Beef Jerky, CVS, and a Pop Math Quiz
Since we are peppered with advertisements today for coupon, deals, and once in a lifetime offers, we all have to become smarter consumers and shoppers to make the best financial decisions in our lives. However, since the amount of time we have to get basic tasks done seems to be shrinking every day, we can get trapped in convenience stores by the way they position and market products to us. This past week, I saw a great example that I thought would be interesting to illustrate my point.
I’ve grown a small addiction to beef jerky, turkey jerky, and any spicy flavor that they come up with these days. If you enjoy eating jerky, you may have noticed the recent spike in prices at grocery and convenience stores alike. I had a hankering for some jerky on the way home the other evening, so I stopped off at CVS to see which package of tasty treats I was going to pick up.
Typically, most of the drugstores and conveniences store will put the ‘snacks’ in one particular area of the store. When I arrived at the section with the beef jerky, I noticed that the prices were as high as anytime I could remember. You’ll notice from the picture that I took that one package of regular Jack’s Links Beef Jerky was 3.25 oz. for $6.49. Now CVS would sell package with more than 3.25 oz, but there isn’t much of a material savings for buying the larger packages. I wondered if it was really a smart money move to spend 3.25% oz. just to satisfy my craving for a little beef jerky.
I decided to meander my way over to the new area at CVS called $10 for 10 items. You might notice that at major grocery stores and drugstores like CVS that they will create these areas to offload proprietary products or some type of deal on one of your favorite treats. After perusing that section seeing all types of snacks, I noticed a small section with some individually wrapped Jack’s Links Beef Jerky. If you take a look at the picture of the box (that I ultimately bought – see above), the same regular flavored Jack’s Links Beef Jerky could be purchased at $1 for .8oz of beef jerky. If you do some simple math, that means I could buy 3.2oz of beef jerky for $4 instead of paying $6.49 for the same product three aisles over in CVS. Why in the world would the same company offer the same product in two different places for essentially the same price?
Grocery stores are famous for this, but other types of convenience stores are catching on to the way we shop at customers. They know with your busy lives that you won’t often even go in every aisle in the store. In fact, you’ll likely know what you were coming to the store for when you pulled into the parking lot. Thus, they assume that you think they have already given you the best price possible or you will get it at the counter with their ‘store’ discount card. Wrong!!! Companies will trick you into this all the time. Do yourself a favor and anytime you go shopping start your process in the deal, $10 for 10, dollar days, or whatever the company calls it section. There may not be a deal on any products you like or you can find out just like I did that you can save 40% just by walking from one part of the store to the other !
CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Editor in Chief of Your Smart Money Moves
Co-CEO and Founder of oXYGen Financial, Inc - The Leaders in Gen X & Y Financial Advice and Services
Ted Jenkin is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice to the X and Y Generation.
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