Manager’s Specials at the Grocery Store–Gimmick or Good Deal?

stack of toilet paper on sale
You can’t miss this mountain of toilet paper on sale. But, it’s not a great sale regardless of the original price.

Everyone loves a sale, but beware of some Manager’s Specials at the grocery store. 

I came across a huge mountain on neatly stacked packages of 4-roll Angel Soft toilet paper for $1 each. The sign, Manager’s Special, makes you think that you stumbled upon a great deal. Uh-uh. No. I wanted to scream to the people picking up packages, “No! Don’t do it! It’s not a good deal!” But I kept my mouth closed because I did not want to be escorted out of the store.

Manager's special
This is a not the best price for toilet paper, but a nice cheerful sign that says “Manager’s Special” for a buck makes it seem appealing.

Now, I’d typically mention that you should look at the unit price on this sale (the unit price said .17 cents, but I neglected to note whether it was per roll, per square foot, or what because I was trying to discreetly take my photos.) I saw the other unit prices of larger Angel Soft packages of double rolls-plus that were on sale and have coupons that had unit prices of .16 cents and if you have a coupon, that drops the unit cost.  (For more info on unit pricing, why you should be aware of it, and what the heck it is, check out this great article at Get Rich Slowly.) But as Get Rich Slowly says, toilet paper is impossible to calculate when it comes to unit pricing, and it will give you a headache if you try. Next best thing — go by size. Yes, if you have a coupon from Angel Soft that offers money off of any size package, then this could potentially be a good deal. But most, if not all, Angel Soft coupons are for larger packages, not dinky four-roll packs like these (one roll would last half a day at my house). Oh, and you know you don’t need to buy ten packages to get the “deal,” right?

The bottom line is this: don’t get sucked into a Manager’s Special. It’s not always the big bargain you think it is.
~Marilyn, TFF

2 thoughts on “Manager’s Specials at the Grocery Store–Gimmick or Good Deal?

  1. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
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