It's on sale, it must be a great deal right? Not Always…

By glblguy

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This is one of those obvious sorts of things that for some reason or another still seems to bite me.

We went shopping at our local “low priced” grocery store the other day to pick up a few items. As we walked into the store, there was a special display set up with 50-count foam plates priced 10 for $10.00. We decided this was a great deal and bought 10 packs (500 plates). I mean, 50 foam plates for $1 each, great deal right? Well, sort of…

Turns out we have a Sam’s Club membership, and found out last night by talking with my step mother that Sam’s Club (and Costco) both have the same amount of plates for only $8.00. A considerable savings? No. It did prove that just because something looks to be a good deal doesn’t mean it is. Now granted, without our Sam’s membership this probably would have been a great deal and comparing the normal prices, the sale was almost half price. I guess it just irked me a bit that I fell for the “on sale” marketing when I could have been purchasing these plates even cheaper had I just spent the time to compare prices.

What this whole experience made me realize is: I need to make a visit to Sam’s Club and write down the prices for typical items that we buy so I’ll have them with me as a baseline for comparison. This will allow us to know if we are really getting a good deal or not.

I plan to put these prices in my Blackberry so I have them with me at all times. I’ll post this list up once I get it completed.

One of the other items on my list is to do a similar price comparison with Amazon Groceries, as I have read and been told my a number of friends that they frequently have great deals on our typical staple items and in particular on Pampers. Amazon has recently announced a Subscribe and Save Program that offers 15% off and free shipping. I am going to be giving this a try as well.

Just some numbers I did for a quick comparison on Pampers size 3 diapers at a per diaper price:

Walmart: .38 cents .24 cents with Subscribe and Save: .21 cents

Sam’s Club: .21 cents

Anyway, I digress, returning to the foam paper plates…A savings of $2.00 isn’t a lot, but I wonder how many other times we’ve done this and I wonder how much money I would have saved by being just a little more prepared when shopping. I am guessing probably way more than I want to think about…

Is it just me, or has anyone else fallen victim to this? What do you do to make sure you are getting a good deal? Anyone tried Amazon and can offer some feedback on the experience?

4 Responses (including trackbacks) to “It's on sale, it must be a great deal right? Not Always…”

  1. Erin Says:

    I like to use coupons and shop sales. But you are right, it can be frustrating not knowing what the “best sale” is and it can eat up gas money driving to 20 different stores to get the best deal. I use the Grocery Game for grocery shopping and do pretty well; even eating a lot of organic, and from scratch foods.

    I never pay more than .20 per diaper. We use Pampers, and my youngest is in size 4 right now. I’ve gotten some AMAZING deals at Target in the past few months on Pampers. I’ve been really surprised. If you like online shopping I’ve heard of 1-800 diapers for cheap diapers. They offer online comparison charts. I’m not sure how their prices compare to though? I do know you can use coupons with them too, you just mail them in and they give you credit.

    Oh-and if something is on sale 10 for $10, you don’t have to buy 10 to get the sale price. You can buy 1 for $1 or 20 for $20. (just wanted to put this out there. My mom never buys those things listed as 10 for $10 because she doesn’t believe when I say that she doesn’t have to buy all 10!)

  2. Make Friends, Earn Money Says:

    I agree with your points completely. Businesses are expert at selling us products and the word SALE is always tempting to any consumer, but we always have to remember that prices are usually cheaper if you shop somewhere else, especially online