October 31, 2010

Would you buy this update.

Last night the movie Titanic was on t.v. and I always seem to start to watch that movie 3 hours into it.  Last night I started watching it from the beginning.  Unfortunately it ended at 11:00 p.m. and when I went to bed and fell asleep I dreamed that that stupid ship was sinking over and over again.  When 6:00 a.m. rolled around, I was awake so I decided to get up and go to Hy-Vee - not to shop, but to see what this sale was going to look like from the parking lot.

When I got within 5 blocks of Hy-Vee every car that turned in front of me was heading in the same direction.  When I turned the corner to the Hy-Vee grocery store I saw a line of people trying to get in the store, a line of people trying to get out of the store and a couple of forklifts trying to get more stuff in the store.  The parking lot was full and cars were spilled over into adjoining business parking lots.  I drove in front of the store and there were people pushing and pulling two carts at a time.  They had loaded up on 4 hams, 4 turkeys and had 24 - 12 packs of pop.  It was unbelievable. 

I noticed license plates from out of our county and it dawned on me that even though the store opened at 6:00 a.m. that the majority of these people had been in that parking lot for at least an hour waiting for the store to open or worst yet standing in line. 

Now to the point of my post.  Why would people do this?  When money is tight, people will stand in line for a good deal but I calculated that without the pop, this was not in truth a great deal.  I see this all the time when I go to the grocery store and there is a sale on pop.  People are loading their carts with packs upon packs of pop - whole cart loads full.  Sometimes two cart loads full and it is as if pop was a staple just as flour and sugar are. 

I drink coffee and coffee is pure coffee.  I add a little sweetener to it but at least I know what is in it.  Pop is a rare treat in our household.  Our refrigerator does not have a water dispenser on the outside so I keep a nice container in our fridge of water for anyone to have to drink. 

Take the pop out of the equation and it wasn't a good deal for our family. As Debs said in her comment "it's not a bargain if it's something that you don't really need or use."

I looked at my price list from last November and I was able to get a whole turkey for around 40 cents a lb. and turkey breasts were on sale for around 99 cents a lb.  Ham was anywhere between 99 cents a lb. and $1.50 a lb.  If I am careful it is possible for me to get a 4 lb. boneless ham for $6.00 and a 15 to 18 lb. turkey for around the same price.  It will cost around $12.00 for these two items.  Pop will be on sale again for $2.00 a 12 pack (and some times $1.50 a 12 pack) if I would want to purchase it.  So 6 - 12 packs of pop will then cost around $12.00.  Total price - $24.00 for these items and less as I think I will be able to get the ham a little cheaper. 

OR I could be totally wrong.  Food prices have gone up, but turkey and ham tend to be loss leaders at Thanksgiving and I can always rely on the two weeks before Thanksgiving and the week of Thanksgiving as being the best time of year to get a good deal on turkey and ham.

People get caught up in the sales flyers and in this sales flyer it said that this was a $57.42 value.  That would be true if you paid top dollar and I mean top dollar for these items. No one would pay that amount of money for these items.  So, watch those prices and really take into account if a sale is really a sale or not.  And as a side note, in our area the best deals for your Christmas ham is right before Thanksgiving.  I have noticed this over the past several years that hams are on sale at their best price right before Thanksgiving. 

Again, armed with a little knowledge can save you big at the grocery store.


lkgaug said...

First of all I hate crowds, especially when "those" kinds of sales are on - people can get rude in these events. So to answer your ?, no I would not take advantage! Besides I do have a freezer full of meat, living on a farm with livestock is one advantage to having a freezer full! Oh - I love that movie Titanic, get emotional each time I watch it. Love that time period! I am really enjoying your blog! You are inspiring me so revamp my couponing!!

Maureen said...

Well done Martha on working out the pros and cons of that deal, and not getting caught up in the hype.

I love Titanic it is one of my favourite movies.

Debs said...

To have my comment quoted, what an honour!

I found your blog from a link on 'trenches of mommyhood' to your post about building up a store of food etc. I would love to do that, but we currently don't have any room for anything like that. However, I am doing my best to be frugal in my cooking and purchasing.

Milehimama @ Mama Says said...

Oh yeah I've seen this too. I've already bought a 20+ pound turkey for less than 40 cents a pound. Our grocery store does this kind of thing a lot with "meal deals". Sometimes they're a great deal- sometimes not. Currently the 'meal deal' is, buy a jar of green chili sauce for an astronomical $9, get 1# ground beef and 8 oz. shredded cheese for free. The ground beef goes for $2 a pound, the cheese about the same. You can buy a different brand of green chili sauce for less than $5 - so the meal deal actually costs MORE

When there's a hurricane scare it kind of makes me sad to see people buying 20 boxes of cokes and 1 flat of water.