Sunday, May 3, 2009
Grocery Shopping and the Price Patrol
OK, it's Sunday...and I am taking advantage of every second of relaxation today. That includes having a conspicuously short blog today!
Back on April 19th, I wrote about using the grocery store's weekly circulars to plan my shopping to get the best deals. I will address coupon clipping and bulk shopping (i.e. at Costco, etc.) on another day, but have one note to keep in the back of your mind when you are shopping. I would also like to hear your experiences with this if you have any to share.
In many (not sure if all) states, there are laws related to grocery store pricing. If a store mismarks a price, they must honor the price marked if it is lower than what the price is supposed to be. If the price is higher than what it is supposed to be (and you can tell by other packages of the same product), then they need to put the correct price on the package and give it to you at that price.
I shopped at our local Safeway about a week ago - I find their meat and produce to be better than other stores in the area so I will look there first unless a sale pulls me into another chain! This particular trip I was shopping for London Broil - good grilling season here in AZ! To my surprise, I found that every single London Broil in the case was priced at $0.00! I have my ethical limits...I did report it to the Meat Dept. Manager so he could reprice most of them, except the 2 I held tightly clutched in my clammy, price-sensitive little hands! He agreed I should be able to get them both for free when I checked out.
I took my prizes along with a cart of groceries straight to the checkout (I didn't just go for free meat...I actually did some other shopping and I am a "regular" there too). The checker was confused and said she needed to check with a manager because she didn't know how to ring the meat up to keep inventory straight. OK, I'm a sporting sort...free meat is certainly worth a delay of this sort. The manager, however, informed me I had to pay full price for the meat and that he would relabel them. I questioned the legality of this (ok, so I didn't have a law book on me, but geez...I shop there a LOT!). No such luck...in fact, he went so far as to loudly suggest that Safeway is not in the business of giving food away! Rude and unfair...so, ever gracious (not!)I suggested he could also keep the basket of groceries I had not yet paid for and I would go shop across the street at Fry's. Oh well, win some, lose some. I will still shop Safeway for a publicized good deal or when I need just a few more United Frequent Flyer miles that I earn on purchases there. But as for meat...I'm out of there!
In writing this, I decided to do a little research and see what others had to offer on the subject (both types of mispricing - too high or too low). If you are interested, here are a few to cut & paste into your browser!
Maybe I should add this to the blog as a survey...hmmm! How would you handle these situations? Now...off to relax!