To think that Supermarkets try and 'cheat' their shoppers with false 'offers'

(109 Posts)
Mrsdavidcaruso Tue 15-Apr-14 19:24:21

I went into one of the big supermarkets today (not sure if I am allowed to name them).

I actually needed dishwasher liquid tabs so was interested in a large display at the end of an aisle 'offering' a pack of 51 tabs for 14 quid. Now there was no RRP ..... or special offer sign but the way they were displayed looked like it was some sort of deal.

However when I went to the aisle where all the dishwasher stuff is kept I saw the same brand in smaller packets of 32 1/2 price at £6.00.

Of course I bought two packs thus getting 64 tabs for £12.00 but if I hadn't checked I may have been tempted to buy the £14 pack in the mistaken belief I was getting a 'good price'.

I wonder how many people were taken in

LadyMaryLikesCake Tue 15-Apr-14 19:26:43

Of course they do, they are not there for the benefit of the shoppers. I usually avoid supermarkets the end of isle stuff. If it's not on my list I don't need it. They only want your money so don't think they are doing you a favour.

RuthlessBaggage Tue 15-Apr-14 19:27:08

All the damn time. In ours the Easter eggs have been on different offers since Boxing Day February but never once "full price".

MrsMcEnroe Tue 15-Apr-14 19:27:10

Loads of people will be taken in OP, it's how the supermarkets make their money.

You might enjoy reading "Brand Sense" and "Brandwashed" by Martin Lindstrom. You'll save yourself a fortune in the supermarkets once you're armed with this knowledge!

fuzzpig Tue 15-Apr-14 19:29:57

In a word: "duh" grin

Annoying though.

stargirl1701 Tue 15-Apr-14 19:31:02

Yes. They always have. They always will. They are businesses with shareholders that come waaaayyyyy before the customer.

pianodoodle Tue 15-Apr-14 19:32:33

All the time. Today I saw a small jar of coffee with the yellow label on the shelf edge on offer 100g for £1.50.

The 200g jar wasn't on offer but was about £2.70

Have seen it with baby bath recently as well except with the smaller bottle working out cheaper despite the larger bottle being on offer...

Nohootingchickenssleeping Tue 15-Apr-14 19:33:14

When ASDA were doing those Christmas offer booklets (spend £40 get a book of vouchers) there was a voucher in there for a box of chocolates, £5 off.

It had been £7 the previous week but was now £13! Disgusting.

Well, yes, of course they do.

It is annoying.

I wish it were the law to have small print saying how much things are per kilo or whatever (instead of stupid 'apples 5.85 per kilo' 'apples 3.74 per 100g' that are also meant to trick you).

CorusKate Tue 15-Apr-14 19:38:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YouTheCat Tue 15-Apr-14 19:42:14

Sainsbury's show price per 100g on packaged goods. Handy when deciding whether a bigger jar of coffee is worth it.

HermioneWeasley Tue 15-Apr-14 19:42:17

Of course they do - is this new information for you?

HaroldLloyd Tue 15-Apr-14 19:44:15

I think it's easy to assume the larger packs are better value for money but if you work it out that's not always the case.

I do all my shopping on line now, it's easy to see what's what.

Viviennemary Tue 15-Apr-14 19:44:46

My bet it was Tesco's. I once asked for an explanation of exactly what one of their offers was. Four sales people were trying to work it out till a supervisor came and after about 10 minutes decided what it meant. I then said wouldn't it be better if you made your offers a bit easier for people to understand. She said it was easy to understand. confused

LadyMaryLikesCake Tue 15-Apr-14 19:47:11

Waitrose have crazy offers sometimes. Buy one for 89p, buy 3 for 50p confused

DoJo Tue 15-Apr-14 19:53:27

Am I the only one who checks these things whether they are on offer or not? It is generally really easy, but I am armed with my phone which has a calculator on it to ensure that I am getting the best deal. I started doing that when I was a student and have carried on even though I am no longer in quite such dire need of stretching every penny!

Mrsdavidcaruso Tue 15-Apr-14 19:54:05

viv - nail on head

hormoine its the first time it has happened with something I actually needed at the time so it sort of stood out

Viviennemary Tue 15-Apr-14 20:04:28

There's a surprise. grin I threatened to report them to Trading Standards but didn't get round to it. They really do sail very close to the wind. I avoid them now whenever possible though it's my nearest big supermarket.

