The Shopping List

This week’s Prompt for the Promptless really hit home for me.

I’ve made no secret of my exploits at the supermarket.  Within the past month, I’ve managed to earn over 50 percent savings at Safeway not once, but twice!  In addition, I’ve managed to break the 40 percent threshold on a few other occasions as well.

My goal is to manage the highest savings percentage possible.  Admittedly, I’m guilty of sometimes chasing saving percentages at the expense of actually saving money.  This may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes I’ll buy the more expensive brand simply because it’s on sale, even though the non-discounted store brand might still be cheaper.

This week’s Prompt is actually one of my biggest obstacles towards racking up a massive savings percentage: The Shopping List.  Yes, a pre-determined list of items that need to be acquired can be quite the detriment to savings.

My enemy (Image source: Flickr)

My enemy (Image source: Flickr)

This past weekend, before heading off to Safeway, Mrs. Cutter gave me a list of items that we needed.  Most of these things were standard purchases like bread and milk, but there were also a couple of non-staple items on the list as well: Sugar and cupcake tray liners.

Upon arriving at the baking goods aisle, I was dismayed to find that neither item was on sale.  (This was a bit of a surprise, as it seems like sugar is always on sale)  I’ll admit it: I considered not buying those items and telling Mrs. Cutter that I “forgot” them or couldn’t find them.  I realized that there were multiple reasons why that wasn’t a good idea.

  1. Mrs. Cutter probably wouldn’t believe me considering how much I talk about “mastering” that store.
  2. It would be dishonest.
  3. I’d only be hurting myself.  Cupcake liners and sugar implies that some sort of tasty treat will soon be produced, and I would be missing out.  Even worse, Mrs. Cutter might insist that she REALLY needed them, and I’d be forced to take another trip later that day.  And ain’t nobody got time for that.

So I sucked it up and put the non-sale items into the cart.

White gold (Image source: Flickr)

White gold (Image source: Flickr)

In the end, I managed a pretty darned good (although certainly nothing to write a special post about) 47% savings.  Would I have made it to 50% without the sugar and cupcake liners?  Probably.  But we’ve all got to answer to someone, and apparently my master is the almighty shopping list.


About The Cutter

I am the Cutter. I write some stuff. You might like it, you might not. Please decide for yourself.
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16 Responses to The Shopping List

  1. LOL those are all good reasons to not tell mrs cutter you forgot….you are making me miss virginia where safeway will deliver groceries…i used giant peapod because they were first to deliver…it was so much fun every week going through all the sales items on the computer .i saved a lot too.

  2. The Hook says:

    Wow, you’re a shopping God!
    Well done and good luck, Cutter.

  3. Oddly enough, you probably got a better “deal” on the cupcake trays than you got on some of the other items non-sale items you bought. Anything that is constantly being put on and off sale is likely marked up artificially high so the store doesn’t take too much of a hit by slashing its price. Cupcake trays are probably rarely put on sale outside of the late Fall baking season, so they probably have a more normal markup than the popular sale items do when they’re not marked down. I’m certainly not trying to dampen your savings goal, you’re definitely coming out more like a bandit than the normal shopper, but stores are super-sneaky with prices and markdowns and you never really know how much you’re actually “saving” on something…

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  5. djmatticus says:

    Savings thwarted by the shopping list! Oh the humanity. 😉
    Yes, those pesky “need” items always seem to be the ones not on sale. It’s like the stores are aware of our strategy to save money and are actively trying to disrupt our plans.

    • The Cutter says:

      Considering how badly I’ve been taking it to them, it wouldn’t shock me if they actually tried to thwart me.

    • djmatticus says:

      You’ve got to keep your head on a swivel why are there and try to spot the spies…. they are monitoring your movements, trying to decipher your buying habits so they know when to raise prices on certain things.
      You should really throw them off: one trip, just find the best sale in the store and buy up to the maximum of that one item…

    • The Cutter says:

      Ah, you want me to go the Extreme Couponing route, huh?

      Sadly, I don’t have the time nor storage space to make that happen.

    • djmatticus says:

      I didn’t want you to switch over permanently, it was just one time thing to mess with the people watching your activity in the store.

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