Extreme Shopping

You've heard of extreme sports, well I am into Extreme Shopping. Now don't misunderstand me, I don't spend hours clothes shopping and wandering the malls. In fact I hate that sort of shopping. I am into extreme shopping for things I have to buy - and let me tell you I LOVE it!

It started quite a few years ago when I was expecting number one son. I spent a lot of time obsessing over our budget working out how I could afford to not go back to work once the baby was born. I soon worked out that saving 20 cents here or there could really make a difference and I have been totally obsessed with the concept ever since.

Now I am sure many of you are thinking that you can't be bothered shopping around, or that the extra time involved is not worth it, but take a look at this little equation.

Lemonade: I usually buy two bottles for a week. It comes on sale and I can save $1.25. Multiply this by two and then by 52 weeks for the year and the saving is $130. Not much you reckon ? Do this across your grocery list and you 'make' enough savings to take your family to a resort for 10 days every Christmas. (well that's what I choose to do - you may choose something else like pay your credit card off or use it for birthdays etc )

So.... the question remains. Is it worth the time and hassle ? Only you can answer that question. The actual question is.... how much time are you willing to invest to have a holiday/ pay off credit card etc ? ... one hour..... three hours ......5 hours......

Here's how I do it.

Firstly I went to the supermarket I usually frequent. As I did my normal round I took a calculator and worked out the best buy by using the unit price method. I divide the price grams/ litres etc and multiply by a common unit to get the price into a usable quantity. Clear as Mud ? Let's do an example. In the supermarket you see two bags of sugar.

The first is 2kg for 2.49 and the second is 3kg for 3.79. Here are the steps

2.49 divide by 2 = 1.245 per kg
3.79 divide by 3 = 1.263 per kg

so the 2kg is the better buy. Don't be fooled though, the answer is not always the biggest quantity and this example doesn't really show a clear saving.

Here's another: Toothpaste 110g for 1.29 or 175g for 1.89

1.29 divide by 110 X 1000 = 11.72 per kg
1.89 divide by 175g x 1000 = 10.80 per kg

I convert the smaller numbers to kilos or litres to make it easier.

It tool me about an extra 40 minutes to do the shopping that day and I recorded the prices in my price book. The next week I shopped at the other supermarket and did the same. Then when I came home I compared it with a docket I had from a trip to ALDI.

I then made a master list of what to buy from which shop. All up I think it would have taken me about 3 hours to do the whole thing over a number of days. Now when it comes to shopping day I don't run around to every shop and waste my time. Because I used the stockpiling principle, that is I buy enough of something when it is on sale to not buy it again until it comes on sale again , that I simply buy what I need depending on which shop I go to.

The extreme shopping starts (oh I crack myself up - this is so sad ! ) when I see catalogues and can do a quick calculation as to whether or not the shampoo is a good buy and how much I will save.

Every time I laugh at myself and think I have REALLY become obsessive compulsive about my grocery shopping I just think of that holiday.

We have been going there for 9 years now. Who'd a thought it ! Most people can't be bothered. But I'm sure if you stood on the street corner and handed out $2000 they'd jump at the opportunity.

Well, people, your opportunity is already under your nose. You just have to ask yourself whether you are willing to invest the time. After all, in this world we either spend money or we spend time.

Are you an extreme shopper ? I'd love to hear your story !


Lis said...

I'm not quite as extreme as you but I am working on it! I have my price book going, I make my shopping list with the catalogue specials each fortnight and I stockpile. I thought everyone stockpiled when things were on special, but I found out recently this isn't the case. I think it is worth it for the savings I make - for me it means working less = more time with my children :))

Kez said...

I've just started my price book up again and will be starting to shop the specials again. I used to do it before but as I got busier it was one thing that fell by the wayside - that and dragging a toddler to all of the shops :) Now he's older it should be easier - I hope!!

It's saved me heaps for the party - I started a few weeks keeping an eye on the specials. Sure enough Bilo had chips about half-price and Woolies had coke massively reduced - I must've saved $40 just on that stuff.

Anonymous said...

I am in process of starting a price book I have all the dockets from the last few shopping days and also some catalogues with the savings prices. I like this extreme shopping concept. I will give it a go.

Polly said...

I'm not an extreme shopper in the way you are because most of the stuff I buy doesn't seem to be on special very often. I am however a careful shopper and compare prices all the time. Oh and I do a three monthly big Aldi shop.

I love the way you use your time to save money. Keep it up and enjoy your next holiday.

Susan said...

I need to start a price book. i have started stockpiling and have already saved by doing that, i also visited aldi for shopping for the first time this week! I know I know!

How do you organise your price book? layout etc? I'm trying to work it out.

Anonymous said...

I do exactly what you do :)and blogged about it recently LOL

It's great and I don't see why anyone should have to pay full price if they don't have to.

For my price book I use a notebook, do it alphabetically and write the prices in the couple of different supermarkets I go to, including various weights/volumes.

I have noticed that prices have gone up on alot of things since I began it a couple of months ago :( so prices need to be updated regularly....

woops, getting carried away here LOL!!

A Vision Splendid said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.
Susan I organise my price book the same way I do my shopping list, that is, in the order of the aisles at the main supermarket I use. ( I know I know - obsessive ! ) It just saves me so much time!

Michelle said...

I definitely fall into the extreme shopper categorie, although until now I didn't know it had a name!LOL
I used to do this out of necessity years ago when my kids were small and we were broke. Then I got too 'busy' and stopped until recently when Rhind at down to earth inspired me to do it again. Now although I'm not broke I do it because it's a challenge to beat the supermarkets and I LOVE saving money ;) I recently bought a 2nd pantry to store the stockpile in and my kids thought I had completely lost the plot. They asked if there was a holocaust coming that they should know about. LOL But when I told dd2 that my food bill had dropped from over $200 p/w to $150 she started taking notes.

Rhonda Jean said...

perfect shopping! isn't it good when you understand how you can easily undercut your previous grocery targets. It is always worth the hassle, I'd rather keep my money than give it to a company that makes huge profits.

This is such a fine example of what can be done with a bit of extra time and effort. Well done!

Anonymous said...

You are so right. I am amazed how people will buy what they need and not have coupons or look in our ad for our weekly coupon. I do try and catch things for my customer. I tell them before I ring up the store coupon....I usually say something like: "I am going to be your favorite person for the next 10 min. because I saved you XYZ"

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