Supermarket DisEconomy of Scale Name & Shame

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Supermarket DisEconomy of Scale Name & Shame

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Shop but don't drop
86 replies 34.7K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin Money Saving ExpertMoneySaving Expert
8.3K posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Shop but don't drop
When you buy more. Things should get cheaper. It seems the Supermarkets are not following through on this. I thought we should name and shame.

If you spot something that is cheaper if you buy two of a smaller amount than one big one. Please report it. Let's see who the worst offenders are!

Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • howalshhowalsh Forumite
    396 posts
    Beer sales seem to suffer from this - often in Asda or Tesco, a twelve pack will be reduced to less than half the price of a 24 pack. Keep your eyes open.
    My views are irrelevant - censorship is alive & well!
  • divadeedivadee Forumite
    10.6K posts
    Part of the Furniture
    Frozen peas at sainsburys it was cheaper to buy 2 smaller ones than the big 'value' ones.
  • Beconase hayfever nasal spray at Tescos - cheaper to get 2 * 100ml bottles than one 180ml bottle.

    May be the same at other outlets as well - I think it's standard pricing.
  • SystemSystem
    177.7K posts
    10,000 Posts
    Andrex Toilet Roll
    9 roll pack for £3.58
    2x4 roll packs for £2.50 so its £1.08 for 1 roll.
  • marvinmarvin Forumite
    2.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    Pegs in Safeway
    24 pack 75p 48 pack £1.99
    I started with nothing and I am proud to say I still have most of it left.
  • interesting topic for me .... i've spent 30 years in the grocery trade in buying and marketing in a supermarket company.

    There's 2 differrent things to look at .....

    with normal everyday pricing you will find in 99.999% of instances that the bigger the pack the better the saving. Nowadays with "unit pricing" tickets on the shelf edge that converts prices into a common unit eg "pence per litre". You should always look at these to ensure you are getting the lowest price. There is no logic in the differrences between pack sizes ... sometimes massive , sometimes tiny... all depends on the product and it's costings .

    The other thing is promotional activity .... this is where the anomolies arise . Normally a special offer will be on one size only , if there are bigger packs available , they won't be reduced and then the comparisons go wrong. The Andrex example is a good one. Often happens on tea and coffee .
    Normally promotions will be on smaller packs as these are the better sellers, wanted by more people so that's where the effort goes. Suppliers will rarely fund promotions on more than 1 size, The bigger pack will temporarily be more expensive.
    You've just got to be aware that this is the case and shop accordingly !!!
  • BobbyG_2BobbyG_2 Forumite
    16 posts
    Last week Sainsburys Croydon Whitgift were offering 3 for 2 on Slimfast cans, but the 6-packs of cans were not reduced (they are only a few pence cheaper than the individuals).
    They only had one flavour of can left, but lots of different packs. The barcode is the same on the cans in the packs, but I wonder how many people ripped the useless cardboard off at the till to get the savings?

  • mink35mink35 Forumite
    6.1K posts
    Okay so I know it's not a supermarket, but McDonalds do rip-offs as well!

    6 chicken nugget meal with medium fries and medium drink is £3.29

    You can get 4 nugget happy meal, extra size (which gives you medium fries n drink) for £2.29, making the extra two nuggets a quid!

    We only go for the happy meals now - the thing is, what do I do with all the toys, lol ;D
  • Those big bags of "economy" veggies are sometimes more expensive than buying the standard produce loose. Check the price labels. Unfortunately, supermarkets price single peppers individually, and price the multibags by weight. Makes it hard to truly compare weight for weight value.

    Safeway regularly have half price offers on, say, chicken kievs. 4 for 1.99, whereas two cost 2.49! Needless to say, the two packs don't sell well and end up in the reduced aisle... still priced too high. I shudder to think of the wastage this must cause.
  • zcaprd7zcaprd7 Forumite
    1.1K posts
    Yes, this is bizarre, and rather counter intuitive...

    I suppose it doesn't fool many people, I wonder if it comes from targeting the 'metro' style stores where they only do smaller products but still want to "stand out" from the crowd?
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