Iwantsun Tue 15-Apr-14 20:04:35

Best to play them off against each other wink

Barbeasty Tue 15-Apr-14 20:04:52

Once I was buying toilet roll and there was an offer on the 9 packs, something like buy one and get the second half price. The 18 roll pack was about 50p cheaper.

The cashier said I was the first person she'd seen all day work it out and buy the bigger pack. All those 50ps add up!

I hate the way washing tablets and dishwasher tablets are compared by the 100g on the labels. I don't care about the weight, I want to know how many loads I'll get done!

LadyMaryLikesCake Tue 15-Apr-14 20:07:42

Don't buy tablets. You don't need a whole one for your washing so it's a false economy. You're better off using powder and ½ the dose it tells you to use on the box. You can do the same with fabric softener.

AreWeThereYeti Tue 15-Apr-14 20:15:09

This type of pricing drives me nuts. It's deliberately done to confuse people. It's unfair and immoral.

I also dislike BOGOF type offers.

All the main supermarkets do it. I would go out my way to shop at a supermarket which offers plainly priced products.

I was pissed off at Marks and Spencers today because of their stupid 3 for the price of 2 offers. I DIDNT want 3 but felt I was overpaying if I only took 2. It's madness.

It is a battle of wits. You are not a "valued customer", you are merely a mug they intend to extract as much money from as possible.

arethereanyleftatall Tue 15-Apr-14 20:35:22

Of course they do. They're businesses, out to make money.

I don't mind, I consider shopping the way to keep my brain cells working.

As a rule of thumb, they will run a multibuy, to create a top price, then switch to special offer showing top price as rrp, then switch back. So, product looks like it's always on offer, whereas it's just the same price.

sadsaddersaddest Tue 15-Apr-14 20:37:41

Just look at the price per kg / litre / wash / item. If you find it too expensive, don't buy it.
I have a "reference price" for most things I buy, for instance 10p per dishwasher tablet or 17p per nappy. I only buy the "offers" if it makes things cheaper than my reference price.

specialsubject Tue 15-Apr-14 20:48:52

it is done to confuse but basic maths will sort it, now that they have to show unit price or price by weight. Does make shopping take longer than necessary of course.

top tip - look up, or down. Never buy what is at eye level, that's the expensive stuff. Never buy stuff on the end displays either.

and you might want to rethink your gold-plated dishwasher tabs which cost nearly four times the price of the ones I use!

Pipbin Tue 15-Apr-14 20:54:23

I suggest shopping online too. That way you have the time to work out what is the best deal.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Tue 15-Apr-14 20:58:24

They do it on purpose and it is very annoying. My betting is that you were in Tesco, as they are the worst at this, closely followed by Asda.

Dishwasher tablets, pringles, own brand pizza, the list goes on with prices up and down all over the place example.

If the link doesn't work, it was for a box of 26 Finish dishwasher tablets that had varied in price, according to the little graph, between £4 and £10 over the last year shock.

Wine is another one - all those 'half price' or 3 for a tenner wines that are on offer all the time at about £4/5 are never worth £8-10 per bottle.

Another great thing about shopping in Aldi or Lidl is that they don't go in for these devious 'special offers' and generally stick to a consistent price, that is usually cheaper than the special offer price at other supermarkets.

mummywithsmiles25 Tue 15-Apr-14 20:59:40

What annoys me is boots wipes the other day they were buy one get one free for 2.45 ....they never sell 1 packet for 2.45 its balls.

wooldonor Tue 15-Apr-14 21:05:07

It's not a surprise that supermarkets try to get the best deal for themselves is it? They only exist to make a profit. As others have said it's much easier to compare prices nowadays as everywhere displays the price per 100g or unit of whatever you're buying

Caveat emptor grin

itsnothingoriginal Tue 15-Apr-14 21:05:51

I know it's not a new thing but it's still shifty and underhand tactics in my opinion and some supermarkets are much worse for it than others.

I have totally stopped shopping at Tesco as they are by far the worst culprit as far as I'm concerned angry All those yellow stickers purporting to be 'deals' but when you work them out they are really only a few pence cheaper or you have to multi-buy to get a discount worth having.. I don't want to take a fucking calculator around with me to work out the deals when I do my shop every week

No YANBU at all - drives me mad too as you might guess!!

