Getting the best price is a constant challenge, and deal hunters who discover they've overpaid may have more recourse than they realize.
It's not unusual for the price at checkout to be different than that on the shelf tag. Last year, North Carolina's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services fined six local retailers, including outposts of Walgreens, Dollar General, Advance Auto Parts and Walmart, among others, for failing price-check accuracy inspections. In June, Whole Foods agreed to pay an $800,000 settlement after a yearlong California investigation found it was charging more than the advertised price on some items.
Whole Foods, in an open letter to its customers, said its pricing during the period in question was almost 99 percent accurate. "We go to great lengths to ensure our pricing is accurate, and we corrected these pricing mistakes as soon as we learned of them," a spokesman told CNBC.