Sunday, 20 January 2013

Sneaky shopping tricks

We generally make two trips a week to supermarkets interposed with occasional visits to real butchers as we refuse to buy meat from supermarkets.  I say "we" make the trips but that's not really the case.  It used to be that the Old Bat would visit Asda on Tuesday afternoons while I walked the dog but somehow that has become a double-handed shopping trip with me tagging along.

The Friday shopping trip is different.  This involves a visit to Sainsbury's over in Hove and is usually done by the Old Bat alone on her way home from the MS Treatment Centre.  If for some reason I have driven her to Southwick, I pop back to Sainsbury's and do the shopping before picking her up again.

I am, of course, well aware that supermarkets use all kinds of devices to increase their turnover, such as placing small items like packets of chewing gum by the tills to entice people to add one to their shopping.  Even the musak is carefully chosen to induce the right mood in shoppers, something which I still have difficulty in getting my mind around.  I also watch out for the trick where a pack of two items works out to be more expensive than buying two of those same items separately.  The Old Bat is well tuned in to all those tricks but there is one that I cannot persuade her is not a give-away but a device to get her to spend more money at Sainsbury's.  That is the "price match" coupon.

Asda is about the only supermarket I ever use where one is not snowed under by an avalanche of tickets at the check-out, tickets offering double points on particular goods (or sometimes your whole shop) or 50p off lingerie and so on.  But there is only one that I know of where shoppers are given a coupon for money off their next shop because another supermarket has a lower price on goods one has bought.  The Old Bat comes away from Sainsbury's moaning that her coupon is for only 3p or exclaiming with delight that her price-match coupon is for £1.14.  In vain do I try to explain to her that this is a way by which Sainsbury's entice her into their shop again within the seven-day validity of the coupon.  If they really wanted her to buy the goods from them at the same price as she would pay at Tesco or Asda, they should reduce their price to match.

And it seems so obvious to me.


Hey ho, it's snowing again.  I would like to upload a picture of snow-covered hills under a brilliant cerulian sky but here in England we never get a blue sky when there's snow on the ground.  And as I have taken no such pictures on my trips to Switzerland, this will have to suffice.  Seen through half-closed eyes, this view of Tenaya Lake in Yosemite does look as though there is snow on the ground.  Actually, it's bare rock.

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