I have just come back from the supermarket from doing my annual Pesach shop and SURVIVED!! I took some copious notes about the supermarkets manipulation to entice you to spend more money than you had budgeted for. So here are some tips about special offers.
Always go to the supermarket with a shopping list. I also recommend allocating enough time for shopping since checking prices is important to keep to your food budget.
- Regarding “on sale item”, “special offers” or “1+1”. Before you buy, check other similar items and compare prices, sometimes the savings are not that big.
- The rule of thumb: if you are going to use the 1+1 within 3 months then buy the special offer.
- When there is a sign that there is a special offer on a certain item, make sure that you buy the item on offer by checking the barcode. Usually, the sign is not directly under the item on special offer, or there is another item next to the product on offer which is very similar. Remember – take your time and check – this will save you money!! Also at the checkout, examine the bill very carefully to see whether these items were in fact on special offer
- Read the small print on these special offers: maybe you have to spend a certain amount of money in the supermarket to benefit from the reduced price; only members can benefit from the special offer; you are limited to the amount you can buy etc.
- I normally recommend my clients to limit themselves to one special offer per buy. Though, before the chagim, I suggest limiting the special offers to three.
You might have bought several items which were substantially reduced, e.g. oil or washing up liquid, since you start your pantry from scratch. Therefore you know that the food bill will be higher than normal. I always recommend paying the supermarket in cash so it is easier to keep to your food budget. However, at Pesach, one can use a credit card and pay in instalments Why? Since we have bought everything that we need for Pesach, and items that were on special offer, we know that the following month the food bill should be substantially lower. Therefore, paying in two installments will alleviate the month of heavy expenses then do it. Remember though, to keep track.