When is a Deal a Really Good Deal

When is a Deal a Really Good Deal

One approach I mention regularly for saving money on your food purchases is to watch the grocery store flyer for sales, then plan your meals (and shopping lists) around those sales.

This method really works – I’ve saved quite a bit doing this over the years.

So, a few weeks ago, when I took a long look at the flyers from my grocery stores of choice, I happened to notice that some of the “big sales” listed in the flyer weren’t on sale at all. The price was exactly the same as what I usually paid.

What the heck?

First, ignore “brand name” products. Quite often, these are placed by the large food companies and don’t actually reflect much of a bargain at all. Just skip right past them. Occasionally, one of these might be a “loss leader,” but you can usually only find them if you’re really good at filtering out all of the noise.

Second, focus on the fresh items. The items that are fresh – fresh produce and fresh meats – are rarely branded at all. These items tend to be the real sales in the flyer (but not always – you should always have a good grasp on what the real prices are).

Third, “quantity” sales are often tricky. Let’s say you see some particular item on sale – 2/$5. That could mean a lot of things – it might mean that the items are actually $2.50 each and you don’t actually need to buy two items to get the discount, or it might mean that just buying one item will cost you $3.29 or so – which isn’t really a deal at all. Read the fine print and don’t just immediately buy more than you need or assume it’s a great deal.

Finally, know your quantities. Sometimes, “sales” loudly proclaimed in a flyer are for very small sizes. Once you’re actually in the store, however, you’ll find that the the larger size is actually the better deal, even though it’s not on “sale.” Sales on small quantity items almost always indicate something that’s not really a bargain (unless you can couple a coupon with it and get it for free).

Flyers have a lot of good deals, but there’s a lot of noise as well. Figure out how to filter through the noise and you’ll save yourself a lot of money on groceries.

Here is a list I use to know if the Sales Ads are truly running a good deal.


Bananas / lb $0.44

Grapes /lb $0.89-$1.29

Lemons ea. $0.50

Peaches /lb $0.99-$1.29

Plums /lb $1.49

Strawberries /lb $2

Watermelon ea. $3.97


Eggs doz. $1.40

Orange Juice gal. $3

Cheese 8oz $1.50

Butter 1lb $2

Sour Cream 8-16oz Free -$0.30

Milk 1 gal $3.19

Cream Cheese Free-$0.25

Canned Items

Canned Vegetables $0.60

Canned Baked Beans $1.40

Canned Kidney Beans $0.88

Canned Pinto Beans $0.88

Spaghetti Sauce $0.50-$1.00

Canned Tomatoes $0.60

Tomato Paste $0.07

Canned Chicken $1.50

Canned Tuna $0.89

Soups $0.40-$0.60


Elbow Macaroni Free-$0.50

Spaghetti Pasta Free-$0.50

Frozen Vegetables $0.19-$0.80

Biscuits $0.50


Ground Beef /lb $2.99

Roast /lb $3.97

Beef Steaks /lb $4.50

Boneless Chicken Breast /lb $1.98

Split Chicken Breast /lb $0.99

Chicken Legs /lb $0.99

Whole Chicken /lb $0.99

Bacon $2.99 Foil $1

Pork Chops /lb $1.99

Pork Roast /lb $1.99

Dry Packaged Items

Ketchup Free-$0.50

Mayonnaise $1.45

Mustard $0.38

Salad Dressing $0.50

Cookies $0.50

Crackers $1

Nuts $1.50

Sugar 4lb $1


Hamburger Buns $1

Hot Dog Buns $1

Wheat Bread $0.50-$1

Tortillas – Flour $1

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