ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

5 habits of a sussed supermarket shopper

ConsumerTalk's Wendy Knowler helps you navigate your trolley successfully through the aisles of your favourite stores.

Here are 5 great tips!

The shelf label has two prices on it - the selling price in big bold numbers, and, much smaller, usually bottom left, the unit price, which is the per kg or per 100g price. And that’s now you can tell, without the help of your cellphone’s calculator, whether the jumbo box is cereal is really better value than the more convenient, smaller box, or which pack of toilet rolls is cheapest per roll (the per roll price is also displayed.)

Check out the products packed in awkward places The positioning of the various brands in shelves is not random - it’s part of merchandising deals between the supermarkets and the manufacturers. Often the best value products are to be found on the top or bottom shelves and the pricier ones on the more convenient middle shelves

It’s a huge waste of money to buy supermarket carrier bags, at more than 50 cents a bag, and very un-environmentally friendly, too, given that amount of plastic involved and the fact that they can’t be recycled, with the exception of the Checkers green bag

Loyalty rewards programmes have come a long way, especially in the past year or two, so it pays to find out how they can work for you and work that into your shopping habit. There are major discounts to be had with every shop - on the products you regularly buy, and if you can save your points, such as Smart Shopper, until the end of the year, you’ll have a handy festive bonus to spend.

If you get to the till and the price of a product scans at higher than the price on the shelf label, you are entitled to the lower price. Call a manager if the cashier won’t budge.

Both Woolworths and Pick n Pay have wrong-price compensation policies. At Woolies, you get the item free and other identical ones at the lower price, and at PnP, you pay the lower price and get double the difference between the incorrect and correct price. So, if a jar of coffee is marked at R65 on the shelf and it scans at R79, you get R28 as compensation.

Note: Both policies are optional, introduced as a customer service: you can’t demand them as your legal right at other stores.


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