Always, always check your store receipts

Here’s a great way to help keep your food costs in check in these days of higher prices — always check your receipt before leaving a food store to be sure you haven’t been overcharged for something.

Prices are all in a computer somewhere these days, how can you be overcharged, you might ask? It’s the old story of garbage in, garbage out when it comes to computers. Stores may not input proper sale prices, or the right brands, or a myriad of other mistakes.

Jewel, an Albertson’s chain I shop at in the Chicago area, is infamous, in my mind, for not giving the right prices on sale items. Just this week it charged me an extra $3 on a three-pound bag of potatoes that was supposed to be on sale for 99 cents.

The deal was digital, which means I had to ‘clip’ it in my Jewel app and load it into my cart to get the $3 off. I was sure to do that — it’s a two-step process in the app, designed I’m sure to make it as difficult as possible to use.

I always check my store receipt before leaving to watch for such overcharges. When I saw this one, I immediately went to the service counter to get my money back. The service person made me show her my app and where it said I had clipped the deal before refunding me my money.

There was a time, under a different ownership, when Jewel would refund the full purchase price of an item you were mischarged for. Those days are gone, but I did get my $3 back.

My mother was a notorious receipt checker. I can remember her sending my dad back to the grocery for a mischarged penny. My $3 is considerably more than a penny, but the principle remains — do not leave a store without checking your receipt.

My Jewel mispricing adventure — you can see I was charged $3.99 on my original receipt even though the store ad clearly says these potatoes were on sale for 99 cents with a digital coupon. It’s a good idea to always have the store ad with you, either on paper or digitally, when you shop so you have proof of what’s on sales.


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