I have a series at The Frugalette called What? No Coupons! There are so many ways to save money without clipping one coupon. Avoiding and fighting back on grocery store overcharges is a big one! New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs reported grocery stores throughout the country overcharge consumers at least 1 Billion Dollars every year. The report further states that the overcharges may actually total up to a whopping 2.5 BILLION yearly.
Surprised? Not much. Almost every time I go shopping some item has rung up higher than the advertised price. In just a couple of shopping trips that adds up quickly, sometimes as much as $5-$10 difference! Forget coupons, if the stores can’t get their prices right, how am I supposed to really know what I’m paying?
Here are my top 5 tips to avoid Grocery Store Overcharges:
ASK FOR POLICY Just like keeping a coupon policy handy, take a quick trip to customer service and ask them what their policy is for pricing errors. Keep it handy, you just might need it during check-out!
PRICE CHECK Know what you should be charged versus what the price rings up as. If you find the mistake at the time of purchase a lot of stores will give you the item FREE. If you find the mistake after you leave the store, head back to customer service. They will refund the difference.
KEEP RECEIPTS If you notice a continued pattern of pricing errors, keep your receipts and file a complaint with your state’s Consumer Affairs Division. They take this seriously, and will follow-up with you.
BE ASSERTIVE Request the cashier to delay scanning your items until everything is on the belt so you can watch the items being rung up. Will the cashier and people behind you get annooyed? Maybe, but it’s your money, and your tired of getting overcharged!
EXAMINE DISCREPANCIES Usually when I get home I’ll go over the receipt compared to what I bought. It takes time, but inevitably I find a discrepancy. I’ll circle it and keep it with me. Next time I’m in the store I’ll get my refund.
It’s your money, watch it well!
Have you ever caught a grocery overcharge?
— Isra(@thefrugalette) July 10, 2012