Pipbin Tue 15-Apr-14 21:12:47

What annoys me is boots wipes the other day they were buy one get one free for 2.45 ....they never sell 1 packet for 2.45 its balls.

I used to hate their bogof offer on sun screen. I never needed two, but they were so expensive. I think now it's half price.

YouTheCat Tue 15-Apr-14 22:27:37

I just buy what I need unless something really is a good offer (rare) and isn't perishable. That way I don't end up with cupboards full of stuff I won't use or that will get chucked. I especially hate offers on fresh bread. I haven't room in my freezer for the extra so I buy one loaf at a time.

MammaTJ Wed 16-Apr-14 04:24:48

Tesco had an 'offer' today of 12 babybels for £3. They also had a non offer of a pack of 6 for £1. I bought two packs of 6.

Romy75 Wed 16-Apr-14 06:46:51

I used to work for a supermarket as a student.

Their prices fluctuate.

They put the prices up just before doing 'special offers'. So the biscuits that are £1.50 for one or £2.50 for two were actually just £1 last week.

As other posters have stated, you regularly have to work out if the multipack is in fact cheaper than buying several single packs. I stand there and do the calculations.

sebsmummy1 Wed 16-Apr-14 06:55:46

Yep, they are absolutely out to confuse you.

It becomes patently obvious when it happens to goods you buy regularly. For example, I buy a four pack of beer every fortnight, same brand, for OH. When it is out of a deal it is £4.50, directly it goes into a deal it is priced at £4.99, 2 x £9.00. So I have to pay an extra 49p to buy one, or buy toe for exactly the same price as it was the week previously. REALLY pisses me off.

sebsmummy1 Wed 16-Apr-14 06:56:21


WhoAteAllTheCremeEggs Wed 16-Apr-14 07:02:07

I used to stock up on washing powder and dishwasher tabs when they were of offer now I look on mysupermarket there is always a good offer somewhere no need to fill my cupboards to bursting or pay full price.

roundtable Wed 16-Apr-14 07:02:23

They all do it, not just supermarkets.

My husband is always boggled by how long it takes me to shop but I always work out if the offer is a real one or not.

This week in boots 2 packs of huggies pure wipes for £2.49 placed at the shoppers eyeline. Look down and apack of 4 huggies pure wipes were £3.50. Friend was telling me how she thought the wipes were a con (she'd only noticed the first offer) and how she always bought hers from lidls which cost a pound.

I think it's important to have a bank of prices memorised or written down of you can't remember to work out whether it's worth buying something or going elsewhere.

Btw, don't buy your cereal at the 99p shop. I bought some the other day and noticed it was 500g whereas the supermarket brands are only about 20p more than that for 750g. In fact most of the goods at the 99p shop is a false economy imo.

FrigginRexManningDay Wed 16-Apr-14 07:10:40

I see it as my weekly brain challenge. Of course supermarkets are not there to solely provide for customers, they want to make a profit.

All you mercenary shoppers working out how not to give Tesco more of your money than you have to, look what you've done sad

mateysmum Wed 16-Apr-14 07:17:27

One big reason why I stopped shopping at Tesco is that the offers were just bonkers and confusing - and I used to run the promtional programme for a major retailer! They would have about 4 different offers on say chicken fillets and I just couldn't be arsed to waste my life working them all out to see which was cheapest.

I went to Morrisons yesterday and they had lots of 1/2 price type offers which are great.

Of course genuine anomalies will arise as offers will be on one pack size and not another - caveat emptor I'm afraid.

Undercurrent Wed 16-Apr-14 07:44:25

The aisle I especially hate is the crisps one. 4 for the price of 3 on some, 3 for 2 on others. You have to keep going up and down the aisle to compare. And the 'healthy' crisps are never seem to be on offer. I usually only shop with a basket and want one packet but end up with the 'deal' overflowing my basket.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Wed 16-Apr-14 07:49:23

YY undercurrent, if you try to buy one packet of crisps, it costs loads more. I think in our co-op one bag, which is slightly larger than the multibuy bags, costs 60p, but you can often get six for a pound.

Asda/Tesco are the worst, selling literally sacks of crisps.

