Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Beaten at my own game
Today, I did something that many college students never achieve: I reached 100 monthly points on my Kroger Plus card. I'll take applause later. I wasn't familiar with Kroger before I moved to the south, but for each 100 points a customer earns in a month, the store will take 10 cents per gallon off their gas price. This allowed me to fill my tank today for $3.19 a gallon.
"Congratulations, you saved 80 cents," my boyfriend laughed cynically as I returned to the car. I hadn't thought about it like that before. I had worked so diligently to buy my groceries from one store (sorry, Walmart!) I had paid attention to my point total so my October points wouldn't expire! I had done everything right. But I'd only saved 80 cents? I'd totally fallen prey to Weber's Law.
Why is it that the price of gas messes with our heads so much? My just noticeable difference for gas is only one cent. After growing up with gas being a dollar or so a gallon, my understanding of present day prices is totally skewed. But to fill my entire 12 gallon tank at Kroger's discounted rate, I would only save about $1.20... not even enough to buy me a sip of my normal coffee drink at Starbucks.
Marketers manipulate pricing all the time to make consumers believe they are getting a great deal, and each person's just noticeable difference for each product is a little bit different. Kroger marketing department: you got me.