume of each item but
they don't have to give the same measurements for every item.
Supermarkets tend to show the price per unit in different amounts
for similar products which leads to confusion.
Supermarkets would have you believe that the larger size of many
items for sale is always a bargain. Not so, the claims that larger
offerings are ‘great’ or ‘better’ value than their smaller equivalents
are false. You have to compare.
A triple-pack of store brand mixed vegetables, trumpeted
as ‘bigger pack, better value,’ are in fact, more expensive than
buying three individual tins of the same product. A 2 lb box of
spaghetti for $2.19 with the same slogan is no bargain when you
can buy two 1lb.boxes and save 21 cents. It may not seem like
much in savings but the store is selling hundreds and thousands
of the larger boxes and making 21cents on each. Good for the
store’s profits, not so good for your savings. This is just one of the many simple tricks that supermarkets
use to tempt you into spending more. Complex pricing, such as
the transparency of '2 for 1 and 'BOGO' offers, are sometimes
misleading but can very effective in the supermarket’s attempt
to entice shoppers into their stores. The supermarkets know that
once you are in their store that you are venerable to targeted
product placements, and display tactics in an attempt to make the
sale at the biggest profit.
The Truth About BOGO's
Two items for the price of one is a good bargain and most people
think, wow, that's such a good deal. I must buy it! But beware of
these so called 'special offers'. BOGOs and 2 for 1s can be useful if you usually buy the product or you need the item but you always
have to remember to check the individual price. The same goes
for 50% extra or half-price deals.
Another ploy of the supermarkets is the limited time sales trick,
an adaptation of the direct marketing world. Buy now or you will
miss out! Typically supermarket sales run for a week. Sometimes,
however, stores feature “special” 3 day or 4 day sales – the
typical limited time offer trick. The supermarket wants to give you
the impression that the deals at these sales are especially good.
The idea is to put a notion into your mind that you had better
make sure you check out all the deals because you will not
be back before the sale ends. Although there are a few great
bargains or “super sales”, when you can get an item at 50% or
more off an item, some of the ‘super sales” are not that super and
many of these same super sales are available during a normal
week long sale. But because you believe the sale is time limited
you feel compelled to stay and shop, increasing the opportunity to
sell and increase profits for the store.
Supermarkets understand that everyone loves a sale and entice
shoppers with the red sales sticker and the promise of a great
deal. Ten cents off a $3.29 box of cookies, twenty cents of a
$2.99 carton of orange juice is not quite a deal after all but work
for the supermarket because they are interspersed amongst
real bargains – items that are on sale for 25%, 35%, even 50%
or more off their regular price. People are so conditioned by the
savings they get with the true sales that they blindly act as if all
sales are deals.
So when you go shopping you have to keep your wits about you
and trust the calculator and be willing to do some investigation
if you want to save money. Of course you can do this yourself if
you have the time and dedication but an alternative is a service
that provides the price tracking for you and makes a shopping listcomposed of real deals.
JumpstartShopping.com is an online tool that tracks prices for
multiple items at multiple stores to determine an average retail
price. The website only lists sales items that are 25% or more
off the average retail price for that week so you need not wonder
if the item fits the bill as a real deal. So, if an item is listed with
Jumpstartshopping.com it is a deal and going one better if there is
a coupon listed for that deal the website will show you the match
and you turn the real deal into a great deal!
Try JumpstartShopping.com's free two week trial and see for
yourself how paying attention to detail will save you money when you shop at Stop n Shop*, Shaws, Market Basket, and Hannaford.