Not All Combos and Deals Are Actually Deals

Just because a company offers you some sort of special combo does not mean that you are actually saving any money. It’s a very common misconception, really. If you see that there is a special “deal” of some kind, it has to be cheaper than regular price, right? Not exactly.

Take a look at the example above. I saw a full page advertisement in today’s newspaper from BCLC, announcing its new “all in one” Lotto Pack. For $10, you get entries into the five major lotteries available in our area (including both Extras). Casting aside for a moment that lottery tickets really represent investment for dummies, the deal doesn’t really work out.

When purchased individually, a Lotto Max ticket is $5, a 6/49 ticket is $2, a BC49 ticket is $1, and each of the two Extras is $1. Add that all up and you get… $10, the same price as the “All in One Lotto Pack.” Not a deal. It’s possible, though, that they’re trying to sell you on the convenience, but it’s an upsell either way. You do want to super size your meal, don’t you?

That said, at least the combo is the same price as if you were to purchase the items individually. Such was not the case a few years ago, as you may recall, when I came across a pizza deal that was actually the opposite of a deal. Buy two slices and pay more per slice than if you were to buy just one slice of pizza twice. This is why, when you go grocery shopping, you should break down the cost on a per gram, per litre, per gallon, or some other related per unit basis.

The whole mantra of “spend more, save more” doesn’t really hold up to real life conditions. If you buy a Costco-sized pack of ground beef, but you end up throwing away half of it, you really haven’t saved any money at all. Realistically, the best way to save money is to live below your means. After all, a penny saved is even better than a penny earned.