Do you ever find yourself stood in a supermarket, staring at the multitude of offers on display, desperately trying to work out whether any of it is value for money? I know I do…
I’d like to think I’m pretty good at grocery shopping – yep, I’m American ;-). I’m on a budget (saving for a wedding isn’t easy!), so I’m trying to eat out less and prepare my own food more.
It’s important to me to get the most for my money when I go to the supermarket. Unfortunately, sometimes that can be easier said than done. I really can’t tell whether those multi-buys are really worth the money.
Deal, or no deal?
I love a good deal, probably more than the next person, but I hate how hard it can be to tell if the “deal” I’m getting is good at all.
Things like ‘buy one, get one free’ offers when the price for one is £3, and I know that just a few weeks ago I could pick it up for only £1.50.
In April last year, we submitted a super-complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority about supermarkets’ pricing tactics.
The super-complaint called for retailers to stop using pricing tactics that mislead consumers and to make special offers just that, special, instead of sneaky tricks designed to make us think we’re getting a deal.
Research from the Money Advice Service this week says consumers typically spend £1,274 more than they intend to each year. Special offers have the biggest influence on shoppers with 76% of people spending an extra £11.14 in their shop due to these deals, whereas pestering children only influence 26% of shoppers but adds the most amount to the bill (£15.50). Hunger influences 59% and adds £10.87 to the shop, not making a list affects 49% with an extra £13.44, and tiredness impacts 22% of shoppers and costs an extra £13.94.
Everyone says you shouldn’t shop when you’re hungry, and I definitely believe it. But that’s sometimes hard to avoid.
I know most of the treats I end up buying aren’t on my mind before I start shopping, but it’s hard to resist when you head to the till and are faced with a huge display of Cadbury’s Giant Creme Eggs. Our investigation in 2014 revealed they were £10 in Tesco and Sainsbury’s in February. It was then on offer at £8 and £6.66 from March onwards in the lead-up to Easter.
This week there were changes starting to come through following our and the CMA’s work for consumers when Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco all announced they’ll be changing their practices, and we hope we’ll start seeing fewer dodgy offers on their shelves.
I shudder to think of how much money I’ve wasted over the years due to tempting offers. Offers that might have been misleading and ended up costing me more.
So how do you deal with these supermarket offers? What are the things that lead you into temptation at the supermarket? Do you find it hard to navigate special offers and figure out what the cheapest product really is?