Sue’s comment got me thinking.
I think sometimes pack n save is not always the cheapest supermarket in wellington.
I’m a big fan of stocking up during the regular, new world specials which pack n save never get close to
At our house we don’t have a fireplace, so I didn’t think there was any reason to remove the “no circulars” sign when we moved in. (Why pay for firelighters when you can burn circulars?) But clearly, this means we are missing out on finding out about good specials at New World.
One of our eventual aims here at Frugal Me is to organise a collective “good deal alert system” for Wellington: whether as a mailing list, a Twitter feed, a wiki, or some other way we haven’t decided.
In the meanwhile, it seems that lots of people are thinking about where they spend their grocery budget. Here are my grocery habits for your review. Bear in mind that we live in Hataitai, and I don’t want to spend lots of time and fuel cris-crossing town, which strikes me as false economy.
We always have a shopping list for the supermarket, and we try to stick to it. But instead of racking my brains to create one from scratch every week, I have a standard list that I print out (cost about 5c) and I cross off things that we don’t need. I find it easier to make sure we’ve caught everything that way.
We buy most “dry goods” at the Kilbirnie Pak’n’save, and some staples. Allegedly, they are the cheapest supermarket in the area, and I think that’s true. It’s weird, because the Woolworths directly across the street is supposed to be Wellington’s most expensive supermarket. If there is a good deal I have no compunction about getting several units of any imperishable item. They’re cunning there though; you have to watch out for things that are cheaper by weight in the small package than in the big one.
(Interesting analysis here from Bernard Hickey on why Foodstuffs supermarkets are cheaper and better).
I always pay at the supermarket with a credit card. Credit card transactions are free, I pay the card off every month so there’s no interest, and my bank accounts pay interest on the average balance, so I want to keep that as high as possible. Yes, I am that mingy. 25c a week is $13 a year, you know. Wouldn’t you like to find $13 in your jacket pocket? I would.
Fruit and vegetables we buy at the Waitangi Park market. I sometimes get meat there too. It’s quite good discipline because you can only pay cash, so I get $15 or $20 and see what I can do with it. I am now in the habit of doing a complete circumnavigation of the market to scope out prices and quality before I buy anything.
If I’m in the area, I get meat at the halal butcher in Newtown, which has the best-trimmed, leanest, cheapest meat in Wellington by my estimation. You’re not going to get any pork there, obviously… Also, it’s a family business run by pleasant people, and I like patronising small businesses of that nature.
I buy flour, oil, and similar staples in the largest quantities I can at Moore Wilson wholesale. You have to be careful there because all their pricing is ex-GST, but they are still generally cheaper than the supermarket.
And that’s it. Apparently we spend about half what the Otago University Food Cost survey suggests, which I simply cannot understand. I’m good, but I’m not that good. There’ll be a post in that when I’ve done some analysis.
So folks: where do you shop, how do you shop, and why? Could I do better if I tweaked our routine?