Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Understanding Grocery Store Promotions- Pick 4 Meats

One of the first steps in reducing your grocery bill, is to understand store sales! They sometimes read like morse code. Shaw's is part of the Super Valu national chain stores. You can check if your local grocery store is part of the Super Valu family HERE.

The pic above is taken from the current Shaw's sales circular. If your store is part of the Super Valu family it may also be running this same sale give or take a week. This type of promotion comes around every 4-6 weeks. 

From reading the ad, it seems pretty straightforward. If you pick any marked meat with the "Pick 4" sticker attached you will pay $20 for 4 packages of meat after redeeming the above coupon, regardless of what the individual prices say on the meat. For example, if you buy 4 packs of steak with the "Pick 4" sticker and each pack costs $7, after the coupon is scanned your total will go from $28 to $19.99. Right? Wrong!

While the sales ad says the price will be $20, the above is a coupon and has a total value worth of $5.17. How do I know? I've done this deal a couple times and the amount that gets deducted is $5.17, regardless of what meat you pick!

Using our previous example, if I were to buy $28 of steak and then used the sales circular coupon, I will end up paying $22.83, a $2.84 price difference. So is this false advertising? No, not really. Shaw's is taking an average amount that customers will probably pay and putting an average $5 deduction for the coupon. What does this mean for you? Check your receipts! If you see that you paid more then the advertised $19.99, simply turn around, head to customer service and they will refund you the price difference.

How do I take advantage of this type of promotion? I look for the cheapest meats available, usually beef stew. Since I know that regardless of what I buy, the coupon will still take off $5.17, I will go for packs that are not more then $2-$3 each.

If you buy 4 packages of beef stew at $2 a pack, it comes out to $8, and minus the $5.17 coupon equals $2.83 for 4 packs of beef stew! If you find this deal at a local grocery store, I'd be interested to know what the value of your coupon deducts. Let me know in the comments!

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