Goblinchild Wed 16-Apr-14 07:59:56

I use the Sainsbury's pricing by the 100g to decide if something is a bargain, it's the simplest way for me. I also enjoy BOGOFs because I split the extra with my parents. It's a way of supporting them for free, and they don't feel they need to pay me back.
You could always BOGOF or do the deals and donate to the food bank for many of the items, or talk with a neighbour or two.

Retropear Wed 16-Apr-14 08:05:06

I do the 100g thing and Sainsbos are quite good re displaying it.

Tesco- whole different story.They purposely leave 100g weight age off many shelf labels.

theonewiththevoodoo Wed 16-Apr-14 08:08:55

i always look at the price per 100g so that i can work it out. Ive also started shopping at the wholesaler, though i know this isnt available to everyone.

i look at the price of everything....anything i pay over what i could have paid, i view as a 'stupidity tax'

RuthlessBaggage Wed 16-Apr-14 08:09:24

Morrison's price fruit and veg differently depending on loose/packed - loose is per kg, but packed is sometimes given per unit, so you have to weigh the bag to work out if the price is any good.

Tanith Wed 16-Apr-14 08:23:34

Re: Waitrose
DH once pointed out to our local manager that their offer on Pizzas actually meant they were giving them away to customers who bought 2 at a time!

They changed it, fast grin

AreWeThereYeti Wed 16-Apr-14 08:32:33

It is not always possible to compare the costs of different items even if you are a maths genius. Apples can be priced per fruit or by weight. Throw in a buy one get one half price and your stuffed. Waitrose do this.

They puposefully do this so that it confuses you, there is no other reason.

AreWeThereYeti Wed 16-Apr-14 08:35:41

Best thing is to have shares in whichever supermarket you use then you won't mind their shameless profiteering quite so much.

ProfessorSkullyMental Wed 16-Apr-14 08:48:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 08:50:30

yes but OP do you not see that YOU were taken in? Did you honestly set out with the intention of buying that many dishwasher tabs? I doubt it.

BumPotato Wed 16-Apr-14 08:57:04

Each online shop I get DH own brand lemonade at 42p a bottle. It has been the same price for a long time, maybe years. Last shop it was marked as a rollback. When I read it the price was still 42p but they had the previous price as 60p. Liars.

Mrsdavidcaruso Wed 16-Apr-14 08:58:05

Nigella I have 3 cats, a puppy a DSand a DH not to mention a bunch of free loading relatives coming to spend a few days on the Isle of Wight ( one after the other for the next three weeks) I need that many believe you me

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 09:03:49

i dont doubt it mrsdavid but did you honestly intend to buy that many when you set off for the supermarket?

Goblinchild Wed 16-Apr-14 09:06:32

It's not a problem because washtabs are unperishable and can sit happily in storage for months though; it's not as if you suddenly have to eat three times as many bags of crisps than you planned for, because of an impulse buy.

OnlyLovers Wed 16-Apr-14 09:08:33

Shops are out to make the biggest possible profit? Hold the front page.

I love BOGOFs as long as they are things that I want/need. If they're not, I don't buy them.

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 16-Apr-14 09:09:08

<<Boast alert>>

I bought 2 x 52 dishwasher tabs for £4.10 each yesterday in the co-op shock

Nigella, dishwasher tablets are never going to go to waste, I may go back for more today grin

Chocoholism Wed 16-Apr-14 09:10:11

What gets me is when they do 2 for £3 but the single item is £1.50 anyway!

"Nigella I have 3 cats, a puppy a DSand a DH not to mention a bunch of free loading relatives coming to spend a few days on the Isle of Wight ( one after the other for the next three weeks) I need that many believe you me"

You don't put your cat and dog food dishes in the dishwasher do you?! shock grin

MsVestibule Wed 16-Apr-14 09:22:43

stupidity tax? Nice. So the people who aren't as clever as you almost deserve to pay this?

Where the items are marked as p/£1 per 100g, it's very easy to work out what's cheaper, but where they then have a 'buy two, get one free' type offer, it's very difficult to work it out without a calculator.

They do seem to think we're idiots, though. DH likes pepperoni <boak>, used to be £1 per packet for the cheap stuff in Asda. It then went up to £1.30. I thought it was a rather steep increase, but then a few weeks later, it was 2 for £2. Quelle surprise. It's now back to £1 per packet. Do they really think we won't notice?

