The Money Shot: Dealspotting

Image of Tesco signage
A supermarket, in happier times
"The problem is that quite often we see a special offer at the supermarket and we don't want to miss out – so we throw it into our trolley without really thinking about whether it is a good deal or whether we actually need it" John Penberthy-Smith, the Money Advice Service
  • | by Kristian Dando

Have you got what it takes to spot a choice deal at 50 paces?

As you are currently investing valuable time reading the #engagingcontent platform of one of Britain’s foremost money-saving sites, chances are you know a thing or two about getting the most for your hard-earned coin.

But it turns out that the rest of the population isn’t quite as adept at knowing a good deal when they see one.

The Money Advice Service, which know a thing or two about this sort of thing, quizzed 2,000 shoppers on four separate supermarket deals in order to see what the choicest offer was. 

Only 2% managed to correctly chose all four, and 76% spent more than they were expected to, paying out an average of £11 too much.

But maybe the wider issue here isn’t the ability – or lack of – of shoppers to correctly spot a deal.

Perhaps it’s the befuddling multi-buy offers that supermarkets are wont to wheel out.

John Penberthy-Smith, customer director for the Money Advice Service, opined: "The problem is that quite often we see a special offer at the supermarket and we don't want to miss out – so we throw it into our trolley without really thinking about whether it is a good deal or whether we actually need it. Often deals can be difficult to understand and compare with other prices."

In fact, in July last year the Competitions and Markets Authority found that some supermarket special offers could be in breach of consumer law, after consumer colossus and perennial autocorrect nuisance Which? ran an investigation on the matter.

One supermarket which has vowed to do something about it is Sainsbury’s. The retail giant decided to phase out these sort of confusing multi-buy offers by August 2016 after surveying its customers and finding that most people found them confusing.

Bravo!

Tell us your thoughts on supermarket deals on Twitter and Facebook

News in brief

Speaking of supermarkets, Asda has started selling ‘wonky veg’ boxes, chock-a-block with amusingly shaped vegetables and fruit, for £3.50.

First-time buyers in England will have paid a stonking £52,000 on rent before getting themselves on the property ladder, according to the Association of Residential Lettings Agents.

A third of young adults are too afraid to check their bank accounts, according to research commissioned as part of Student Money Week.

British Gas and EDF cut their prices, but not nearly enough we reckon. Gocompare.com energy guru Ben Wilson thundered: “Quite frankly, the cuts to standard gas tariffs that we’ve seen from the big six aren’t good enough, especially as smaller energy companies continue to consistently offer better deals to customers.”

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Join us next week for another swag-jacking edition of the Money Shot. Until then, send us your letters