Service of Price

February 7th, 2013

Categories: Uncategorized

price

I am sometimes surprised at how prices can range so crazily. I recently saved $45 on four purchases-plus $70/month on a phone bill–without going crazy or racing around from place to place.  More now than ever, it’s worthwhile to pay attention when shopping. [We don’t live near any of the mega discount stores like Costco or Sam’s Club–wish we did.]

cherriesTake fresh cherries in February. In Grand Central Station’s ground floor food court they cost $12.99 lb. At my favorite fruit stand on Second Avenue and 49th Street I pay $5 for two pounds-he always gives me a few extra ounces. Note: In super cold weather the fruit man isn’t there and Grand Central’s fruit people are. So we switch to ice cream.

Haagen-Dazs generally costs $5 a pint, though I paid $6 for two the other day.

corn-flakes1CVS sells more than drugs. I bought three large boxes of Corn Flakes for $6–I gave one away for space considerations and still came out ahead of the $4-$5/box standard sticker.

My husband takes four Culturelle tablets a day. This over the counter probiotic costs $30 for 30 at Walgreens, $23.99 at CVS in Poughkeepsie, and a dollar more in NYC. The chain often sends 25 percent discount coupons, bringing down the price to $18. That’s what Target charges unless it’s on special for $16.

verizonhomeconnectPaper towel, detergent, soap, wine–there are all sorts of products with dizzyingly divergent prices but the most incredible savings happened in my office: Verizon Home Connect. [The name is a misnomer. They should work on that.] I moved from my landline Verizon account with all the joys of waiting days to see a repair man and subsequently sometimes weeks for repairs, to a wireless setup, for $20/ month–$30 with taxes. I have the same business phone number for which I formerly paid over $100/month and the small lightweight box on my desk [photo, right] travels to hotels or home and hooks up to any phone. I’ve discovered one kink so far: It rings forever before it goes to voicemail. I told my salesman who said this feature can’t be changed and that he has lots of complaints about it. [I advised him to add a fix to this glitch to the suggestion box.]

Do you have leads to share about other heartwarming savings and/or examples of wild price swings?

Money tree

Money tree

6 Responses to “Service of Price”

  1. Minnie Dinwiddy Said:

    Dante’s “Inferno” vividly describes spendthrifts and misers sent to the fourth circle of hell: “They were so skewed and squint-eyed in their minds, their misering or extravagance mocked all reason.”

    I know you did not write about either, but the quote does reflect my feelings when the subject of price comes up. I’ve always been the kind of sucker shopper who is inevitably taken advantage of, and I really don’t like it. Consequently, I avoid shopping around whenever possible.

    It used to be that you could find merchants that knew their business and, more importantly their customers. People like me could come to know and trust them personally to treat us fairly. We may have paid a little more, but we had peace of mind in return.

    With the increasing dominance of the “big boxes” and the concentration of power in the hands of the few, that world is going fast. My kind, to use a more modern figure of speech, is now “up the creek without a paddle.”

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Minnie,

    I’m neither a spendthrift nor a miser nor do I have time to drop in to a million places before buying something, however I also can’t afford to spend money willy nilly. Even when I felt I could, I was careful so I’d have more money for treats and gifts. It’s my choice and I understand your preference as well.

    A one-time purchase won’t break a bank no matter where you buy it but something you need a lot of begins to add up. When my husband mentioned that he paid $30 for his probiotic at Walgreens it sounded high so I’m in charge of buying the stuff now–there’s a CVS three blocks from my office and upstate, two on the way to the grocery store.

    At $5 for two pounds I can give cherries to some housebound friends. At $26 neither I nor they would be munching the healthy sweet treats.

  3. DManzaluni Said:

    There was a segment on the Today Show this morning on apps which do exactly this. There is an app called redlaser you can install on a mobile phone which scans the bar code on an item you are looking at and shows you where it is best-priced in your general neighborhood.

    Though I doubt it could know about the Bangladeshi guy on some street corner!

    They also mentioned:
    cardstar.com
    goodrx.com best deals on drugs
    retailmenot
    groceryIQ

    These smartphones can pay for themselves in a few months!!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    DManzaluni,

    Wonderful information and a great endorsement for a smartphone! Thank you for taking the time to let us know.

    I think that the fruit man is from Turkey. He works so very hard and long in heat, cold and wet. I am late in using such a vendor. If you find a good one–the quality of his fruit and vegetables is excellent–it’s a blessing.

  5. Lucrezia Said:

    Just discovered that one credit card is charging 15%, while another, 9.99% and is now offering a 0% promo APR until February ’14 if one transfers funds. Anyone care to guess what’s about to happen in the next few minutes?

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    You are right Lucrezia….these things change in a second. With most best price situations, you have to move fast.

    The apps that DManzaluni mentioned will keep retailers on their toes. The ones who provide great service and make a customer feel welcome will be the only ones to survive such competition. I suddenly had a vision of a long line outside store A where some item is deeply discounted. This will be balanced by those who don’t want to wait in a line and are willing to pay more for the item or service.

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