If more of us took the time to crunch the numbers and quantify the actual value we get out of taking advantage of special promotions and offers, a rather troubling reality of what is really being perpetuated and promoted would show its ugly head. That is the reality of special offers and promos not being as special as they’re made out to be. In the end, the numbers suggest that amidst all the craziness surrounding the buzz and rush of various special promos, the majority of consumers actually end up spending more of their money as opposed to saving a few pennies.
The Affordability Test
At the core of this money-leak which is disguised as a special savings promotion or offer is the question of affordability and the clever manipulation of consumers’ perception of affordability. If for example a certain portion of meat you regularly buy has its price slashed by a few pence, shoppers almost always end up spending more on their overall shopping than they would had they not been offered those savings in the first place. This very subtle “gesture” of offering shoppers some savings sets them up for varying degrees of over-compensation. “I have a little more to spend than last time” often results in overrunning the budget, if there was a budget or shopping list to start off with. You might find that although you’d originally planned to take full advantage of the little savings presented to you, you rather end up spending more to get the exact same value you usually get in any case.
The question should be one of affordability as opposed to being compelled to gain an advantage, however small that advantage may be. Ask yourself whether you can actually afford to entertain the so-called special offer or promotion and whether you gain any actual pound-for-pound value out of its entertainment.
Just how much do special promos and offers cost you?
When the question of affordability is extended to the supermarkets and other outlets periodically offering special savings promotions themselves, it becomes apparent that supermarkets would never ordinarily be able to afford offering real savings at such regular intervals. Profit has never been about selling goods at a lower price than what you paid for them, so that in itself should give consumers the first clue as to the legitimacy of the perceived value of special offers. As far as what the numbers say however, not compiling and sticking to a shopping list could be costing you at least £200 each year and in extreme cases (for more frequent shoppers) over £1,200.
Applying some of your own Consumer Psychology
In addition to special promotional offers and “savings,” sales, etc., consumer psychology studies confirm that shopping with kids, shopping while tired or hungry and even catching sight of those eleventh-hour till-deals also make big contributions to overspending. Apply a little bit of your own consumer psychology and first of all make a shopping list, then simply stick to it no matter what; nagging children, irresistible till-deals, boredom or empty-stomach aside. Make a shopping list and only deviate from it if you can quantify the value you’ll otherwise gain out of taking advantage of any proposed special offers.
For more money saving tips to help you shop smarter visit the Money Advice Service website.