The Smart Shopper – or so I thought

Published on July 29, 2015 8:24 am, by

I love a bargain. Love, love, love!! Thanks to all my recent readings of the Money Brilliant posts I decided it was time to put my money where my mouth is (so to speak) and translate those budget figures that I operate on from in my head to on paper. I wasn’t overly surprised at the results, however the act of inputting these amounts in to something tangible gave me an incentive to see where I could make savings. The most evident, and I thought easiest was my grocery bill.

I am part of a family of 5. For us fresh is best. We are avid exercisers and 2 of the 3 children are adolescents and 2 are girls we go through food fast. Very fast. Add to that shampoo, conditioner, feminine hygiene products and Clearasil and you have a weekly challenge that never ends. I learnt quickly that I was wrong about our grocery spending. I thought $300 per week. Maybe a bit more some weeks. At a glance it was evident that we were spending between $400 and $450 per week. No wonder I run out of money!!

My $300 per week grocery challenge

So being an all in kind of gal, I set my challenge at $300 per week. Oh my. Week 1 – $370. Week 2 – $358. Week 3 – $386. Week 4 – we are still in it, so far $354. Then the analysis began. And you know what got me??? Coles. Fly Buys. It’s amazing the psychological impact of their campaigns. Yay Coles. You are good.

Sneaky and pretty smart Coles offer

4 weeks ago I received an email that told me if I spend $170 per week over 4 weeks at the end I would receive a $50 Coles Voucher. Out the window went my avid reading of the Coles, Woolworths and Supa Barn catalogues to figure out how I could save $50 a week. Off to Coles I went. And in my head adding as I popped items in the trolley to make sure it was over the magic $170 mark. I reckon I could have got it all for under $300 without Fly Buys. Just to clarify, my big Coles shop was between $220 and $280 each week, final figures come from any additional stock ups to get us through the week.

Just last week I was chatting to my mum. And she said to me – did you get that offer from Coles? Yes I said, the $170 per week one. And she told me that she got the same offer. At $90 per week. So Coles good one. Good use of information. You know what I spend. You got me. And you made me spent a lot more than I would have otherwise.

What did I learn?

And what did I learn? I learnt that it’s easy to be sucked in. I learnt that I need to stop and think.

On a positive note, thanks Coles, I have a $50 head start on my grocery bill next week. And I have a new challenge. Or I’m going back to my original challenge. This week I’m doing something different. I’m going to try Aldi. I will get my total grocery bill under the magic $300 mark. If I manage for 4 weeks, I will save enough to buy that new pair of running shoes before the tread in my current ones totally wear out.

Related Articles –
Revisiting the grocery challenge
The Smart Shopper: winning my grocery challenge

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Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.

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