They're the only major supermarket in our town, so I don't really have the choice to go anywhere else. Besides, the staff are very nice and I never have to queue at the tills!

bruffin Wed 16-Apr-14 09:31:48

Sainsbury is by far the worst, even their nom deals have stupid pricing. A large bag of rice was twice the price per 100g as the smaller ones.
I check the 100g prices of everything and Tesco is not bad at all compared to sainsbury

YouTheCat Wed 16-Apr-14 09:38:13

I shall be off to Sainsbury's in an hour. I've already had a look at offers online whilst I was writing my list.

I won't be going for the 3 for £4 on their Walker's crisps though, not while they have a 20 pack for £2.50.

NotMrsTumble Wed 16-Apr-14 09:43:22

My lovely dad taught me to check the unit price, compare brands and check for offers across all the supermarkets (his mil thought he was mad and would "wear out his shoes for a tuppence saving" grin )

He did this in the days before the internet by shopping at a different supermarket each week, keeping an eye on the press/adverts and was a lidl pioneer.

DH was suckered in by an offer on branded chocolate digestive biscuits at the end of an isle in sainsbos, not realising the lidl equivalent was only 75% of the price anyway, and he hadn't even gone for biscuits in the first place. confused

And YY to having reference point prices. DH has no idea what things normally/should cost, so has no idea if an offer is good or not (to be fair this is probably because I am a control freak re the supermarket shopping & so he can't develop reference points - but I'm convinced my dad's teaching has saved us a fortune over the years).

You should be able to take the retailers word that something is a special offer, but sadly I don't think it'll ever happen. tbusad

Website is your friend grin! They list most of the supermarkets so you can compare who's charging what and what's the unit price (per 100g etc) for whatever sizes they stock. I don't think I've gone shopping without checking this site for a couple of years now grin.

OnlyLovers Wed 16-Apr-14 09:45:07

NotMrs, but only McVities branded chocolate digestives are worth having anyway wink

fatlazymummy Wed 16-Apr-14 09:51:20

I have started to use a calculator when I do my shopping, either that or take a list.Having said that, I rarely go for BOGOFs, because I usually buy the supermarket own brand, often the basic. Even then you have to compare the 2, because sometimes the basic brand is actually more expensive. You really do have to keep your brain switched on when you are shopping. The supermarket wants customers to wander around in a daze ,chucking whatever takes their fancy into a trolley. A lot of people can't afford to do that.
And I agree with the poster who said about pound shops not always being cheaper.
Always compare prices, and forget about 'brand loyalty'.

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 09:54:22

A calculator is the way forward, esp in Tesco and Sainsburys who are really adept at confusing customers by putting price per 100g for one product and per kilo for others, to name just one little trick. I know it is just a sliding decimal point but if you are no good at arithmetic...

Goblinchild Wed 16-Apr-14 09:57:24

If pricing in kilos and 100g units confuses you, then that's a basic problem you need to sort out. It's the maths required of an 8 year old.

HandbagsandSnotrags Wed 16-Apr-14 09:58:28

I have noticed that whenever I shop in tescos, the more of their "offers" I buy, the greater the amount I could've saved shopping elsewhere would've been according to the voucher they give you with your receipt.

I do only buy what I want / need but clearly the offers are not fabulous savings otherwise surely I'd be paying less than elsewhere not more?

Local butchers and fruit and veg shop much cheaper but finding the time to go as not open in evenings etc is a problem.

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 10:00:58

goblinchild it is designed to confuse people or why would they do it?
Yes I can manage a sliding decimal point despite my dyscalculia there is no need to be that rude.
would you be that rude to someone with dyslexia?

YouTheCat Wed 16-Apr-14 10:06:29

Having dyscalculia and trying to work out what's the best offer must be a nightmare.

riskit4abiskit Wed 16-Apr-14 10:06:52

I only recently started online grocery shopping after having ds, and find it so much easier to compare price per weight on the app.

If we are entertaining or bbqing its lidl all the way!

What bugs me is that one product can have 'comparison' shelf tickets in 'per 100g', 'per kg' and 'per item' for the same thing. Apples for instance.

I can easily do the 100g/kg conversion. But when the alternative is 4 apples in a bag at x per apple, it's a pain to have to take them to the scales and work it out.

