Have You Ever Told Someone In The Grocery Store About Sale Items?

Or am I the only person that does that?

I don’t do it a lot, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.   Last week I stopped by Food City (locally owned) because brown onions were on sale six pounds for 96 cents. That’s SIXTEEN cents a pound!  We use a lot of onions and it’s been difficult to find them at the regular grocery store for less than $0.79 a pound. I did find that Costco has them by the ten pound bag for $3.99 so we have been buying them in bulk.

But Food City’s price blew Costco’s out of the water.  I just had to stock up at $0.16 a pound.

Our grocery stores sales in Arizona run Wednesday through Tuesday so I stopped by after work last Tuesday to take advantage of the sale.  I picked out twenty onions and examined them carefully making sure they were in good condition. I make sure they feel firm, and have several layers of flawless skin.  Otherwise if they feel even a little bit squishy, or have a dent, and aren’t wrapped well with their natural skin they may begin to go bad before I have the chance to use them. And that’s no bueno.

As I was looking around I saw in the main walkway they had set up another section with white onions. They were $0.89 a pound.

I saw two ladies there, selecting onions and placing them into a plastic bag. I know better than to say anything since I’ve done it before at other grocery stores and no one seems to care that I’m pointing out that they can get, say for example, the name brand item for a dollar less than the generic brand.

Secondly, Food City caters to the Hispanic community, and well, sometimes it’s impossible to communicate since most patrons don’t speak English.

In spite of the potential problem, the cheapskate in me had to speak out.  I said, “Excuse me, ladies, but did you know that the brown onions are on sale for sixteen cents a pound?  It’s a much better deal than these white onions.”

Thankfully one lady acknowledged that I was speaking to her by looking up at me and asked where were the brown onions. The other lady kept her eyes on the onions, solidly ignoring me.  I pointed to an area back in a corner, and the lady thought I was pointing at the bagged apples. She said with confusion in her voice, “But those are $2.99.”   I told her the onions were on the other side, and then I left.  Because I didn’t want to see if she would continue picking out white onions, when she could have gotten six times as many onions for about the same price.

I know that brown onions and white onions are a little different in flavor, but if you’re cooking onion it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference in the meal.  White onions tend to be milder than brown onions, I realize that.

But when you don’t have a lot of money, buying onions for $0.89 a pound is like buying filet mignon instead of round steak.  When you’re poor, and you don’t have a lot of money for food, it is common sense that you should shop the sale ads.

Now granted, the store did have the white onions right out in the main strip so I’m sure they were hoping everyone would buy white onions instead of looking for brown onions.

So tell me… do you ever share with other shoppers that an item is on sale?  Were you ignored or thanked for the information?

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35 comments to Have You Ever Told Someone In The Grocery Store About Sale Items?

  • I never have and probably wouldn’t just because I don’t know what that person is looking for as far as if there a reason they’re buying the expensive brand vs the on sale brand.
    A lot of people are brand loyal so I just stay out of it.
    However, I would be thankful if someone let me know about a sale but that’s because I prefer to save money.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Kevin, you’re right, people are brand loyal. And for good reason, often the name brand is the better quality. And that’s actually when I decide to say something because I figure a person would rather get Skippy Peanut Butter for $1 less than Great Value brand. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • I typically don’t pipe up and say anything. I figure people can read their own signs and might get offended or think I’m nosy if I just go in cold with a suggestion. But, sometimes someone will actually start talking about a product or something, at which point speaking up is natural.

    One thing I do sometimes do is leave a coupon for something that I know I won’t need near the items. I figure that’s a passive way to let someone save money. I know others do this too as I’ve found a couple of coupons laying around from time to time.

    [Reply]

    Journey To Our Home Reply:

    @Money Beagle,
    I do this as well. If it is getting to the end of the month and I have a lot, I’ll take a little bit of tape with me and actually tape the coupons to the product.
    I always wonder if the store clerks throw them away at night, I don’t know!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Money Beagle, second guy comment so far. LOL. My husband would probably rather jump off the side of the building than to let someone know he’s up on what’s on sale. I think that’s a great idea on leaving the coupons, I have used those from the shelf myself.

    [Reply]

  • Kathy

    I told two young 20’s shoppers about the Ore Ida special at Target a few weeks back. It was buy 2 get one free. I noticed that they had two bags in their cart so I mentioned that they could get the third bag for free. They looked at me like I had two heads. I saw them heading back up the aisle near frozen foods but they didn’t pick up the Ore Ida. What a shame! I mean I would have taken the bag if they didn’t have the room in the freezer.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Kathy, that kind of thing makes me feel a little bit crazy. Why would a person turn down a deal like that? LOL. I would have felt the same way. Just give me the bag after you get out of the store. 😉

    [Reply]

  • Hi-I’m a cashier and I ALWAYS let people know if something is cheaper. Nine times out of ten I am thanked and the customer (or someone else) will get the cheaper item and then check out. It is called good customer service. I like it when someone tells me about sale items.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Cindy, that is really nice of you to do! I don’t know if I’ve ever had a cashier tell me about something being on sale. I would figure they would want me to spend more money! Good for you! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • Ha! I’ve done one better: I’ve given people extra coupons I have when I notice them looking at the product they’re for! They’re usually taken aback, but mostly they accept them. I shop at the military commissary, so it’s a bit more of a community feel…

    One time a lady refused the coupon and grabbed her cart and made off. It was like she was embarrassed to have been caught shopping.

