When 99¢ isn’t a Good Deal

I shop at five different grocery stores (well, six if you count Walmart). Okay, I don’t shop at all of them every week. I have two grocery stores just down the road from me. I try to shop at them most often. I check my store flyers each week, and try to buy items that are on sale as often as I can. Some weeks, I don’t buy anything or just stop in the get any basics we might have run low on (usually milk).

I also know the prices on a lot of the items I buy, and can spot when they have a “supposed” sale that is not a good deal. Have you ever noticed that? One week a grocery store will have an item on sale for say $2.99, then the following week they put the exact same item in the flyer for $3.99 (exact same item). Technically, it’s still a sale, because it’s still priced lower than the regular price. I’m watching you grocery stores! LOL

Sometimes my local grocery stores have decent sales, but not always as good as the discount grocery stores. I don’t shop at warehouse stores like Costco, because the closest one to us is at least 45 minutes away. I also don’t like paying for a membership so I can shop there, and I don’t really have room to store all those giant multi-paks of things. Anyway, back to the discount stores. I really liked the ones I used to shop at in Ontario, but now that I am in Quebec I’ve had to get used to different stores. There are actually none very convenient to me, so it has to be a really good sale for me to drive 25 minutes each way to go grocery shopping. I will always do my best to combine it will other errands and make the trip worth my while.

Anyway, last week one of these discount stores was having a 99¢ sale. I had some other things I had to take care of out that way, so I set out with my list of things to stock up on. They were having a sale on 5 lb bags of potatoes, carrots, and onions for 99 cents each. Great deal!! I bought one of each.

I get out to the car and start putting my groceries inside. Blech! One of the onions in the mesh bag is all wet and soggy (rotting). The rest of the bag seems okay, so I decide to keep it. I make sure to put it somewhere it won’t leak all over anything important. I make sure to throw that out when I get home.

I plan to make roasted carrots, onions and potatoes on the weekend to go with a roast. Hubby made sure to open up the bag of carrots, so it wouldn’t get too humid in there. I didn’t bother refrigerating them because they usually can last a few weeks. Besides, they don’t keep them refrigerated at the grocery store.

Saturday afternoon rolls around and I am getting ready to make dinner. I am really looking forward to some of those roasted veggies. Well, I am thoroughly disgusted with these carrots! Every carrot in this 5 lb bag seems to be coated in some kind of green mold. I am used to the occasional black spot that I just peel or cut off, but not this. Hubby decides it is not worth eating and tosses the entire bag in the garbage. He wonders aloud whether these bags are leftover from last year or something… maybe they have been sitting around in some warehouse for a long time. Oh, and the onions don’t look all that great either. Thankfully, the potatoes (red skinned) look fine.

Don’t get me wrong, the shopping trip was very successful. I got a big load of groceries for under $60. A lot of things that were on sale were a great deal. It’s just that sometimes you need to be careful of sale items. Sometimes a deal is not such a great deal afterall.

How about you? Have you ever opted to buy something cheap or on sale, and then discovered it wasn’t such a great deal in the end?


2 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve made that mistake with apples a few times – choosing the variety with the lowest price, then being disappointed because they were soft and/or bruised. Now I look for the firmest, nicest looking apples – buying Ontario apples whenever possible.

    1. TinaChase says:

      Hey Janet! Nothing worse than bruised apples. Can you still cook with them if they are bruised, so you could somewhat salvage your purchase? Thankfully, I’ve had pretty good luck with apples here. We’re pretty close to prime Quebec apple growing regions, so we get a really great selection (qute often for 99¢/lb too). However, I never buy the pre-bagged ones. I like to hand pick my apples out of the bins. Poor apples, only the nice looking ones get chosen…

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