28 August 2015

The Grocery Leapfrog Game

When it comes to grocery shopping there is no such thing as loyalty. I often hear people say that it takes too long to go to more than one supermarket, or that it's a waste of time to visit a particular store to pick up just one or two things. I've even been told that it costs more in time and petrol to shop at more than one store than you save.

You may well think it's a waste of time to shop at more than one store, but let's look at the big picture. You make up your shopping list, using only the flyers for the one store, listing the specials and adding them to your list as needed. Then you hit the supermarket. Even if you stick closely to your list, buying the things on sale, there will be things you are buying and paying more for that are on sale at another supermarket. The difference in your grocery bill can be significant.

It doesn't need to take you any longer to do your shopping at two, three or more supermarkets if you plan your trip. Most Australians have at the very least two of the major supermarkets within a 10 minute drive, so the cost of petrol is not really a consideration. And most of us pass one or two supermarkets in our daily travels too, so again the cost of petrol isn't an issue. By having a plan and sticking to it, I can do a four week grocery shop in under two hours, saving me money, time and energy!

Don't be conned into thinking that just one supermarket will save you money, regardless of the advertising and the emotional blackmail used to entice you into the store. Remember, supermarkets pay big bucks to marketing agencies to come up with tactics to lure you in and encourage you to spend your money, usually on things you don't really need and don't really want.

That's ok, they can spend their money on what they want (you can too!). I believe in capitalism and free enterprise, marketing companies are as entitled to make money as you and I. Just as we are entitled to make conscious decisions about where and how we spend our money. We just need to be aware when we hit the shops.

Another objection to grocery leapfrogging I hear is that there are only two supermarkets to choose from. That's great! You'll save even more time because you'll only have two lots of junk mail to go through (if you don't get junk mail you can download the flyers off the websites) and two supermarkets to go to so your travelling time should be less.

You can save money by grocery leapfrogging even if you live in a little country town. You don't need to live in a capital city to play this game.

The Last Word

Do not be loyal to any store! There is no one supermarket that will always have the cheapest prices, regardless of what the advertising says. Sometimes they do, sometimes the competition will be cheaper. Sometimes the loss leaders will be incredible at the most expensive store, simply to lure you in, in the hope you'll fall like most other shoppers and just keep on shopping, buying what you see just because you are already in the store.

If you do that, then the supermarket has won and you've been conned out of your money.

But, if you only buy the loss leaders, because you are grocery leapfrogging, and don't have store loyalty, then you are the winner. Every time. Your bank balance will confirm it. And you'll be a savvy shopper, and not a loyal sucker.


  1. Haha Cath i've been one of those loyal suckers for a long time, im feeling pretty good lately though, just sticking with Aldi until i can trust myself anywhere else, Great post and really made me think !! xoxo

  2. This'll only work if one drives and or has access to a car. As my eyesight now prevents me from driving I walk to supermkt and get bus home. Sometimes friends drive me but since my only child was t/f overseas . . .

  3. I shop at Woolworths and Aldi. When I go to Woolworths I go straight to the end of line/discounted item that have been damaged etc. I quite often get BIG boxes of cereal for $3-$4 dollars!


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