Buy One Get One Free. Sort of.

Grocery stores like to make us think we’re getting a better deal than we are.

Case in point. Publix offers Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) specials every week. In every sales circular there are at least ten items offered this way. It’s the first thing I look for in the circular, as I do use it as an opportunity to stock up on things I use regularly, especially things we’re not brand loyal on. Husband doesn’t really care which brand of ranch salad dressing we have, as long as we have it.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with BOGO specials. The only problem is that Publix raises the price on the item shortly before the sale, and reduces it shortly after. Yes, they really do.

How do I know this? I’ve noticed it for quite awhile. Cake mixes, for example, will be $1.17 one week, and then the next week when they are BOGO they’re priced $1.87. Last week the ranch dressing was $1.99, this week, at BOGO price, it’s $2.99. I’ve seen it many, many times.

So, instead of saving 50% on the two items, I wind up saving only about 20-25%. When you add coupons it’s still a pretty good deal, just not as good as they’d have us believe.

If we weren’t so wicked schmaaaaaaaaaaaaat.

Still, it’s a wee bit slimy, don’t you think? Especially since they don’t give us mystery deals or let us double our coupons.

I think I’ll ask them why. Stay tuned for the answer, and for more grocery store deal mythbusters…

7 Responses to “Buy One Get One Free. Sort of.”

  1. What I Like About Wal-Mart « Are You Going To Be This Way The Rest of The Time I Know You? Says:

    […] for 82 cents apiece, which makes two of theirs fifteen cents cheaper than the one-item price in the Buy One Get One deal I got the other day at Publix. Their frosting was $1 cheaper than Publix, […]

  2. Deborah Says:

    I just read your Walmart post, and it sounds like you have to purchase two items to get the Publix B1G1 sales? This might be something else to ask them about – here, the B1G1 sale means that it’s really a 50% off sale. I haven’t noticed if they up their prices beforehand, but since I usually just buy 1 of whatever’s on sale – and use a coupon – it’s always cheaper than my Walmart. And, because Publix is more expensive than everywhere else around, I only buy what’s on sale there.

  3. BeThisWay Says:

    Hi Deborah, thanks for leaving a comment!

    I’ve never tried to just buy 1 on the BOGOs here (as I’ve noticed the cash register charging fully for the first item and giving the 2nd free), but I will now. Thanks! If not, it wouldn’t be the first time things were different at Publix here…

    Even so in this case it was cheaper to buy at WalMart, with a coupon. $1.87 at Publix would be $.93 if I could just buy one, less a 25 cent coupon. At WalMart it would be $.82 less a 25 cent coupon. So in this case (and many others), WalMart is cheaper.

  4. Deborah Says:

    I’m beginning to be very glad I don’t live in Florida – Publix has spoiled us here! Our first item rings up half off, so I bet you have to buy two to get the freebie. We won’t talk about the double-coupon thing again. 🙂

  5. Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife Says:

    This blog post has been included in the “Carnival of Money Stories #51” at Life Lessons of a Military Wife. Hope you will drop by and read some of the many other wonderful entries received this week!

  6. Monday Morning Link Time « Are You Going To Be This Way The Rest of The Time I Know You? Says:

    […] Makes Us Lose Our Minds was very good, and talks about the same thing I talked about in my post, Buy One Get One Free. Sort of., only much more […]

  7. Sandy Says:

    I have the answer, and it’s actually not evil. See, the prices in stores go through phases. So for a while, the item will be at regular price, say $2. Then it goes on sale for $1.50. Then they do a B1G1 on the item. They aren’t going to give you the sale price and a B1G1, so they bring back the manufacturers suggested price and run the B1G1. And there you go 🙂

    As for the B1G1 – I tried in Boca Raton – No dice, I had to buy the second item to get the discount. I actually don’t mind that, most of the B1’s are stockable items anyway.

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