Outwit "Buy One, Get One Free" Sales
Dear Kitchen Therapist,
Yesterday I went to the supermarket for some blueberries and the sign said "Buy One, Get One Free". These "sales" drive me crazy! If I buy two containers, I waste one and if I only buy one, the price is inflated. I considered boycotting the display and buying nothing, but wanted some blueberries. Then I tried to be responsible and buy only one container. When I was checking out my groceries, however, the cashier made me feel so pathetic for leaving a "free" container behind, that I went back and retrieved it. (I know I could have tried to split the blueberries with someone in the store, but didn't want the hassle of having to check out together.) Now I face blueberry domination for an entire week, if not more! I could freeze the extras, but prefer to use my fruit when it is fresh. Would you happen to have any creative solutions to my dilemma?
I don't blame you for being irate. These "Buy One, Get One Free" specials play to our worst instincts--to buy more than we really want or need. You, at least, were tormented by your better instincts--to boycott the sale or leave with only one container of blueberries. If you'll excuse me from saying so, however, I think you caved in too soon. Believe in yourself!
I think you can "have your cake and eat it too," although imperfectly. Have you considered leaving the store with 2 containers and giving one away free to someone who is entering the store? In this way, you will get your single container and, hopefully, effectively boycott the 2-for-1 pricing model by causing fewer people to buy blueberries at the display. The trick is to give your free container away only to someone who otherwise would have bought blueberries. The last thing you want to do is encourage a new wave of blueberry buying! The best I can think of is to level with people entering the store by saying something like "Anybody want a free container of blueberries who hates 2-for-1 blueberry sales?" and see what happens. Hopefully, someone will bite before you get shooed off the premises. In the meantime, I might suggest you try melting your extra blueberries into a syrup with a little water, lemon juice and cinnamon and pouring the syrup over some pancakes. At least you will feel better.