If you refuse to pay more than 1.99, then I don't understand why you would buy something priced at 3.99.
You pay what the price is or do without. If it's not worth the price they ask, then do without. If, on the other hand, you really truly need to have this brand of apple, then you pay what they ask.
If you get an item and pay less than what it sells for, you are stealing the difference. This not only is a crime, but it is a crime where you can indeed wind up being lead out of the store in handcuffs.
Every time you do this, the store is getting an amount lower than they expected to get for their sales, and they have to jack up prices to compensate for it.
In other words, if you think about it, you now are paying a higher price because you ans some other people are stealing services in various ways. If you all stopped stealing, the prices could be lowered.
Oh yes, it IS stealing. No excuses!