Friday, 29 June 2012

Frugal shopping - but pack your armour!

I know we are not the only family that are feeling the pinch financially.  Just listen to any radio news report to hear how families countrywide are having to cut corners to make ends meet.

With 6 people in our household the shopping bill is one of the major spends each week and whereas in more carefree financial times I would have chosen organic where possible those days are few and far between and more and more shopping is from the 'value' ranges or from our local market where fruit and vegetables are far cheaper than those in our local supermarket.

One way available to cut your shopping bills causes quite a stir where we live. Our major supermarket closes at 11pm (no 24 hour shopping here!) Each night a crowd will gather at around 8pm, not for a social get together, but more like a get it while you can and be quick party. For at 8pm is the time when the remaining items in the reduced section of the supermarket get there final reduction for the day and for many this means BARGAINS!

Although the food has a best before date of that day you can always freeze suitable items and with prices cut by up to 90% of what they would be on the non reduced shelf you can save yourself quite a sum.  Anything from sandwiches to cuts of meat and fish, bread and the like but with it comes the problem that has the supermarket Security Guard pacing up and down in anticipation.  The problem is the arguments and rows that happen.

Grown adults arguing over who had what and at times I have even seen items being taken out of some of the bargain hunters shopping baskets and deposited into anothers! It did make me giggle but on a serious note this is what these nightly frugal shoppers have come to in order to cut costs or has frugality taken on a whole new meaning?

If I happen to be in the supermarket at around 8pm (and trust me its not often as the regular frugal shoppers are a scary bunch if you try and get in on their turf!) I do go and see what is on offer in the reduced section and the same faces are there every time. Things have even got to the point where they do not reduce the items and stick the reduced prices on in front of them anymore but take anything to be reduced into the back room, reduce the prices, and return it to the cabinet.

In a country that sees families struggling to make ends meet at every turn is it any wonder shoppers are prepared to wait around for reductions?  When a piece of Salmon, for instance, that was £6 can be reduced to 60p this is frugal shopping at its best (and worse).  So when you are in the supermarket later in the evening and you see a crowd it may just be final reductions time.  Join in and grab a bargain but be warned - you may need armour protection from the regulars.

But how far would you go for a bargain?