Buy 1, Get 1 Free Sales (Grocery Ad Decoder)

Did you know that much of the time, when an item is advertised in a grocery ad as “buy one, get one free” (B1G1), you can figure out about how much it will be even if you don’t know the shelf price?

Look closely at the B1G1 advertisement.  In small print, there is probably something that says “save up to $x.xx”:

The shelf price of one item is going to be the price that’s listed as the “save up to $x.xx” price.

So, in the Sprouts example above, one box of Mom’s Best cereal is normally $3.99 (“save up to $3.99”), so if you bought one, and got one free, that would mean you’d pray $3.99 for two or $2.00 each.

(If a variety of items are included in a B1G1 sale – say, cereal to instant oatmeal to baking mixes – this doesn’t work quite as well because the ad will indicate the price of the highest item.  But generally, this trick works for most B1G1 sales.)

You can do the math, then compare the price of the item to the Grocery Price Reference to see if it’s a good deal or not!

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