Doing the maths could pay when it comes to 'special offers'
Published 19 November 2012 by Helen Gradwell
Multibuys can save you money, but if you're not careful they can actually end up costing you more. This article could help you to decide whether multibuys are actually 'worth it', plus see some other tips for saving money on your food bill.
When you're in the supermarket, multibuys seem like one of the easiest ways to get 'more for your money'. But new research from Which? reveals that this isn't always the case.
In fact, in some cases, choosing multibuys could actually cost you more.
Which? looked at 115 popular products - and around 300,000 prices, from supermarkets such as Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Asda and Ocado.
Which? found one offer for four individual tins of Heinz soup for £3 (or 80p each). This is a saving of 20p. However, right next to it there was a pack of four for £2.99. Although there's only a difference of 1p, it still illustrates the point that the multibuy offered very little saving.
Which? also found an example of a multibuy that was actually more expensive. Goodfella's Deep Pan Baked Pepperoni Pizza was generally £1 with no multibuy offer. However, when it was on multibuy the price increased to £4.50 for two.
And sometimes supermarkets keep certain products on constant 'multibuy' - for example two for £2 when it was already £1 for one.
So how can you make sure that you're actually getting the best value from your supermarket shop?
Well, firstly it's worth noting that multibuys often can save you money - but you should keep your eye on the 'usual' price. Offers like 'buy three for £3' are generally only worthwhile if you would have bought three anyway. On the other hand, offers like 'two for the price of one' offer clear value for money, as long as you would have bought the item anyway.
You may also find you can save more money by buying supermarkets' own or 'value' brands, especially when it comes to staples like pasta and rice.
If you're looking to clamp down on your weekly shop and potential savings, take a look at the thinkmoney guide to Cutting Costs in the Kitchen for some more tips!