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I do not know who originated the idea -- either the stores or the food companies that print coupons -- but the concept of having to buy multiples of food items to get a sale price is unfair.

Many consumers who do not need or want to buy in larger quantities are losing out. Often these people are retirees with small families who are living on fixed incomes.

A supermarket advertises yogurt, for example, priced at four cartons for $2. But if a customer needs only one or two, he pays full price -- not 50 cents per carton. Stew beef is advertised for $2.49 per pound, but only for packages that weigh five pounds or more. If a person's needs do not meet these restrictions, they lose.

Food ads can be even more tricky. Some items are on sale only to those who possess a shopper's card. Sometimes the in-store signs fail to tell customers which conditions apply.

Why not give all shoppers an even break? Just have sales with no restrictions.

Carmela Fabrizio