Adding It Up: Grocery Shopping Slip-Ups

Shopping Savings
on September 7, 2012

Many people find it difficult to start saving money. They blame monthly expenses, life, and emergency expenses that just keep adding up for their inability to save. If you think you can’t save because you don’t have enough extra money, you just have to find it. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not speaking up when they are overcharged for an item at the supermarket. The grocery store scanner, like everything else in life is not perfect. It makes mistakes. However, even the smallest of mistakes are significant in that you could save hundreds of dollars each year simply by challenging the mistakes on the scanner.

People think they are saving money when they buy items on sale, but sometimes the grocery store scanner doesn’t reflect the sales price. You may notice the mistake or you may not notice the mistake. However, not everyone is comfortable speaking up when the scanner is wrong. If you want to start saving money, you need to speak up. The proper way to challenge the grocery store scanner is to be polite. Simply tell the cashier that the price of the item she scanned appeared incorrectly on the screen. If you are loading your groceries onto the belt and miss the mistake, all you have to do is check your receipt before leaving the store. You can then ask someone at customer service to rectify the situation.

You might wonder why it’s such a big deal to speak up at the cash register. Maybe you don’t want to hold up the line behind you or cause a scene. The truth is that asking politely for a resolution to the mistake is not going to cause a scene. According to recent reports, mistakes at the scanner cost American consumers over $1 billion each year, so it really does add up. Some stores might even give you the item for free if a mistake is made, though this typically does not happen on higher priced items. Saving money is important, and you should not have to spend extra when there was a sale.

There is nothing wrong with challenging a scanner. When an item is marked a certain price, you expect it to appear that way on your receipt. If you challenge the scanner and you do not win the challenge, you can tell the store you no longer want that item and refuse to purchase it because that is your right. However, you must first ensure that you have done all you possibly can to politely argue your point. Start by pointing out the mistake and asking the cashier to fix it. If she rescans the item and the price does not change, tell her exactly where you picked up the item and ask to have someone take a look at the sales price where the item is located. You might have to speak to a manager at some point, but the issue is usually fixed soon after the mistake is pointed out.

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