As ever, the law is vague enough that they are complying with the letter of it while ignoring the intention.

And I do think that there should be a ban on '3 for 2' and 'buy 1 get 1 free' on things with short dates. All these headlines about the food people 'waste' are not surprising when you can get two bags of salad for the price of one, but you end up throwing the second away unopened when it goes slimy.

If you don't take the second, you know you're paying over the odds, so many people will take it even thought they know they're ulikely to get through it.

Personally, I now buy a lettuce, which lasts longer anyway. But many people want the prepared versions.

Goblinchild Wed 16-Apr-14 10:20:31

I wasn't being rude, I am constantly surprised by the acceptance of a level of poor mathematics by the majority of the population. If an adult had the reading level of an average 8 year old, I'd be advising them to get support from adult literacy groups.
And no, I had no idea that you had a diagnosis of dyscalculia, why would I?
Most people just shrug and say 'I can't do maths' It's why schools are being hammered into improving the situation.

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 10:22:43

i do not have the maths level of an 'average 8 year old' thanks

Goblinchild Wed 16-Apr-14 10:27:31

Dealer, I'm a primary teacher, and that specific strand of mathematical knowledge is taught in lower key stage two. Who knows, in another few years they may drop it into what the 6 year olds should be learning.
It wasn't an insult, it was a fact.
Dyscalculia has only been recognised as a diagnosis very recently, unlike dyslexia. Let's see if that has an impact on schools and methods of teaching.
Supermarkets get away with bamboozling people because they rely on a combination of people shopping under pressure and poor maths skills. They make a lot of money that way.

YouTheCat Wed 16-Apr-14 10:30:53

But Goblin, having dyscalculia isn't just not being able to 'do maths'.

A colleague's dd has it and, even as an adult, she struggles to recognise numbers over 20.

Dyslexia is much more widely diagnosed and there are all kinds of brilliant programmes out there that can help but the same cannot be said for dyscalculia because so often people will just write someone off as not being very good at maths rather than looking to deal with it.

FWIW, many people with diagnoses of dyslexia would struggle plenty with this sort of thing. You can have a perfectly decent ability to understand the concepts (ie., which bit of arithmetic you need to do), and still find you reverse or mix up the numbers while you try to do it.

But I don't get this argument anyway. Surely even if someone is badly educated or of low intelligence, it's kinda horrible to be dismissive of them falling for a trick other people can spot and avoid?

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 10:34:41

exactly LTD why dismiss me because I am terrible with numbers? does that make me less 'worthy' or something?

Chunderella Wed 16-Apr-14 10:36:28

Yanbu, they absolutely do this and Tesco are buggers for it, in my experience. One of the reasons why I've decided to reduce my exposure to them. I enjoy good deals myself, and multibuys on stuff you were going to get and will use anyway is very helpful for many of us. But the constant piss taking is too much, and this thread raises a good point that it discriminates against people who don't have good mathematical skills.

Pipbin Wed 16-Apr-14 10:44:19

Independent living adults with SN could find it very hard to convert to price per 100g to price per kilo, and they are among people least able to afford it. Also, someone with a low level of education who is out of work might not be able to do that.

Yes, Goblinchild that is something required of an 8 year old, however that is no reason to be rude to someone who can't do it. I have a number of parents who are illiterate. If there are any important letters going home I make sure I tell them the content. I also help parents fill out the forms. I certainly wouldn't tell the that they should be able to do it and leave them to suffer.

I agree that poor maths skills are not something to be proud of, but equally it shouldn't be shameful.

YY, pip, that's something I don't like the thought of.

Obviously it's not good when people take a bizarre pride in saying they're no good at maths, but I don't see that that's what this is about.

Kerosene Wed 16-Apr-14 10:52:05

How recent is recent? I remember hearing about dyscalcula when I was being assessed as dyspraxic 20-odd years ago? I agree that 'bad at maths' isn't considered as problematic as functional illiteracy, but unless she's 8, Nigella is probably not benefiting personally from the current focus on improving maths teaching. I know I've had to patch some fairly basic holes in my knowledge, and a lot of it isn't instinctive to me. There's no need to be arsey.

