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Supermarket scams – it just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Shame, as it’s not something any of us wants to hear, especially when it’s in connection with special offers at a time when we’re all struggling a bit with making ends meet. So, what’s going on? Well, it seems that despite being rapped on the knuckles more than once about calling things special offers when they’re not, the supermarkets are still at it! So how can you protect yourself from the not-so-special offers lurking about?

Check the kilogram price – this is the number one tip we can give you! Comparing the prices of two packets of goods is irrelevant if you don’t have the kilogram price to work out. For example, there may be two packets of ham, packet one costs £1 and packet two £2.50. On the face of, packet one seems cheaper, and it is in terms of how much money you’ll be handing over. But, the important bit to remember is not how much you’re paying, but how much you’re getting for that price.

You see packet one contains 100g and packet two has 500g. So the kilogram price for the first packet of ham is so £10 per kilogram and for the second packet it’s £5.00 – half the price. Once you realise this, you can clearly see that although you might be paying more for packet two, you’re getting much more so it’s much better value. Apply this calculation to each and every special offer you find to make sure that it really is a special offer.

It’s also worth doing this check on foods you buy on a regular basis too, as you may find that pack sizes shrink, but prices stay the same, meaning the kilogram price is actually going up.

Check prices regularly – it’s likely that you’ll already know the prices of the things you buy regularly, but if you don’t, start to keep an eye on them. Why? Because supermarkets have been known, on many occasions, to put the price up just before they introduce a special offer. This makes it look like you’re saving much more than you really are. So, if you suddenly notice your favourite crisps have gone up by 50p, it may be that next week they’ll be some kind of ‘special offer’ that’s not so special after all. A recent example of this was a major supermarket brand who offered Chicago Town pizzas at £1.50 each. They then introduced a special offer of ‘Buy two for £3.00’ whilst increasing the price for one up to £2.00. Once the special offer had ended, the price for one dropped back down to £1.50. Not much of an offer then, eh! But it would seem like it if you hadn’t noticed the pre-offer price.

Bulk buying is not always better – keep your eyes out for the bulk-buy deals. Some of these are great and work as they should do – the more you buy, the cheaper it gets. Others not so much, with the individual packs coming in at a better price than the supposedly bigger value packs. A recent example of this is a four pack of Green Giant Sweetcorn, selling for £2, which is less than the ‘special price’ bigger pack containing six cans costing £3.56.

Now – go forth with this new knowledge and find supermarket bargains to be proud of!

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