As you know from my previous post I live very close to Coles supermarket. Coles really dominates in my area if I have to find Safeway I need to travel at least 10 km.
Even though my previous shopping habits have been hop in and out to buy what I need, I have moved away from this habit of unplanned shopping to preparing and budgeting my shopping.
My goal was to skim my grocery budget, cutting down a bit more on my needs plus giving some room for treats.
As part of skimming my budget, I have tried non-premium brands, moved to better eating habits and also gave higher importance to my supermarket half-price deals.
Half price deals are the ones where my local supermarket sells some of the products literally for half price during that week.
They are really great and genuine, having decided- it to be foolish not to buy stuff when they are half price, I began buying things that I need and things that I don’t need now (in the anticipation of future use).
Was I really wise in doing so…?
If this buying of stuff beforehand was a wise decision it should show up in my bank balance.
Unfortunately, it had little or no impact on my skimming effort, doubting my thoughts on this habit of buying stuff at half price beforehand. This led me into an investigative mode of my shopping habit.
A habit into obsession… what was going wrong?
As they say, the biggest moment a consumer is flexible in their shopping habits is when they have a baby. Matching that data to my life, it is true I guess. We had a baby girl born a few months back, with my in-laws at home and the little one I am still trying to embrace the change financially.
Initially, half-price deals started as a positive habit to strengthen my bank balance but it didn’t take long for me to realize what was going wrong.
When I go shopping my mind started looking for products either on half price, anything that was on the half price I would buy.
Half price deals have been an effective marketing strategy from my supermarket as its customers tend to buy stuff outside of their grocery list. For example, I have purchased many times chocolate and chips at half price which would otherwise be not in my basket.
In some cases, I chose to buy expensive brand simply because it’s half price. For example, even after the discount, a premium product would cost me few cents more than store brand still I would convince myself into buying a premium product (in reality mostly it’s better packing and advertisement that we pay for).
This is where the problem has begun there was no check as to when or which half-priced product qualifies my dollars. It was getting hard for me to make a rational judgement while I was in the supermarket, either I don’t remember how much of a product I need or do I need it at all in first place. To comprehend this, I have created a list called running low and would add items into that list if I know they will only last for a month or so. I would only swap my store brand product to premium brands if dollar cost is lower or equal.
A new habit developed
This was nothing but a new habit that I have developed recently. Do I need this habit? Of course, the answer was yes. There was nothing wrong with the habit, just like any other habit not having a check will make it an obsession resulting in financial disaster.
Even though I am well aware that all marketing catalogues and sales are designed around human psychology and manipulating us subconsciously. I have to accept that for a brief period of time I was manipulated by the marketing capability of my supermarket.