Are you going to a supermarket? Here are a few tactics...
EVERYONE has shopping tactics, right?
I mean, everyone has to eat and, as I discussed last week, despite keeping some chickens, growing some herbs and maybe even some tomatoes, it's pretty impossible to be self-sustaining when it comes to food in our western world.
Which means that you're going to have to do some food shopping at some point. And the day you do, you will, without even realising at first, start carefully nurturing a set of shopping tactics.
Different people will start food shopping at different times and in different ways. For me, I had been with my mum to the supermarket most weeks from about age five, maybe even younger.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
Like many children, I coveted everything that wasn't going in our trolley and made silent, furious vows to myself that, when I was older and had my own money, then by God I would buy squeezy cheese, by heaven I would get jumbo packets of Flumps and by my own dear life I would buy sausages-wrapped-in-bacon at times other than Christmas.
So it was something of a dull surprise to learn that, come university, when I started an autonomous weekly shop for myself, I was actually putting semi-skimmed milk and broccoli into my trolley. Well, my basket. Turns out squeezy cheese, Flumps and pigs in blanket leave startlingly little change from a tenner. So tactics were needed.
Generally speaking, tactics of any kind evolve when restrictions are positioned, and so, shopping to a budget, shopping on a schedule or shopping for a family – essentially any kind of shopping – requires a tactical approach.
As supermarkets are overwhelmingly the choice of the majority of food shoppers, I have decided to share my five best supermarket tactics with you:
Use a list but only for meals: I've tried thorough lists before, the kind which leave no room for improvisation, but these take fun out of shopping. Instead, write down one meal for each day you want to shop for and buy around these. This will give structure but allow some impulsiveness.
Daily budget: I generally find that £5 per person per day is a smart rule which allows for some luxury brands and quality meats but keeps cost down.
Try all basic brands: Every supermarket has an economy, no-frills range. Often, these are exactly the same products as the standard range in plainer packaging. I try all these, and if I can't tell the difference, I stick to it.
Late-night shopping: This might not be convenient for everyone but when you can, go late at night. Yes, you suddenly have to navigate shelf-stackers and stock trolleys but the library-like hushed silence and easy queuing is worth it by a billion miles.
Tills over self-service: Such is the popularity of the self-service that queue times are rarely shorter and instead of having a trained, occasionally cheerful assistant putting through the food of the people in front of you it is clueless, slow idiots like you.
There are a load more I could go on about here, things like clockwise versus anti-clockwise layouts (anti-clockwise feels wrong and evil), but I might be accused of being the most boring man in the whole universe.
Still, at least I know who's shopping smart.