Buy One, Get One Free; Is it Really a Bargain?

My wife calls me “cheap”, but I’m just a man that loves a good bargain. If there’s a way for me to save money on groceries, I’ll jump at the opportunity. If I spend less on the essentials, that means I can throw some more money at our debts and we can start living our dream lifestyle even sooner than we had originally planned. So, yes, I’ll certainly be cheap in the present so that I can live the dream in our near future.

Lately, I have been intrigued by coupon clipping. I saw a news story about a woman that saves nearly 90% on her groceries. When I witnessed that story, I immediately wanted to begin clipping coupons and saving like the pros. In my first outing, I saved 29%. It wasn’t nearly the savings that I had hoped for, but I was still determined to learn the art of couponing.

Recently, I have learned about the “Buy One Get One” deals at Publix (the local supermarket in the south). This is of course a 50% savings because you only pay for one, and the second one is free. I knew that I had a coupon for one of the products, which would result in a savings of over 50%. I was so excited to get to the store and create a great story! I already had visions of posting my savings receipt on my website and writing up the article on my fabulous couponing abilities.

If you haven’t noticed… there isn’t a picture of a receipt on this post. Once I got to Publix, I began to grab the Buy One Get One (BOGO) items that were on my list, but when I saw the inflated prices on each item, I began to put them back on the shelves. Thin Wheats were $3.89 (Walmart brand is $1.43) and corn was $1.29 (these were $0.60 at Walmart). I could purchase these items at Publix and see a great savings total at the bottom of my receipt, but actually, I would have a smaller overall bill if I just went to Walmart.

You guessed it, I walked out of Publix with nothing and purchased my entire grocery list at Walmart. The BOGO deals were simply not a bargain at all. Even though I could get the second item for free, I would pay so much for the first item that there really weren’t any savings at all.

I was not properly prepared for that first trip to Publix. Although many of the grocery items may be overpriced, my cousin has proved to me that there are ways (through couponing of course) to purchase these items for pennies, but that topic is for another post. Just as a tease though, she purchased some pasta and it only cost her $0.11 a box. Incredible.

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