A Tauranga pensioner is calling for supermarkets to recognise senior citizens carrying the SuperGold Card after struggling to find suitable discounted deals.
Pyes Pa resident Peter Turmer, 78, said retirees were at a disadvantage when grocery shopping because many only needed to buy for themselves whereas specials only seemed to apply when a customer "bought up large".
"It just really brasses me off," Mr Turmer said.
Pensioners were often on a limited income so grocery discounts were important, he said.
Mr Turmer went grocery shopping each week and kept a keen eye on specials at each of the city's supermarkets but there were "so few specials I will take advantage of".
Mr Turmer wrote a letter to the Bay of Plenty Times this week expressing his frustration.
He said a head of broccoli would last him a couple of weeks, "so I pay full price or don't buy at all".
He suggested supermarkets recognised Gold Cards or stop the marketing ploy of multiple buys, as more than 25 per cent of Tauranga's population was over 65.
Feedback to the published letter was mixed, with some readers agreeing with his view and others suggesting buying more and storing the rest for later. Most feedback said the multi-buy discounts were needed for large families.
Mr Turmer told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend he was not alone in his view. "There's a few of us around the [Orange Grove Retirement] village who feel the same. I thought the letter was well worth doing and so did they," he said.
Mr Turmer also referred to the annoyance of seeing petrol discounts advertised at various supermarkets when a customer bought up to $200 worth of groceries. He did not have the option of buying more and freezing or storing some items for later.
"I live in a retirement village so storage space is somewhat limited," he said.
Mr Turmer said other organisations recognised the Gold Card and supermarkets should also.
A Countdown spokesman said the supermarket aimed to provide value for customers, including senior citizens.
"We have an active marketing programme throughout the year, which includes Price Lockdown and Price Drop, where we've brought prices down on more than 400 products from across the shop floor, as well as weekly specials, Onecard club prices and rewards."
The spokesman said Countdown had provided special offers for Gold Card holders in the past and it was something it continued to consider "from time to time as part of this programme".
Foodstuffs NZ corporate PR director Antoinette Shallue said their stores strived for the best deals for their customers.
"New World's Super Saver's promotions discounts a wide range of everyday items on a weekly basis. Pak'n Save's policy is that we have New Zealand's lowest food prices as well as weekly themed discounts which give customers additional savings across a range of products. We also have a variety of loyalty programmes including Fly Buys, fuel discounts and our Christmas Club which gives our customers additional savings and benefits."
Tauranga Budget Advisory Service's Gay Rickard said the organisation had some customers who they believed were disadvantaged by the specials but for most people it was about being clever in the shop.
"It's about being smart with your money. If Wattie's have three cans of baked beans for $3, why not get the budget ones at 80c each instead?"
Ms Rickard said people should always check how much other items cost in comparison to multi-buys.