From my “How I grocery shop” page:
Hi Jordan! First I have to say I love this post… I read it and have been price matching ever since and saving a little more each time. I do have a question that I was wondering if you could clarify for me… if you can't, that is fine too since I wasn't exactly sure what this manager was trying to say. Here's my scenario from my local WalMart last week:
A local grocer had Miracle Whip 30 oz jars BOGO Free. In doing my other shopping, I decided to pick these up from WalMart instead of the local store. The ad specifically stated “save $4.99”, which is in line with WM's ad match policy. My WM sells this product for $2.98 each. The customer service manager that was called over during my check-out said that I would get these as BOGO Free but would scan them at the price of the other store. When I asked for more clarification, this manager started mumbling and playing around with the computer and never did give me a good answer. I then just asked her to remove the items from my receipt and didn't purchase them.
Do you know if this manager would have scanned one of these items up at $4.99 and the second would have been free… or would they have scanned both in at $2.98 then given me a discount of $4.99 off the total? Like I said, I never did understand what this manager was trying to say, so I'm not sure what their “correct” way of handling this would be. I plan to call my local store and ask for clarification so that I know how to handle this the next time I go in, but thought I would run it past you too. Thanks in advance if you are able to answer this at all. -Chriss
Chriss – First of all, I'm so happy that you've been price matching, I hope it's been saving you tons! As for your question…all I have to say is, EVERY WALMART IS DIFFERENT, and more importantly, every checker is different. I know that shouldn't be the case, but it is. There is a Neighborhood Walmart by me that is super super super laid back. They will let me price-match anything, and I mean anything. They say outright “we are really flexible here so it's no problem” when I ask them about something that I figure they won't match for whatever reason. That being said, there are likewise Walmarts that are much stricter and don't love price-matching as much, or simply do things differently. So if you end up having a weird experience then try again. Don't let one certain checker or store keep you from price-matching. It's their POLICY; it's a huge part of their business model. They make plenty of money from price-matching items, otherwise they wouldn't do it! Ok, now that that is out of the way…
In this case, it seems like the other store jacked up their price to $4.99/jar and was selling them BOGO, making them $2.50/jar, which is $0.48 less. They should've given you the jar for $2.50 each.
Here's another thing I've learned…
Price-matching takes some quick (and sometimes complicated) mental math…which some checkers are not comfortable doing. I know that I personally am TERRIBLE at mental math. Here's what I recommend: keep a calculator (you should have one on your phone) handy and do that math for them. Just say, “Smiths has these for BOGO at $4.99, so I did the math and it looks like it should be price-matched at 2 jars for $4.99 making them $2.50 each, does that sound right?”
Always ask them to verify, but do the math for them. You will have much more luck in getting correct price-matching. Also, buy some of those blank round garage sale stickers and stick the price-matched price to your items to keep things easier for you and the checker.
So, try again! Don't let that stop you, and yes, you should've been able to match that just fine. 🙂
From my “10 overlooked discounts” post:
Loved This!! Great interview Jordan and thanks for the tips. 2 other ones that are easy are Ebates.com, and swagbucks.com…. what do you think about those? xo, Shelese
From my “What to buy from Costco” post:
Thanks a bunch for all of your suggestions. What I have found and LOVE doing with costco is sharing. I love the olive oil for instance but my house is not big or my budget to buy two of them. I split things like this with a neighbor. You can double the variety you can afford at costco without missing out on items. SO to that I say share with friends, neighbors, family whomever. Just cause the 32 oz. ketchup comes in three doesn't mean you need that many RIGHT NOW. Be smart and I totally agree, know your prices and I am a total believer in the coupons, if it doesn't have one I don't need it. –Jodi
I think your post is spot on! I have avoided Costco other than to walk around, get samples, and for the occasional things that we can only get there. However, since couponing has not been as beneficial lately given the LACK of deals, I'm shopping at Costco more and more. A couple things that I always try to get there are graham crackers and Craisins. My kids LOVE these for snacks and they are so much cheaper than buying them in the stores. Of course, sometimes there are coupons so I'll buy a couple extra when they have that. It might also be beneficial for people to know that you can make your own cleaning supplies too at a FRACTION of what they cost to buy….that could save tons down the road. -Jenni
From my “FACTs of Saving” Page:
Jordan, these are great tips, thank you for sharing your money savvy ideas! While I did have concerns about your approach on when to take no for an answer at first, I'm glad you clarified. Some people like to think they are entitled to things and when they don't get their way they threaten to take their business elsewhere. Having worked in retail and currently in another position where I deal with this on a daily basis it's definitely frustrating, and people can be very, very rude. So I appreciate you making the point to be kind when asking so that some people don't go out thinking they can walk all over people to get what they want. After all, people are going to be MUCH more inclined to help you when you're nice than if you're rude. Also, as a tip for anyone else out there, I have learned personally not to rely on associates for helping you because generally it's the management that is going to ultimately have the power to decide what they can or cannot do for you (and it's not their fault, they just don't have the power to make certain decisions). But I have also been on the customer side, and been frustrated (with my phone carrier too for overcharges!) and I kindly demanded (yes, it's possible! lol) that they fix their mistake or we would switch carriers because we have been loyal customers for about 10 years, and they had made the mistake more than once. I think people should remember 3 things:
1. Be realistic about the situation
2. Ask with kindness, and don't be offended when you are told NO
3. Most importantly, If they say YES to a discount or whatever you're asking for, ALWAYS show gratitude and appreciation! It's always good to use their name when thanking them. If they don't have a nametag, ask! When people go the extra mile for me and they aren't a manager, I always make it a point to let their supervisor know how they helped me and how much I appreciated their willingness to go the extra mile. It's a small thing for you to do that will have a huge impact for them, it also makes the manager feel good knowing their employees are making their customers happy. -Lauren
Posted on my Facebook wall:
Ginger wrote: “Hi jordan, maybe you have already mentioned this tip, but I thought i would share in case not. Yesterday I saved $80 on two prescriptions by using coupons my doctors gave me with the prescription. So from now on, I'm asking the doc, “do you have any samples or coupons for this prescription?”. I was totally amazed how much I saved!!”
Becky wrote: “Working in a pharmacy, I always tell my patients that there is always a coupon available for name brand meds. You can look for them at www.internetdrugcoupons.com or just type in the name of the meds in a search browser along with the word coupon and there should be a lot of options.”
Elizabeth wrote: “This is my all time favorite blog ever! Love… Funcheaporfree!!!!!! Any ideas on getting tickets to Wicked this summer?”
Um…first of all…BEST MUSICAL. EVER. I cried. Literally. Where are you wanting to see it? Are you in UT? There are ALWAYS ways to get a deal 🙂 For one, enter every contest possible. Radio stations will be giving them away like crazy. Enter enough, and you might just win! Last minute tickets are also a great way to go. Call the box office directly, rather than going through a SmithTix type site. Ask them for any last-minute deals. If you're really gutsy, just show up and ask. My husband and I went to Wicked and found out that an hour before the show they were giving away 10 free tickets. You had to wait in line forever, but we tried. We didn't win and ended up having to pay for the ticket, but we just cut out date night for the rest of the month to make it work, and did free dates instead. And hey, it was worth a shot! On Broadway they sell discounted tickets at a booth outside the theater last-minute. Also, if they offer Matinee shows, you would probably get a cheaper price there. Does that help?
Thanks for all the tips and comments, keep them coming!