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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Have You Noticed This?

In the last few years, many holiday or summer foods have gone on sale a bit more in advance of the holiday/season than in years past. It happened here with eggs, this year. Instead of the week leading up to Easter, eggs were on sale two weeks before Easter at one store, then not on sale in that week when they've traditionally been.

Ice cream is seen as a summer food, in many places. It's not at all summer here, yet. We won't have summer for another month. Yet, Fred Meyer advertised a bunch of ice cream products for a 4-day sale this week, long in advance of when most in my area would be buying a lot of ice cream. The Party Pails (1 gallon) were on sale for $2.99 for four days. The sale overlapped with Senior Discount day, so for me, the Party Pails were $2.69. Two years ago, we bought a Party Pail, "on sale" in summer, for $3.99 (regular price is $5.99). The $2.69 price was too good to pass up. I bought our summer's supply of ice cream, 4 pails.

My guess is the marketing works like this -- in the shoulder season leading into the traditional season for a product, retailers lure you into buying their product, with a low price. You use that product, and enjoy it. Then when the real season hits, you are hooked on their brand for that product, and you repeat purchase at a higher "sale" price. That's just my guess. I've seen this with a few other seasonal or holiday items.

Or, maybe I'm just really cynical.

Back to the ice cream. Even if it turns out that all summer long, Fred Meyer advertises their Party Pails at this same low price, I won't be out any money. I seriously doubt they would put this on sale for any less than what I paid yesterday. I did the math. The typical brick-style container of ice cream weighs 48 oz, or 1.5 qts. A Party Pail contains 2.666 of that size container. At $2.69/Party Pail, my cost per smaller 1.5 qt container is $1.01. I never see ice cream on sale for that price in my area. So, I know I got a great deal.

Of course, all of this ice cream isn't even for me, sadly. I can't eat this stuff in servings more than a spoonful. But my family will love it.


  1. The season for items is getting longer and longer just as the packages are getting smaller and smaller? Remember when ice cream regularly came in 2 quart containers instead of 1.5 quart containers for about the same price?

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Good comment. Not only is it sneaky of manufacturers to down-size the package sizes, but it really makes it hard to compare prices.
      Have a great day, live and learn.

  2. Funny you should mention this, because I saw eggs at .39 dozen, after Easter. I didn't see any deals before Easter as I had expected.

    1. Hi Jen,
      Eggs are on sale, again, at Fred Meyer this week. I also didn't notice any sales on butter in the week leading up to Easter (I as busy and had my head in projects, so it could have been on sale and I just didn't notice). I think we just need to be more watchful, and know our "buy" price.
      Have a great day, Jen!

  3. I've noticed similar sales in our area for eggs. The funny thing is, this year we have continued to have eggs sales after Easter (for a couple of weeks, we could get eggs for 59 cents/dozen for large eggs). Also, some of our best "summer" food buys have been a couple of weeks before Memorial Day. I usually stock up on bratwurst in that time frame. I've never seen ice cream deals as great as yours were, though!

    1. Hi Kris,
      I will be watching sales a couple of weeks before Memorial Day. This should be a good time to stock up on eggs. Maybe freeze some. Thanks for saying that about the ice cream deals. I wondered if my "great" price would have sounded not so great to others. I've already been "suggesting" that we not eat one of the pails, the vanilla, and save it for the fall, to top pie on Thanksgiving, for my son's and fiancee's birthday, and to go with cake or in cream puffs near Christmas. I think 3 pails would be a lot of ice cream, so maybe one held back won't be difficult.
      Have a great day, Kris!

  4. I noticed the very same thing with the Easter eggs, Lili. I'm sure they have some ulterior motive for doing this. Your guess about getting you hooked on the product then having to buy it at a higher price sounds spot on. I get so tired of the corporate greed. Just like the planned obsolescence they have nowadays. I said it before but, if my dryer goes out again I am not buying a new one, I am hanging clothes to dry from then on out. What kind of society have we become that we purposefully make things that don't last just so we can get more money out of people? It is just terrible. :(

    1. Hi Belinda,
      For the last several years at Hallowe'en, trick or treat candy has been at it's lowest price in late September, in my area, a full month before Hallowe'en. I think the manufacturers believe that we'll buy a bunch of over-priced miniature candy bars, thinking we'll save it for the holiday. Then wind up eating it all long before, and have to re-buy at the higher "sale" price. I understand that it's just all business, but still I often feel duped, and don't like that at all.

      I understand what you mean about your dryer. I am hoping ours lasts another decade. It's 22 years old now, and still doing okay. We bought the pair just before washers and dryers became poorly made, and so thankful of it. These sort of durable hard goods should be just that, "durable." It's so disappointing when you buy something and it doesn't last as long as it should. And then when you go to have it repaired, the repair cost is more than buying a new cheap one. It's maddening. I'll be hoping your dryer and mine last a good, long while.

      Have a great day, Belinda!


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