I love it when people email me – hearing from my readers just makes my day. I also really do love to help answer your questions. Sometimes, I get a question that I feel others might have as well, so I like to share that with all of you. Reader, Jessica recently asked:
“I have a question and I hope you can answer it. When an ad says 3/$5 do you have to purchase at least 3 of the item to get the sale price or can you just purchase 1 or 2?”
The answer depends upon how your store’s ad is worded. If the ad says, 3/$5 (which means $1.67 each), you can purchase just one item and do not have to buy in quantities of 3. However, if the ad says (for example), $2.29 each or 3/$5, then if you purchase in a quantity of less than 3, you will pay the higher price. This type of ad really is a marketing ploy (and you don’t want to fall for it).
Is this common to force a multiple purchase? No, it is not. In fact, unless the ad specifically states that you must purchase the quantity listed for the discount, it is illegal to force you to purchase the number listed to get it at the reduced price.
The only way to know for certain is to pay attention to your weekly ads. One store that does this all of the time is Walgreens. In fact, here is a sample from this past Sunday’s weekly ad:
As you can see, it says $4.49 each or 3/$12. That means, if I buy 2, I will pay $8.98 and not $8. It also means if I purchase 4, I will pay $16.94 ($12 + $4.49). Just make sure that you take the time to read your weekly ad before you shop so that you really make the most of your money (and those coupons)!