Leaving that aside, it's why I only shop online now. I can't be having with walking up and down an aisle trying to juggle 4 different offers with the time pressure of needing to get home - this one's 3/£10, that's 4/£12, there's a BOGOF and a Buy X get Y. I just want some cheese!, sort by price per unit, buy what I actually want, not what's been gussied up to look tempting.

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 10:53:12

i do wonder how people who are even worse than me manage, I mean those with real LDs.
Also I have even seen some prices in metric and others in imperial! How sneaky is that? I challenge you mental arithmetic boffs to get your heads round that one!

Goblinchild Wed 16-Apr-14 11:00:32

Pibbin, I've done all that too, and translation for parents who struggle with English for whatever reasons. I taught in a community school for 8 years and this was something all the staff did, to enable a mostly immigrant community to access the basics they were entitled to.
Likewise, I have an adult child with AS who believes that adverts tell the truth and is vulnerable to the endless crap and claims of that industry.
It's those people that need specific support to be able to live in the wider community, and to be protected from those that would defraud them based on their gullibility and lack of knowledge.
How does that change the fact that the deceptions are based on people not checking, being too time-pressured or not being able to work out basic calculations? They are purely in it for the profits to be made, however dubious the methods used.
Are we advocating legislation to control and regulate the selling?
Look at the shambles that ensued with the simple traffic light system to indicate food content. Seemed a good idea, got screwed up by individual firms.

Goblinchild Wed 16-Apr-14 11:07:12

'The National Numeracy Challenge is launched against a backdrop of recent OECD research showing the UK failing to keep up with other countries. Government figures also show that virtually half the working-age population have the maths skills expected of children at primary school and over three-quarters are below the level equivalent to the maths GCSE that many employers regard as necessary for work.'

'Also released today is a YouGov online poll showing that over a third of adults (36%) feel they have sometimes been held back by poor maths skills in some aspects of their lives. The most common difficulties involved weighing or measuring, understanding statistics in the media and helping children with maths schoolwork. Of those who rated their own skills as poor, nearly a third (30%) said it had affected their work and nearly a quarter (24%) had found it hard to work out the best deals in shops. However nearly a third (31%) of all those surveyed wanted to improve their maths skills; this rose to 50% among those who rated their skills as poor.'

It's a huge problem in this country, and the puzzle is why it is not so in many other countries.

I don't really see why legislation would be a bad idea?

The fact that you don't find the traffic light system helpful (and some do, despite its faults) doesn't mean it's impossible to introduce useful packaging. The units on alcohol and calorie labels are really good, so it's obviously not impossible to make it work.

We all understand that the idea is to target those who don't check or are too busy/unable, I think. But understanding it doesn't mean it has to be accepted. There are plenty of cases where businesses are not allowed to use any means possible to make profit.

goblin, do you think that clear labels on food would suddenly make all children decide not to bother learning arithmetic? confused

I don't get this at all.

Pipbin Wed 16-Apr-14 11:09:55

I think the think is Goblinchild that what you said:

If pricing in kilos and 100g units confuses you, then that's a basic problem you need to sort out. It's the maths required of an 8 year old.

comes across as a bit 'ffs an 8 year old can do that, get your shit together', which is not how you meant it I'm sure.

I don't think there will ever be legislation in place to combat it as the supermarkets will get round it.
Like putting one product in the 'end on' which makes you think that it's on an offer.

Another tip is never buy the naan bread from the aisle with the curry sauce, always from the bread aisle. Same with salad dressing, the dressings with the salads is always the more expensive.

Goblinchild Wed 16-Apr-14 11:15:39

The traffic light system was designed to be simple and unambiguous, giving a clear indication of fat/salt/sugar content in food.
So far so good.
Then certain chains decided that they didn't like their customers knowing so much, and designed their own version, which lacked the clarity of the original idea and obscured the information.
They could do this becaise the TLS was not made compulsory for all, in law. They were allowed to self-regulate, relabel sugars as less obvious materials, not use the red/orange/green etc.
If supermarkets are to be forced to be more clear on their pricings, there would have to be a clear system of weight/price labelling, and it would have to be enforced by law so that all of the chains followed the same system, and in every store.
Which would probably be a good thing, but what about competition and the free market and the rest?

Yes, I get it, you don't like it and have concerns that other packaging rules could be equally problematic.

But, as I said, there are examples where food packaging is really helpful.

