• Grocery Number Games- It just doesn't add up!

    Math is a subject that many of us would prefer to avoid, particularly when grocery shopping, but basic arithmetic can save you hundreds.

    It's no surprise that marketing ads are quite maisleading. You may recall those "free" America Online discs that plagued the checkout at the grocery store. If you recall, they offered 1,000 free Internet hours for 45 days! They make it sound so wonderful, but there are only 1,080 hours available in 45 days- so you would have to literally be online day and night to use the 1,000 hour offer. Basically, you get a 45 day free trial, but doesn't 1,000 Free Hours sound like so much more!

    Which ad would you prefer to see on an item?

    1. Buy 1, Get 1 Free!
    2. Buy 2, get 50% Off

    They're the same thing. Chances are, your first impulse was to say, I want Buy one get one Free, because, well, it's FREE!

    Or this one:

    1. 90% Lean
    2. 10 % Fat

    Same thing, but most people would pick the 90% Lean, It's a psychological game of numbers. Grocers frequently use sales pitches like 10 for $10, but you're less likely to see $1/1. People instinctively purchase the advertised amount, spending more than they had anticipated and lining the grocers pockets.

    People naturally have an aversion to loss and respond better to sales pitches that take on the appearance of a gain. If you feel like you're getting a deal, you'll buy it.

    Example: When car sales plummeted, Our local automotive dealer offered a car for $18,000- 0% financing for 3 years. The fine print at the bottom said, if you pay cash for the car, you'll receive a $3,000 Rebate Check.
    Essentially, the car was for sale for $15,000. The 0% financing option was simply a marketing tactic to force the consumer to pay the finance charge up front.

    Consumers were duped into believing they saved money, when it fact, they paid for it up front.

    What you can do?

    Check the fine print of the sales flyer, are you required to purchase the quantity advertised to take advantage of the deal? Most stores will allow you to purchase lesser amounts, whilst taking advantage of the sale price.
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. lesammiller's Avatar
      lesammiller -
      Usually, they say "buy 1, get 2nd at 50% off" which is the same as getting 25% off on two. In that case, buy one/get one is clearly better. I love the BOGO at my local store on things I buy regularly.
    1. mamajen's Avatar
      mamajen -
      Our local store does a 10 for 10 sale regularly. You don't actually have to buy the 10 items to get the price but it makes you think you do.
    1. Lipshon1097's Avatar
      Lipshon1097 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mamajen View Post
      Our local store does a 10 for 10 sale regularly. You don't actually have to buy the 10 items to get the price but it makes you think you do.
      We have a local store that does that, too. We also have one that does a buy 10, get the 11th free. In that case you do have to buy 10 items, but you can mix and match what they are. If you take the time to look in the store, you can find several good deals that are now $1, and get one of them for free. It's actually a pretty good way to stock up on dry/canned goods and cleaning products.
    1. dfbtwocats's Avatar
      dfbtwocats -
      Convenience stores are an exception to the rule when it come to purchasing just 1 item when is it 2/$2. In small print the signs usually say 'or $1.39 each' for instance. If you only buy 1 of a 2 fer, the 1 costs more. But then I don't need to be shopping in a convenience store anyway. Bad habit of mine to grab something for lunch there occasionally.
    1. SlagleTribe's Avatar
      SlagleTribe -
      They are catching on to it. I have gone to the store and seen the buy one get one free. You have to take the deal or you pay the retail price. So in a since your forced to take the BOGO deal. Or the buy 5 for $5...you are forced to take the deal or you don't get the sale price. So keep your eyes open people.
    1. Lindsay's Avatar
      Lindsay -
      I always read signs carefully. Sometimes they say "2 for $2" in large letters, then in the bottom it says in tiny print "or one at regular price: $1.78"
    1. Michael's Avatar
      Michael -
      I figured out the 10/10 thing a long time ago. Now I always just grab what I need and always getthe sale price.
    1. penny_wise3's Avatar
      penny_wise3 -
      I also just buy what I really need. If it is only one that I need I will forego the 10/10.
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