Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Buy as many as you like and get the lot free!

They don't call me @AusterityDad on Twitter for nothing you know.

Long term readers and book fans will be well aware of my many hours rummaging around in the supermarkets seeking out bargains and some times spotting mistakes on offers and taking advantage. These haven't always been successful. That row over the wrongly priced "Now 83" in Tesco still rankles with me but I'll let it go.

I've always dreamed of finding the perfect offer and today it arrived! I went in to Sainsbury's, mooched on down to the deli counter to see if there were any good reductions but no joy. So I headed on round to the cooked meats aisle (my second favourite after the crisp aisle) to see what offers were available and my eyes were drawn to a shelf edge ticker that read "Buy 1 get 2 cheapest free" on some of Sainsbury's Taste The Difference packs of ham and pastrami.

Now I don't normally buy these - because at £3 a go for a few flimsy slices they are very overpriced. But my interpretation of this offer was that I'd be getting 3 packs for the price of 1 so I popped some in the basket and headed towards the tills.

I was a bit wary of this offer because it seemed too good to be true and there have been many occasions in the past when I have gone into Tesco and others and seen such an offer but when I've put it through the till it hasn't come up leading to wasting time at customer services trying to get it sorted out. So I asked the lady at the self-serve checkout if we could check it. I wish I hadn't now, because when we put them through they came up as £0.00 to pay. The offer had given me the lot - scot free.

Cheap at double the price! Which would still be zero!

Unfortunately the supervisor was now aware of this - and although she let me have them - she couldn't really do otherwise, she then called her boss to try and get it sorted out. Which to me meant they would be removing them from the shelves. So I pretended to leave the store but doubled back, got another basket and headed back to the aisle to stock up with some more as I knew this couldn't last.

I got a few other bits of shopping too as I knew I could not go back to the self-service checkout and I didn't want to arouse undue suspicion so headed for the main checkouts where I had the misfortune to get stuck behind a woman doing a £174 shop who spent 5 minutes trying to find all her vouchers and nectar card. The pensioner in the queue behind me started moaning to me about it. For once I had to agree. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but I was running against the clock here and I could see the supervisor from earlier not far away and I didn't want her to clock me. I put my hoodie up and looked the other way.

Anyway, all went through smoothly with my other bits of shopping masking the low overall price though the cashier still commented on it. I had got away with 12 packets in total for free - 6 ham, 6 pastrami.. I declined to use my nectar card and paid cash so as not to leave a trail. As I walked out of the store I felt like a criminal and that I was going to be collared at any moment for shoplifting or fraud - but I knew this was a foolish way to be thinking. I had done nothing wrong, I had all my receipts, and now I was off home for a masssive sandwich! Cheers, Mr Sainsbury!

My only regret is that it didn't happen in Tesco as I would have got immensely more satisfaction out of that. I also wish this had happened a year ago as it would have made a great anecdote for my book Austerity Dad which has a new cover by the way. Check it out here:


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