Capitalism is most effective when people buy the best product at the lowest price. That action rewards and encourages efficiency and quality.  Retailers, however, have learned it is more profitable to confuse consumers into paying more for their products.  That's why they offer coupons, sales, and gimmicks like free Thanksgiving turkeys.  Think about it: In the big picture, how could coupons or free turkeys make things cheaper?  Handling these promotions is labor intensive, raising the ultimate cost of the product. You think you're getting a great deal, but in the long run most people aren't, because the base price is increased.  It's like Las Vegas - the odds are always with the House, not the gambler.

"Revenge of the Shelton Shopper" made its debut way back in1995, before most people were even online. It lived for a short while before going into a long retirement.  At that time I was trying to figure out which store had the best overall prices, taking into consideration both the every day prices and the sale prices.  I made out a hypothetical grocery list of items I normally bought, then went to Stop & Shop, Shaws, Wal-Mart, Beechwood and Adams and recorded their prices for that week.  Then I added them up and compared. Shaws was significantly cheaper for food. Wal-Mart was much cheaper for health and beauty.  So that's where I shopped.  

Stop & Shop, however, won the marketing game (why, why, why did everyone shop there?) and drove Shaws out of business in Shelton.  Wal-Mart started selling food.  Expect Discounts in Derby seemed to have some hit-or-miss good deals. Shop Rite purchased the old Shaws.  I am back to square one, trying to figure out which store is going to jerk me around the least.  Revenge of the Shelton Shopper is reborn.