Are we learning anything?

The January issue of Woman’s Day magazine is just now hitting the stands. In it is a very insightful article about how this economy has radically changed the way that “we” shop for groceries. According to the 2010 American Pantry study, we all fit into one of four categories according to how we shop. Additionally, the survey of the 2,000 shoppers reveals that 92% of us have changed the way we shop in the last two years. 

So the vast majority of us have spent the last two years changing our shopping habits like we change our underwear, stumbling our way through, trying to find ways to save. This, amid conflicting advice from various experts from blogs to TV news reports, concerns me greatly to say the least.

Just yesterday in the supermarket, I saw a lady filling her cart with less than good deals. The trouble is, I know she was looking for savings, because she was looking at prices, picking up one item, and then putting it back for another. She looked perplexed. And she should be! I read things all the time that make me shudder. And I hear news reports on how to save money, which will only leave a hole in your wallet. Sure, you may save more than before, but you may not, in taking some of this advice that is seemingly shooting from the hip most of the time. So no wonder that poor lady was confused!

I have reporters asking me all the time, “What’s true?” They say they hear things like, “Stay away from the center of the store to save the most money”. What? You’re not allowed to buy oatmeal? By the way, we never pay full price for things in the center store, because we KNOW how to save money in every part of the store! But I digress… And the study shows that 80% of us stay away from big packages because we don’t want to waste food. 80% of us are wrong, people! You’ll see me quoted in the article that yes, in many cases you should steer away from the biggest of the three sizes, as often times, the medium size is less per unit or ounce. But staying away from big sizes because you don’t want to waste food, only means you haven’t learned how to store food. Wrong reason! And there’s more. So much more…

Things are a changin people! And believe me, The Grocery Game databases have been humming away like none other, keeping up with those changes. Yes, things have changed, and old cliches don’t work anymore, and quite frankly, some never did. But the good news is, there’s always a way to save. It just may not be the way you think it is, or thought it was.

I could go on ad nauseum, but I won’t… 

All this to ask the question, over the last two years… “Are we learning anything?” But more importantly, “Are we learning the right things?”

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