Supermarket multi-buy deals can cost you more

15 November 2012

Supermarket multi-buy offers could be misleading shoppers into spending more money, according to a survey by Which?.

One in 10 supermarket products actually increase in price as part of a multi-buy offer, compared to their original price.

The survey compared 300,000 online prices, across 115 popular products at Asda, Ocado, Sainsubry's, Tesco and Waitrose.

The results showed that in some cases prices of popular products more than doubled, as regular prices were increased just before the offers were introduced.

For example, Asda's regular price for a Goodfella's Deep Pan Baked Pepperoni Pizza rose from £1 to £2.50, so that when customers brought the multi-buy deal, two for £4.50, they still paid £1.25 more then original price.

Other offers left the price unchanged, with Sainsbury's generally selling a four-pack of Nestlé yoghurts for £1, while the multi-buy offer was 'two for £2'.

Get a good deal

If you're fed up with supermarket gimmicks, here are Moneywise's top tips on how to avoid them:

  • Before you embark on your weekly shop, make a list. The more conscious you are of what you actually need, the less likely you are to be persuaded by tempting offers. A recent survey by YouGov showed that the average shopper overspends by almost £30 on each trip to the supermarket so planning ahead could save you money.
  • Using comparison site could help you find the lowest prices for your groceries.

The site claims to save you £17 on each shop by finding the store with the cheapest prices. You can either order through the site, or head direct to the supermarket knowing you have got the best price.

  • Buying packaged goods can also drive up the price, for example if you buy a bunch of five fair trade bananas in Sainsbury's you will pay £1, that's 20p per banana. Buy one loose and you will only pay 10p. Try to check your prices by weight, as sometimes buying in bulk isn't always cost effective, you actually might pay more per kg for larger packs. For example, Tesco offers a 510g pack of Kellogs Rice Krispies for £2, that's 39.2p for 100g, while it sells a 700g 'value' pack of the same for £3.65, costing you £52.1p per 100g.

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