Friday, 7 December 2012

Frugal Friday

Buy One Get One Free Offers - are they what they seem?

It is NOT Christmas yet
I have never seen an individual tin of these chocolates priced at more than £5.00 . When this offer is not on, the price becomes £5 a tin. This seems to be a way to get you to buy two at the usual price.
I have always had a bit of a suspicion about the offers that are thrust in our faces at the Supermarkets and whilst some do appear to be good deals I have learnt to approach them with a degree of caution. At the end of the day Supermarkets want to make a profit and want us to spend our money and I suspect that motive is what lies behind these offers.

How we shop is looked at closely by retailers and how they display their stock is obviously designed  to capture our attention. They will make what they want to sell most visible to us - at eye level in the middle of aisles. Brands will be charged large fees for the optimum placement of a product as they know it will sell better.
Pre-Packaged Bread/Peanut-Butter Department
 Speed is often of the essence for shoppers. How often do you actually look at the price of a product? Could you tell me how much a pint of milk is or that pot of jam you got last time ? We tend to buy our products based on other visual clues and the supermarkets know this. Their aisles are full of signs of rewards and offers and deals which draw our attention rather than the actual price you are paying for a product.

It all sounds rather cold hearted, but you look at the research and it comes down to business. The loyalty cards? They are about data collection to facilitate sales.

This is why I like the filter of My Supermarket ( they are not aware I am doing this post) as they will highlight good and bad deals, direct you to the best deals available on the products you want and present you with cheaper alternatives where appropriate. They save you £17 on average each time you shop. If you shop online then I do recommend that you check them out. You check out, pay and get your goods from your usual supermarket ( Tesco, Sanisburys etc) , but do your shop via My Supermarket. Their site is fantastic, easy to navigate and they have introduced cashback on some items if you have a paypal account.
How much is that stuff?
So,back to these offers. The "Buy One Get One Free" and the " Two For The Price Of One". The multibuys - Are they worth having? I think you have to look carefully before you throw them into your trolley. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Did I intend buying this?
  • Do I need two items and will I use them?
  • Is there a cheaper alternative that I would usually buy?
  • Is this a better price than usual?
I would then check down the aisle, as these offers are generally displayed at the end of aisles. Last month I did find 2 bags of oven chips displayed for 2 for £3 which looked a good deal until I looked and saw a large pack, with more in ( the same brand ) for £2.50. I also don't buy chips, I make them myself so was almost drawn into that one! I read an article in Which Magazine recently that highlighted these deals saying that one in ten multibuy offers actually increases the price of the product. Here are some daft examples from Which Magazine:

  • Nestle Munch Bunch advertised as a multibuy at 2 for £2, but generally over the past year this product had been priced at £1 a pack so however you buy it , it is £1 for one.
  • Goodfellas's Deepan Pepperoni Pizza. For 6 months costs £1 when not on multibuy. On multibuy it increased to £4.50 for two!
  • Garnier Moisturising Lotion Milk. It was usually £5 when not on offer, but £7 for one or £10 for two when on multibuy.
  • Pampers baby wipes. These are £1 when not on offer. On multibuy they are 1 for £2, 2 for £2.50 and 3 for £3.
It all makes for interesting reading! There are some good articles around if you want to read further like this one called Multibuy rip off revealed . I think we have to be aware when we shop of the hidden motives and be wise about what we put in our trolleys if we don't want to overspend.

 I still think the best and most simple way to avoid all these pitfalls is to write a list and stick to it! Learn to turn a blind eye.

What are your thoughts and experience of the Multibuys at the Supermarkets?


  1. Buy one get one free can be a false economy. If I am not going to use the second product I don't bother with them.

  2. Ugh, I am guilty of like ALL these things...I don't check prices, and when I see a "special offer" I totally end up getting it, even though I never use it..or would never usually buy it..ends up in my cabinet for months and then I throw it away. I hate that compulsion to get it because it is on sale.
    New Years Resolution- smarter grocery store shopper.

  3. I am very much like you. I won't be lured into buying something just because it's on a bogof offer or special offer. Firstly it has to be something I want/use and I usually know roughly how much something is in the first place so I am able to tell if it's a good deal. My local supermarket always does the classic large pot of butter for only £x amount and when you looker closer you can see you can buy two smaller pots which equal the same weight for less than the large pot which is on special offer. Thanks for the tip on my supermarket I shall check them out.

  4. Interesting post! The supermarkets have been at this for years now and there has previously been a public outcry for them to change but as yet, it's still the same!

    Love your blog

    Follow back?


  5. I'm shocking for getting sucked in on the 'buy on get one free' and all the other offers but it's true sometimes it's just a ploy to get us to part with more pennies for something we don't really need. I have to make sure sure it's a product with a long shelf life so it doesn't get wasted. I'm actually just going down to Sainsburys now to get a big shop in and have a 'double points' voucher - also temptation to spend more than we normally would - however I'm slightly hung over so hoping not to be there too long! xx

  6. There is a grocery store chain that does the "2 for" offer, but they honor the price even if you buy just one.
    Here, we have ALDI grocery you have them there? I love ALDI...everything is at rock bottom prices...and we do 90% of our grocery shopping there.

    Thanks for this great post.