I'm a big fan of the yellow-sticker section in Tesco. Or the Whoopsed section in Asda. Or... whatever Sainsbury's calls its discounted section. They're a great source of cheap food and a kind of Ready-Steady-Cook challenge: "You've got river cobbler, a load of cubes of feta with olives, Activia and some wilting spring onions. What are you going whip up for us today?"
I've an eagle eye for Twofers, BOGOFs and standard discounting too, but sometimes you see a deal that is so clearly not a deal it blows the mind. Go to the discounted trolley - full of broken biscuits, remaindered shoe polish, out-of-date herbs and bashed-up cans - and you will always find a multipack split into its constituent parts that's more expensive that the multipack.
The frequency of multibuy discounts not subtracted from the bill - and preponderance of big yellow labels that usually denote savings but frequently do not - also leads me to wonder how much of this is pure accident. And don't get me started on the 11.5p per 100g; £0.65 per metric hundredweight; £4 per half-ounce chicanery that they all deal in.
But it doesn't end there. The last time I was in Tesco I made a note to see who else has encountered similar Not-Bargains. Turns out there's a lot. Stand by for some of the worst discounts you'll ever see...
Putting the 'little' in Every Little Helps
1. Thanks Tesco for that 0% discount
— Mr Influential (@SirInfluential) May 3, 2014
2. Woo-hoo, Christmas is saved!
*stunning* discount from Tesco pic.twitter.com/5B488lOOVh
— shine. (@shinesevens) March 22, 2014
3. Buy two, pay 52 cents extra; buy four, pay four cents extra!
— Andrew Gallagher (@andrewgdotcom) March 6, 2014
4. Bulk buying never fails - when it's beer anyway
Tesco really giving a big discount for buying 2 pic.twitter.com/ebtdWxuNXi
— Ed Kelly (@turkeysneck) May 13, 2014
5. Have a break, have a Kit-Kat at 100% of its original price
Serious discount from Tesco on Kit-Kat pic.twitter.com/EDyDTSmOgh
— Elaine Fitzpatrick (@Blathanna_Dearg) June 21, 2014
6. St George Design Bowler Hat - a whole one-hundreth cheaper
— Neil (@On_A_Journey_to) June 15, 2014
7. Was £1, now £1! Must be eaten today!
— Pab Roberts (@Pab_Roberts) July 28, 2014
8. That's a 1.79% discount in case you're wondering
— the dugganaut (@the_dugganaut) October 23, 2014
9. And this is a whopping 0.67% off this old pastie
— Pawabella® (@Pawabella) December 17, 2014
10. In fairness this is a huge saving - on
eels in jelly
Tesco fighting back against the German discount supermarkets pic.twitter.com/UNEq08fRzR
— Richard Leslie Lewis (@Lazlovictor) June 7, 2015
11. Diet Coke - better for your teeth; better for your wallet
— Matt Trollope (@MattTrollope) June 18, 2015
12. Better than half price! If better means more.
— Metro (@MetroUK) August 6, 2015
13. Why, I'd be a fool not to!
— Ian Doorbar (@IanDoorbar) September 30, 2015
14. The lighter, if not cheaper, way to enjoy chocolate
— Steph Edmonston (@stephedmonster) September 30, 2015
15. Thank God - we will eat today!
— Stoz (@Stoz_) November 25, 2015
16. In fairness it's way more than one per cent
— Mike Brennan (@TheRealMikeyBee) December 1, 2015
17. A 0.20% saving - the spirit of Christmas
— ellagardner (@ellabananana) December 16, 2015
18. Healthy body, healthy wallet!
Tesco Penarth goes discount mental. pic.twitter.com/rxAGv0x0yG
— Fourfoot (@fourfoot) December 21, 2015
19. Best discount ever!
A huge 0.04% saving on this whisky!
— Retail Barcode (@Retailbarcode) December 31, 2013