Shopping is all a matter of choice
Which supermarket do you opt for? Maggie Gallop, vice chairman of the Norfolk Federation of WI, grabs her shopping trolley for a tour of the stores.
Recently I’ve been thinking about supermarkets, those places we reluctantly visit each week to purchase our groceries (if you shop online, stop here, right now).
Are they all the same? Basically, yes, there is little difference in what they sell or the prices they charge if you take everything into consideration.
Some will have special offers one week, others something different the following week. To get the benefit of all these ‘money off’ schemes, one would have to spend hours and miles travelling from one to another to cash in on their deals.
There used to be a saying that Sainsbury’s and Tesco were built to keep the riff-raff out of Waitrose! I’ve shopped in all three and a tin of Heinz soup is a tin of Heinz soup wherever you get it from - just because it costs an extra 2p in one, does not make it any less tasty.
Nowadays there are the ‘new’ supermarkets, Aldi and Lidl. Initially, I was not impressed, they didn’t seem to have named products I wanted, only foods I didn’t recognise. But more recently they seem to be selling the same as the other stores. One difference with these stores is that each week they have new ‘non food’ products down the centre of the aisles. They are inviting and make you stop and look to see what special offers they have this week, which in turn makes you spend more.(At least our old stores have the decency to keep their tempting non groceries away from the essentials!)
Most of us will use the same store each week; we know where the items are as we peruse the aisles. This is time-saving, as you don’t have to search for your regular items ... that is, except for the times when some clever ‘so-and-so’ decides that having a change around will encourage shoppers to buy more, because they have to go looking for what they are after and therefore see new and exciting ‘stuff’ that they don’t really need but will purchase anyway.
I once lost my rag with a poor assistant, when my supermarket did this. I told her that I was going to Asda instead - rather stupid, as in Asda I didn’t know where anything was either, plus I spent time and petrol getting there.
But thinking about it, it must work or they wouldn’t spend the effort to do it, would they?
Anyway, very shortly I am off to France with Denman College (the WI’s own educational college in Oxford) and that means we will have to do a special shop when ‘him indoors’ will get to pick all the goodies he likes to eat while I’m away. It usually involves a big cake!