/ Shopping

The supermarket ‘special offers’ that aren’t so special

Supermarket offer

Would you buy two drinks for £4 when you can get one for £1? Sounds daft, but it’s just one of the really rubbish offers we’ve found on the supermarket shelves.

It could be a simple mistake, it could be poor maths, or at a push, supermarkets could be trying to make us laugh. But next time you spot a special offer ticket screaming a saving if you buy more, check very carefully.

Examples of daft offers at some of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains have been sent to us by eagle-eyed Which? members. And they show that clearly not all of these offers are worth the ticket they’re printed on.

For instance, why bother buying two bottles of Old Jamaican ginger beer from Tesco for the ‘bargain’ price of £1.60, when they’re only 50p each?! Then there’s the new, lower priced Sainsbury’s tin of peas, reduced from 35p to… 35p. Yes, you read that right. Or how about buying one Strawberry Muller Vitality Drink from Asda for £1, or two for £4? Deal!

A gallery of daft offers

We’ve embedded a gallery of all the ‘offer’ photos we’ve been sent so far, but if you have any other examples please send your photos to helpwanted@which.co.uk and put ‘daft offers’ as the title. We’ll continue to publish the most ridiculous ones.

What laugh-out-loud offers have you seen while out shopping? Tell us below.


I was amused by Tesco ‘Happy Easter’ hot cross buns with a use by date of 1 February.

Not a special offer except that they were reduced to 25p on the use by date.

Tesco in Ludlow this week had baby poussin near sell by date reduced to £2.25 buy two for £5. When I pointed this out to the supervisor she seemed quite unable to understand my complaint.

And my local co-op regularly offers cherries for £2 was £4. I love cherries but have never never seen them for £4. Their excuse is that they were offered at the higher price in another store – is this legal?

Aloe Vera Uses says:
19 July 2012

I was suggested this website by way of my cousin. I’m not positive whether or not this submit is written through him as no one else understand such special about my problem. You’re amazing! Thank you!

perdita says:
16 September 2012

Heinz baked beans in Morrisons £2.49 for a pack of four. Individual cans on offer 50p each. Ha!

So you bought them, thinking it was a bargain. Perhaps it is Morrisons who are laughing. Ha, Ha.

Louise Thwaytes says:
9 November 2012

In my local ASDA supermarket they were selling a childs’ ‘Mr Funny Face’ boxed game for £2.99. Absolutely brilliant price for a stocking filler which will keep the children amused, however on the same shelf it had ‘buy 2 for £10’. Hmmm even with my limited maths skills this just did not seem like a particularly good offer!!!

Supermarkets agree a new code of practice with the OFT? I wish I may see them stick to it. After watchingthe recent series of Watchdog, with their team of mystery shoppers I wonder whether Which could encourage members to form local teams of mystery shoppers to make regular checks on ther local shops and publish the findings in the local papers. Something on the lines of Which Local. National campaigns to raise awareness are useful but there’s nothing like local pressure to make local supermarket managers see their sales targets at risk from bad publicity.

I live in Ludlow, a small town with a big food culture. We have 3 main supermarkets in the town so a regular recce would not be too arduous. What bout it, Which Members? I’d be glad to help

euphoriabuzz says:
26 June 2013

Morrison have been selling for the last few weeks now spaghetti,95 p a pack for 500g or two 500g packs for £1.50. But you can buy 1KG pack for the normal price of £1.35. Not so great an offer.

I recently bought two bags of five oranges in Tesco because of an offer. One of the unopened bags contains only four fruit.

It looks as if someone needs training in numeracy and I need to be more observant when shopping. 🙁

andy skol says:
7 October 2017

i thought it was me being daft.i was in Asda last week and saw a special offer 3 pack of Air Wick air fresheners for 9 quid.on the same shelf there was a two pack of the same item for 4 quid.

andy skol says:
7 October 2017

i like Morrison’s but my local in Hunslet,Leeds is appalling when it comes to stock rotation of fresh food .you can look at a shelf and there will be 6 open cartons of the same item with the use by date ranging from today to 10 days hence.they knock about 20% off the price on the use by date which is big of them.over the road at Lidl they knock 30% off the purchase price two or three days before the use by date.

If you don’t like where you shop etc. vote with your feet complain to the highest level you can at the time then if not satisfied go elsewhere next time In many places supermarkets are next yo each other or noy very far apart