So why assume that this would also follow the (rare) bad example?

What about competition and the free market? There are already plenty of laws about how clear you can or can't be with labels. The world hasn't ground to a halt.

CalamitouslyWrong Wed 16-Apr-14 11:25:57

I find the best way to spend less in the supermarket is to make a list and then completely ignore all the offers. Just buy exactly what's on the list.

Sainsbury's tends to vary the units it uses for it's price by weight. Across a shelf some things will be price per kg and others price per 100g. It's very obviously designed to make it more difficult to compare the prices. Just because I can do the arithmetic, doesn't mean I want to.

The other thing that annoys me is the having the same product in different places at different prices (not the same brand). Tins of chickpeas in the 'ethnic foods' aisle are very much cheaper than the ones in the beans and pulses aisle, but it's difficult to compare because they're far away from each other. Same with giant cous cous. The stuff in the rice aisle is much more expensive than the stuff in the beans and pulses aisle (which is always on the bottom shelf too).

I'm sure the same is true for loads of products. I've taken to informing people about the chickpeas if I happen to see them grabbing some of the more expensive ones. They're always surprised that there are 35p a tin ones elsewhere in the store.

That's probably true!

specialsubject Wed 16-Apr-14 11:32:35

sounds like we need some accessible maths courses for those who didn't listen, weren't taught or have forgotten.

this won't help those who have learning disabilities but it could help a lot of other people.

the other thing of course is to shoot down the attitude that having maths or science skills makes you a geek.

Goblinchild Wed 16-Apr-14 11:33:47

I like the traffic light system.

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 11:34:08

yes maybe the supermarkets could offer the maths courses on a BOGOF basis?


Goblinchild Wed 16-Apr-14 11:36:42

'the other thing of course is to shoot down the attitude that having maths or science skills makes you a geek.'

Or that they are only for men, and that girls and women don't need to worry about those areas.

CalamitouslyWrong Wed 16-Apr-14 11:40:25

But we shouldn't need to be offering basic maths courses just because supermarkets are determined to confuse as many people as possible. A consistent rule of always displaying price per 100g would make things easier for everyone.

The basic maths courses are still a good idea for many because arithmetic is a useful skill in lots of situations.

Legislation can work if it is worded carefully. But I think the big supermarket chains have far too many expensive lawyers making sure that the wording is just vague enough to give them the loopholes they need.

But if society decided something is a big enough problem - like food waste - then the 'free market' doesn't completely stop the government from introducing legislation.

Up here, you can't do "2 for 1" deals on alcohol any more, because it encouraged irresponsible drinking habits.

If we collectively decided that the amount of food wasted in deals on salads and crisps was actually something we really cared about, then the same could be applied to other kinds of produce.

Pipbin Wed 16-Apr-14 12:02:39

Tins of chickpeas in the 'ethnic foods' aisle are very much cheaper than the ones in the beans and pulses aisle, but it's difficult to compare because they're far away from each other.

This is where online shopping comes into it's own. You type in 'chickpeas' and there they all are.

BumPotato Wed 16-Apr-14 12:45:47

It is the same with herbs and spices. There are much larger bags and jars of them in the ethnic food aisle, but not everything available online.

RuthlessBaggage Wed 16-Apr-14 13:00:35

In ours the "ethnic" sunflower oil is six feet from the naice safe European sunflower oil. 40p/L difference.

RuthlessBaggage Wed 16-Apr-14 13:03:55

The traffic lights system is all very well, but under sugar-free fizzy pop scores all green, and an obviously nutritious food like cheese scores one or two reds.

LadyMaryLikesCake Wed 16-Apr-14 13:33:43

'Low sugar' is often packed with flavour enhancers/salt/aspartame etc, or can have more sugar than the normal version, so I ignore these. It's just a marketing ploy and I'd rather have a little more sugar then a load of chemical additives. It's the same with 'low fat'. I'd rather eat butter then margerine. I think the 'low' encourages people to eat/drink more of that product so it defeats the object. I avoid the supermarkets where I can.

WitchWay Wed 16-Apr-14 14:01:04

Those "ethnic" East End chickpeas are bigger & juicier than the usual Tesco ones as well grin

CalamitouslyWrong Thu 17-Apr-14 09:39:26

Yes, the cheaper chickpeas are much better than the expensive ones!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now