MARTIN SLOANE | Supermarket Shopper Bonus packs can help smart shoppers

When manufacturers downsize their products, they do it very quietly. If they make an announcement at the time of downsizing, they usually claim that a new formulation results in a much better product.
At the same time, manufacturers occasionally find it smart to challenge the competition by offering "More Products Free!" When they do this, it is not done quietly. They make the announcement right on the product package. An often overlooked, yet important part of playing The Great Grocery Game is watching for graphic banners and bursts that announce an extra free product inside the package.
Throwing money away
Storage bags have become an everyday consumable, yet every time I throw a bag in the trash, it is like tossing money away. At many supermarkets across America, you will find specially marked packages of Glad quart-size storage bags with a banner "20 Percent More Free." You get 60 bags instead of 50. Smart Shoppers use a manufacturer coupon on the specially marked package. When Glad is also on sale, they make big triple-play savings.
Recently, specially-marked boxes of Tetley Decaf Iced Tea Blend were marked "Bonus Pack -- Six Free," giving shoppers 30 instead of 24. I found a banner on a 27.6-ounce jug of Hungry Jack Syrup, "15 Percent More Than Leading Brands." Sure enough, Aunt Jemima was 24 ounces. In the frozen foods aisle, you get a lot more from Mrs. Smith's pies. Look for the packages that announce "40 Percent Larger 9-inch Size." There is even a bonus if you enjoy Eskimo Pie: specially marked packages of these vanilla ice cream bars offer "One Bar Free, Seven Instead of Six." There are bonus packs in the pet food aisle. Both Whiskas and Friskies cat food have SMP bags marked "1 Pound Free!"
Real winners
The household product aisles are a good place to keep an eye out for money saving bonus packs. The two current champs are Fab Rain Forest detergent and Ajax dishwashing liquid. The headline on the specially marked Fab package shouts out "50 Percent More -- Nine Extra Loads." A look at the net weight notice shows this bonus box contains 3.16 pounds instead of 2.11 and gives the Smart Shopper 27 loads instead of 18. The specially marked bottle of Ajax is marked "50 Percent More, 38 Ounces Instead of 25!"
You may find two different Wisk powder specially marked packages on supermarket shelves, so look carefully. Both are the Stain Dissolving Power variety. One is marked "15 Percent More Free!" It says 37 loads and 4 pounds, 8 ounces. The second box is marked "25 percent More Free!" and will handle 40 loads with 4 pounds, 14 ounces. At my supermarket, I found both boxes priced at $5.99. Scrub Free Mildew Stain Remover has a specially marked package for "25 Percent More Free" with 40 ounces instead of 32.
You will find free tablets and capsules in the health product aisle when you look for the bonus packs. Advil is the bonus pack "champ." Advil Cold & amp; Sinus SMPs are marked "Free 50 Percent More, 30 caplets for the price of 20." Aleve boxes say "24 Percent Free" and inside you will find 124 tables instead of 100. Hall's Mentho-Lyptus cough drops have a bonus pack "33 Percent More Free, 30+110."
United Feature Syndicate

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