We often strive to save money by considering what we buy. But how much thought do we put into where we shop? A recent shopping experience reminded me that prices do vary significantly depending on where we shop. Our choice of stores can cause us to either overspend or save.
Do Prices Really Vary Depending on Where You Shop?
First, you have heard it said that we are creatures of habit, and that applies to our shopping habits as well. Consider if any of these statements applies to you.
- Dash into a convenience store because it’s, well, convenient?
- Frequent a high-end grocery store because you prefer the atmosphere?
- Shop at whatever store you happen to be driving by?
If any of these apply, it may be time to rethink your shopping habits. Let me illustrate the importance of choosing your destination carefully by looking at one simple item – batteries.
In December there was an advertisement for Energizer batteries that included 1 free child’s movie admission, and you know I love Going to the Movies for Next to Nothing. Since the regular price in Ontario for child’s admission is $8.99, and I can always use batteries, I knew this had potential to be a big money saver. [Sidebar…I see that children in Saskatchewan only pay $5.50….wow!]
This promotion could be found on specially marked Energizer AA battery packages (quantity 16).
I found for the exact same package of batteries from 4 different sources, with a wide range of prices.
Best Buy Regular price $14.99
Superstore Regular price $9.97
Toys R Us Regular price $16.99
The Source Regular price $15.99 Sale price $7.99
Walmart & Future Shop Didn’t sell that exact quantity so I couldn’t compare
Dollar Store They only sold smaller packages, and none of them included the movie promotion.
Consider this for a moment. I could buy the exact same item for either $7.99, $9.97, $14.99 or $16.99 depending on which store I shopped at. Talk about varying prices!
So buying my batteries became a multiple choice question.
A. Shop at The Source
I found The Source’s sale price online, but I would have had to call to make sure they had the packages with the free movie admission. Plus our local store is in a mall, and that wasn’t convenient with a toddler in tow.
B. Price match at Superstore or No Frills
This would have been my first choice since I collect PC points. But I did not have a flyer or smartphone showing The Source’s sale price, so this was not an option.
C. Price match at Best Buy or Toys R Us
Both of these stores will look up online prices at customer service.
I happened to be closest to Best Buy, so that was my final choice. They looked up The Source’s online price, matched it and I was on my way in under 3 minutes.
Purchase: 16 AA batteries x 2: I paid $7.99 x 2 + tax = $18.05
I could have paid $16.99 x 2 + tax = $38.39 for batteries plus another $8.50 x 2 + tax=$19.21 for 2 child admissions to the movies.
In total, I paid $18.05, rather than $57.60 for 32 batteries and 2 free movie admissions. And for that kind of savings I will gladly put some thought into where I should shop for the best deal. And this comparison is simply for one item. Imagine the savings when buying multiple items, over a period of time.
Now, when my boys go to the movies, I can smile knowing their tickets are free. And after the baby goes to bed, I can surf channels with my Energizer-filled remote control. Or sleep. Probably sleep…..
By: Karen Gauvreau