How To Know When You Have To Buy A Certain # of Items (Grocery Deal Decoder)

When we see a sign that says “5 for $10.00”, most of us automatically do the math to figure out that each item is $2.00 and assume that means we can purchase one for $2.00, three for $6.00, or five for $10.  Many times, that is true, but you do have to be careful because there are frequently sales where a certain quantity is required to be purchased in order to get that price.

There is always verbiage in the ad that can clue you in to whether or not you have to buy a certain quantity.  If it says “ten for $10” and in small print says “when you buy ten”, that means that you do have to buy ten to get them for $1.00 each.  If you don’t, they’ll be whatever the non-sale price is.

If the ad just says “ten for $10” and there’s no fine print, you can assume that they’re $1.00 each.  Here are some examples:

Albertsons Mix and Match Sale
Albertsons sale: You MUST buy ten participating items to get them for $0.75 each.

King Soopers sale: you must buy six to get them for $1.79
King Soopers example: you MUST buy six participating items to get these for $1.79.

King Soopers sale: No fine print; you can buy one for $1.50.
King Soopers example: No fine print; you can buy one for $1.50 or two for $3.00.

Sprouts Berries Sale
Sprouts example: No fine print; you can buy one for $2.50 or two for $5.00.

Once you start looking for these clues in the ad, you’ll quickly start to recognize whether or not it matters if you buy a certain number or not, and you’ll see the patterns of the types of things where you almost always have to buy a certain number to get a sale price (12-packs of soft drinks), or where it almost never matters (produce).


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