06 August 2008

Going cherry picking

I am really torn with the grocery price debate that is raging at the moment. I am excited that finally something official is being done about the cost of food in this country, but I am not convinced that the website that has been set up, grocerychoice.gov.au, will actually save me any money. It's great to see which supermarket was cheapest in the survey, but I can't see exactly what was included in the various baskets or how much each item cost so I have no idea if I would save money shopping there and the prices are a month old anyway; very frustrating for a nosey parker like me. The data is a little airy fairy for my taste too, I much prefer the information in my grocery spreadsheet and my trusty pricebook. I know the information in these two priceless documents is accurate for my needs.

These days, thanks to shopping the Cheapskates way, I buy fresh milk and the rest of the trolley is for cherry picking. Isn't that a gorgeous name for shopping? I have no idea who came up with it but I love it. Cherry picking is when your grocery stockpile is at the stage where you only need to top up, which you do when things are on sale. Saying "I'm just going cherry picking" sounds much more fun than "I'm going to do the groceries". Last week I cherry picked 24 cans of tomato soup for 89 cents each, enough for our needs for at least 6 months.

I get some strange looks when I go through the checkout. Who in their right mind would by 24 cans tomato soup, 12 bottles of orange juice, another 12 of apple juice, four kilos of cocktail franks (they were really cheap, they freeze beautifully and they are a favourite snack with the boys and their friends), and 12 litres of milk? The days I get a good deal on toilet paper are better, if I can get it for under 45 cents a roll I stock up, and I mean stock up. I'll buy enough to last us for at least three months, more if I can fit it in the trolley. I'm sure people must think I have 15 kids with the quantities I buy. At least I know we won't run out and I have spent less too. It's a nice feeling to win against the supermarkets :)

I had a chat with Susannah Wilson from Fox News about this earlier today and you can hear the interview on Fox news this evening. I think that lots of people are going to be lulled into thinking that they will save money if they shop at the cheapest supermarket for their area on this Grocery Choice. I hope they are not to disappointed when they realise they may not be.

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