It’s time to change your supermarket habits

If the Macquarie dictionary defines the word habit as “a constant tendency to act in a certain way” then I guess in lots of ways we are all creatures of habit in many areas of our life.

But have you ever stopped and really thought about your own practices? Why you do what you do when you do it?

Take for example the regular grocery shopping expedition. How many of us go to the same place, on the same day of the week at roughly the same time? And then once we’re there, take a trolley and start at the same aisle and go the same route to get roughly the same purchases as the time before?

Of course, that probably means we also spend the same amount of money each time.

Don’t you just hate it when the supermarket decides to shake things up a bit and change the aisles around? No longer is the toothpaste in the same place and the bread has changed places with the cereal. It can be downright confusing and certainly makes this chore less than enjoyable.

But have you ever stopped to wonder why they do this? Do you think it’s all about getting you to actually ‘see’ what they have for sale, in the hope that you will buy more. Do you think that they’re also trying to shake up a few habits?

Have you ever noticed how the things they’d really like you to buy are at your eye-level? And the things that they’d like your kids to pester you to buy are at the junior ‘shoppers’ eye-level. It’s part of their marketing strategy but if you look above or below these levels you’re sure to find lots of other bargain priced goods.

For so many of us, the whole ‘hunting and gathering’ of food for our families is based on habit. And rather than trying to change too many habits all in one day let me ask this question – do you really have to buy your food supplies at the same time every week?

Now, lots of times I hear the cry – “there’ll be nothing in the house to eat”. But I am yet to find a house where the cupboards really do look as bare as that infamous Mrs. Hubbard from that old nursery tale. There is always something in there – even if it is just an old tin of chick-peas left over from the school fete.

I met a well-organised family who has a weekly menu and shopping list prepared every week. Not only does this cut down the impulse buying at the supermarket but it also means that there’s not a lot of stuff lurking in the pantry that will never be eaten. Well, that’s the theory anyway. However, even in this well managed kitchen we were able to find enough cans and tins to make dinner for a couple of nights.

So if you moved your grocery shopping to a different day and a different time what do you think might happen? Would a great hole appear in the freezer cabinet and suck you right inside, never to be seen again?

If you were to go a day later each time, do you suppose you’d think about what you needed to buy?

Supermarket shopping doesn’t have to be a deep and meaningful experience. But if we give a little more thought to the whys and wherefores of what we’re spending our money on, I’m sure we’ll find that the whole excursion has just become a huge habit that is eating into our budgets.


©   Carmel McCartin – Budget Bitch

And don’t forget – (The views expressed in this blog are the personal opinions of the author. Don’t rely on them to make financial decisions; you have to make up your own mind. If you don’t like the content – then either stop reading or send me an email)


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