I love to figure out great deals, snag them at my local stores, and then report about them here at Frugal Follies. And I love to see all of your great deals at Wednesday Weekly Shopping and in your comments.
But there's one place where I'm not as excited to see deals: in store advertisements.
Why? Because they are advertising these deals not for you to get the best deal possible, but because they have their own interests in mind.
For instance, this week Publix is offering a $10 American Express gift card when you buy $100 in groceries. Sounds like a great deal, no? Except that there's a $5.95 activation cost for the card, which is listed in the fine print. So actually you're getting $4.05 for free.
Now, if you really are going to spend $100 on sale-priced groceries at Publix and use coupons, this could possibly be a good deal. But chances are pretty good you'll end up short and have to search out last-minute items at full price to get to the $100 level. And that negates any amount of savings you'll get from the American Express card.
Or, you'll buy all your items at Publix that week, instead of going to a lower-priced grocery like ALDI or a drug store like Walgreens, where you might get an even better deal. So be careful when a store offers cash back or a gift card when you buy a large amount of products.
Another place you find store-promoted deals: in the CVS weekly ad. Often you'll see an item on sale with a price listed, then you'll see the savings you'll get if you use a coupon from that week's paper. Problem is, that coupon may not be the highest-value coupon you can find! Often there is a better coupon for the same product in a different week's coupon insert or available as an online coupon.
And CVS rarely mentions any CVS store coupons that are also available for that product. So if you follow the CVS deal listed in the ad, you'll save a little money - but you could save even more by finding a better deal in a blog coupon matchup list.
So be careful! The deal that a store advertises may not be the best deal for you.
For more frugal tips, please go to my Linkup Parties page and check out the bloggers listed under Frugal Tips Linkups. There are lots of great ideas on each blog and I'm sure you'll find lots of wonderful tips!
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