Monday, December 8

Bottom shelf milk and other little life surprises

I am right about 30 1/3 years old. I may not have everything in the world figured out, but I thought I had a pretty good handle on the basics.

Yet it was only about a month ago that I discovered bottom-shelf milk.

Turns out that the grocery stores have yet again found a way to take advantage of our short attention spans. After three rows of identical milk, Albertson's sneaks in a more generic variety on the absolute bottom shelf. There's a price difference of 60 cents.

I suppose this is old news (for those of you who didn't already know about this system) since it happened a month or so ago. But I was reminded of it over the weekend, when I once again scooted down to the bottom row to get my cheaper milk.

It makes me wonder just what other little tricks I am falling for while I think I'm being frugal. Anyone else found similar mind-games in the stores?

And, in the vein of not-so-fun surprises, we discovered that Tim's new insurance received an erroneous termination date from his old insurance. As far as the state health pool is concerned, Tim is still covered by Regence Selections.

So until we can get written proof from Regence (which Tim is working on as I type this) that his coverage ended 10/31/08, the new insurance won't cough up a penny.

Life just keeps finding new and interesting ways to wrinkle, doesn't it?


Blogger Jenna said...

Sorry you're going through the insurance headache, I'm keeping my fingers crossed it works out quickly for you.

Don't feel too bad about not catching the milk earlier. I was in the checkout watching my groceries get rung through before I realized my "sale" bags of sugar where only 4 pounds instead of 5. Turns out the "sale" was making the bags cost quite a bit more than the usual 5 pounders. It seems wrong to feel like you have to constantly scan for cheats when making the weekly grocery run.

December 8, 2008 at 7:08 PM

Blogger Naturally Frugal said...

That's a good trick - I always look at either the top shelf or absolute bottom shelf when shopping for cereals or something similar. It's always cheaper the further away you get from eye level, which makes sense if the stores are aiming to sell their higher priced items. Now I'll have to check out the milk aisle for that trick as well!

December 8, 2008 at 7:29 PM

Blogger Chelsea said...

The very fact that you have to walk through the entire store to get milk is another trick. You stop at the store "just to get milk," but have to walk through every aisle to get there. You can never leave with just milk. I went to the grocery store for 5 things yesterday and had to talk myself out of walking up and down each aisle "just to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything."

Generic brands usually hide out on the bottom shelves. It's not just for milk.

Responding to Jenna: I carry a calculator so I can compare apples to apples on unit pricing. The tags will often say that milk is so many cents per ounce, but sometimes, the store likes to get lazy and just puts "each" as a unit.

December 9, 2008 at 4:03 PM

Blogger Donna said...

I love it when some milk products say "per ounce" and others say "per pint." Hours of fun for the math challenged!

December 11, 2008 at 10:56 AM


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