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Why do people avoid sale items?


I know this may be the wrong crowd to ask - we all Ibotta and so we are all searching out deals - but here’s the scenario from my shopping today. 

I found Hillshire Farm lunch meat marked down to $0.82 a package at Walmart. The expiration date is Aug 20th. A woman and her daughter were by me with a large package of lunch meat and the girl started talking to me about how she loved helping mommy shop. It was adorable. After talking to her I told the mom about the incredible deal right behind her and she actually looked offended, said she wasn’t interested and took her daughter and left the aisle. 

So I don’t get it. She’s shopping at Walmart not Whole Foods so I assume she’s trying to save money - but this honestly isn’t the first time I’ve had someone tell me they’re not interested in buying things on sale. Like somehow paying less means it’s worth less?  Looking for any insight you may have to make this make sense. 

Please make it make sense!

33 Replies

Re: Why do people avoid sale items?

Deal Ambassador

@SaverGirl67  I had somewhat of a similar experience at Mariano’s (Kroger affiliate) - nice grocery store but not by any stretch like WF.
This was several years ago but I saw a dad with his young son looking in the milk section and the dad was about to grab a full priced gallon of milk, so I kindly (by no means creepy) pointed out some milk on specials (and not the kind that was expiring on the next day!)  He looked at me puzzled and politely said he needed organic mik. Ok, I get that - he’s got young kid(s) but I grew up drinking tons of non-organic milk and turned out just fine…right, Mom? No, she’s not on this forum 😉

*Updated - corrected grammatical errors and changed it from ‘supermarket’ to ‘grocery store’.  Honesty, I don’t know the diff - does anyone? Anyone, Bueller?

Re: Why do people avoid sale items?

Rewards Whiz

I can only assume they didn't care for Hillshire Farms lunch meat.  Maybe they have a favorite brand or it has to be Kosher.

Some people will not buy marked down items, especially that cheap, because they assume there is something wrong with it.

I do remember a big scandal years ago where a fairly large grocery chain was caught bleaching meat and changing the expiration date on items that had expired.  Though the Hillshire Farms items were prepackaged, you never know what is going on in other people's mind.


Re: Why do people avoid sale items?

Super Saver

@SaverGirl67  I don’t get it either.  I also don’t understand why some are embarrassed to use a coupon.

Re: Why do people avoid sale items?

Deal Expert

@SaverGirl67 @Be-Bop-A-Lula @mmoore01 @Xiao 

Well in today's modern economy by no means do I believe you offended your fellow shopper.

I often  hear people say, I want my kids to have better than what I had when I was coming up.  

I was in kroger's and a woman was at the deli counter requesting Black Forrest ham and felt she needed to explain that's the only deli meat her daughter would eat.  

Me being me replied, let her miss a few days and she'll eat spam and like it.  Needless to say that ended the conversation.

Once consumers start to understand marketing, they will know reduced does not mean expired.  Cause next week that same product will sell for full price. 

Paying full price is optional

Re: Why do people avoid sale items?

Skilled Saver

@OBSHOP  I would have LOVED to see that woman's face when you said that! 🤣

Re: Why do people avoid sale items?

Skilled Saver

@OBSHOP , I have to agree with the kid -- I wouldn't eat spam unless civilization collapses and only canned goods in abandoned houses and stores is the only thing to eat. Then maybe. But I buy reduced for quick sale and would buy store brands of ham, just never could stomach Spam. 😉

Re: Why do people avoid sale items?

Deal Master


In general, I find it often comes down to se-x.  Especially when it is man on man action.

In my experience, women are a lot more receptive to these interactions.   For starters, men don't tend to be as chatty.  They probably are not happy about being in the grocery store to begin with, perhaps someone made them go and told them what to get, or maybe they just get what they like.   They are a lot less likely to use coupons and probably think their time is more valuable and they are not going to waste it trying to save a few cents on coupons.  They may even be offended if you are telling them something they don't know (sales or coupons, etc) either out of pride or arrogance.  Now, this same guy will likely talk a bit to any female and be particularly chatty if he finds her to be hot.  Some may not like to hear this, but to try to say a decent percent of guys  are not like this is sort of naive.

I mostly meet the guy described above.   Yeah there is also the real receptive guy who is a bit overwhelmed because he is not used to being in a grocery store, and is always willing to save a few bucks.  And they are extremely happy you pointed it out and pretty chatty about it.  They are not as common.

I just have better luck interacting with females, particularly older ones.  Even if they are not interested, they are usually honest and polite about why.  Yeah there are people of either se-x who literally say nothing when you mention a discount or sale.  I often will simply say "Did you see they have these marked down?" or something similar.  But they didn't ask for my opinion and are not obligated to reply.    At the end of the day, some people don't like chit chat or talking to strangers.  Sometimes people have a lot going on or going thru something.  There can be a whole lot of reasons why my attempts to 'help' them may not be received well.  They may have mommy issues or daddy issues.   They may have someone that is always telling them what to do, so they don't want to feel like that when just going to the grocery store.

"about me: Suburbs of Indianapolis Indiana. BOILER UP!! Favorite stores: Kroger & Meijer"

Re: Why do people avoid sale items?

Deal Master


I just had Spam last night and have some left over for today.  Here is the thing about Spam. If we are talking about eating it straight out of the can, part of that is just dismay over eating meat right out of a can, or it is a texture issue.

If someone likes bacon, they probably would like baked Spam

  • Slice it into thin slices, around 16 to 20 slices.
  • Bake it around 375° to 400° for 10 to 15 minutes  (Adjust time/temp for desired crispiness)
  • Comes out very similar to bacon

I often will add ketchup or hot sauce the last 5 minutes or so.   Or sometimes, I will pat it down really well once done, and then add some cheese and toss into the microwave for a bit.

I have no interest in eating it raw, although I know of people who do.  I also figure I will not convert anyone to the Spam way of life, buy maybe just maybe someone will try baked Spam and report back.  🤣

"about me: Suburbs of Indianapolis Indiana. BOILER UP!! Favorite stores: Kroger & Meijer"

Re: Why do people avoid sale items?

Super Saver

I avoid sale items when I have no need for the item. Sometimes it cost more to purchase a sale item that i don't need than it does to stick to my list. Unless, of course,  it's something that would end up being free or mm after rebate.  Those are items that I never turn down.