    [Reply]

    Journey To Our Home Reply:

    @Jolyn@Budgets are the New Black,
    I have SOOOO done this. If I have extra coupons (especially if they will be expiring soon) and I see the product in someones cart or if they are looking at it, I just say “Excuse me, but here is an extra coupon- it will make your XXX only X.’ I do tell them how much the item will cost with the coupon because I think it makes them think ‘oh, well, yes that is a better deal.’
    I’ve never had anyone decline and most people actually thanked me for the coupon with a smile.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Jolyn, when I first read this I busted out laughing at the lady who ran off with her cart after refusing the coupon. Hilarious. Just funny how people respond.

    [Reply]

  • I have never told someone after I had a similar experience as Jolyn 🙂 . May be she thought I am trying to sell her something. But would be very glad if someone told me.

    Money Beagle’s idea of leaving the coupon is great, I will do that next time I am not using a coupon.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Suba, I agree with you about Money Beagle’s idea. Oh to be that organized! I did do coupons years ago when I was raising my children but nowadays I don’t have time, plus we don’t buy many items that have coupons.

    [Reply]

  • I think that’s really nice of you. I’m too shy to actually say anything to people 🙂

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Mrs. Money, oh girl just you wait. One of these days you’ll get all sassy like me. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • I’d probalby say something and get a crazy look. I’ve even given folks extra coupons that i’ve been unable to use at the register (limit one for example).

    Not everyone will appreciate it, but maybe you are able to lighten up someone’s day.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Car Negotiation Coach, I agree, it’s all about trying to help people save money and what is so wrong about that?

    [Reply]

  • Not in the grocery store, but this week I told a customer at U-haul that Budget trucks were much cheaper. I don’t think the U-haul lady appreciated it.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Lauren, LOL, I imagine U-haul didn’t appreciate that. Did the person leave and go right to Budget? That’s when the weirdness sets in, lol, when they don’t heed your advice.

    [Reply]

  • I’d be too ashamed to speak up to people I meet randomly. But if I know some friends usually buy these kind of products and see a sale on those items, I tell them when I happen to meet them. Most of the time though, they beat me to the punch, saying I’ve been to Target yesterday and such. They seem to have “sale radars” on their heads.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Nita, good for you in thinking about your friends. Maybe you can just do the thing Money Beagle does and leave coupons on the shelf.

    [Reply]

  • Hello Mrs. Accountability!

    here’s my confession…I often look at the groceries of the person behind me and give them a coupon if I have one. I wonder if they secretly think I am weird…most of the time they are happy that I am saving them some money!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Amanda, that is awesome! Surely they can’t deny you at that point! I’m sure they don’t think you are weird. I mean, they had the items in their cart, they are checking out so it’s not like you were trying to get them to get something else.

    [Reply]

  • I do this all the time! I’ve even do this to employees at CVS! If I see them picking up something and I know of a better deal, I’ll mention it to them. I’m not pushy with it, because they could need that particular item. They have always been grateful so far – even if they can’t really take advantage of the sale.

    I’ve actually had CVS employees hold up the line to ask me about my shopping choices and how I save so much money! They love to see me come in as we try to beat my record ($.03)!

    [Reply]

    Kay Lynn Reply:

    @Khaleef @ KNS Financial, You’re going to have a pretty hard time beating that record!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Khaleef, LOL, that’s awesome! I have never been able to get into the CVS or Walgreens shopping deals. Three cents, wow, that’s fantastic!

    [Reply]

  • Yes, of course! My kids were so embarrassed when they were little that I talked to strangers in the grocery store. I would want someone to do the same to me.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Kay Lynn, you know come to think of it, I probably learned to share deals in the store from my mom. I’ll have to ask her if she used to do that. I’m with you, I’d want someone to point out to me that an item was a lot cheaper!

    [Reply]

  • Seth

    I couldn’t do this, but my wife does. She also leaves coupons that she won’t be using on the shelf near the item. I am not with her every time she shops, but the times I have been present people seem to be appreciative. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone not respond positively. I’ll have to let her know about this post, she would be interested to see that others do the same.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Seth, sure, send her on over! 🙂 I don’t feel so alone knowing that others do the same thing. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • This is no doubt a tough situation. I generally will be more likely to speak up if the person is by him or herself. If it’s a family or a couple, I’m more shy about it. Personally, I love when people speak up and tell me about a great sale. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it and it’s really KIND of them to do that…i wouldn’t consider them a cheapskate or anything.

    [Reply]

  • I totally do! There was a particularly spectacular combination of deals last year before Thanksgiving and you got store cash back for spending a certain amount on marked “holiday” items – mostly baking things, and for every $50 you spent you got free eggs, bacon, bread, and orange juice. There was also a deal that for every $50 you spent, you got $10 in Kohl’s cash. It was just deal on deal! I was shopping in the evening and told every person I encountered about the combination of deals. I was thanked by multiple people and asked where to find the free breakfast items. If they hadn’t read the ad, they would have missed that.

    [Reply]

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