Savings for Dummies
Aging & Attitude
Mr. Wonderful says, “take a look at this,” and points to a Letter to the Editor in the News Journal (1/7/12).
Shrink ray strikes at grocery store
“Having just returned from the grocery store, my choices were to either cry or laugh. I chose to laugh, and share with you.
On the positive side, I had fewer bags to carry in the house, which also meant fewer items to put away-that’s a net positive result; I saved a few minutes of my precious day.
The pound used to equal 16 ounces, but my coffee “pound” is now 11 ounces. Maybe I’ll drink less coffee if there is less in my cupboard.
The “pound” of potato chips is now 10.5 ounces. I must send Frito-Lay a thank-you card. I’m sure the company had my health in mind when they cut the size of the “pound bag. Less for more almost sounds like double dipping and not in a fun way.”
Ellen Johanson, Port Orange, Fl.
Ellen, a woman after my own heart, goes on to express her frustration with shrinking size and rising prices.
Mr. Wonderful continues the dialogue, “Just what I’m talkin about, and it’s the same with BOGO (buy one get one free). That pound of coffee that isn’t 16 ounces isn’t $5.99 it’s $6.81 The cost of the free one keeps going up, see what I’m saying.”
Married forty years, it is too early to argue marketing ploys. The item price has increased, and like the shrinking size double dipping scenario you get less, but the free one is still free. Actually, it is a half price, 50% off sale, but not really, because you cannot buy only one, like a two for sale when you can.
The shopper saved,$6.81, but not in the traditional way.
Similarly, a receipt now touts customer savings, another marketing ploy appealing to a “financial dreamer” willing to pay full price ($142.24) for a sweatshirt, sweatpants and tennis shoes, and consequently happy to spend a mere $64.80, convinced of saving $77.44. Well, only if they stop by the bank and deposit $77.44 in an account.
The reality, nothing is saved. The customer simply did not spend $77.44 more for a purchase they would not have otherwise made.
Saving is no longer simple.
Jennifer Richardson of Anchor Group/Bill Grigat in Daytona Beach identifies five financial personalities. Financial Dreamer is one of them, and believes women need female guidance with money. Ms. Richardson gives a more sophisticated version than mine below, however I believe, the essence is captured.
The personalities are:
- Financial Initiator – In charge of your money and invests with success, could be a day trader.
- Financial Analyzer –Lives within budget, spends money wisely, but lacking investment confidence, calls Jennifer.
- Financial Collaborator – A spouse or significant other manages the money. They smile when informed of transactions. Jennifer advises financial independence.
- Financial Avoider – In debt, experiences anxiety buying a latte and is working with a therapist.
- Financial Dreamer – Habitually overspent, dreams about winning the lottery. Uses a credit card to pay a credit card bill. Jennifer is their 911
Saving was easy before advertising manipulated consumers to want everything they see and buy everything they want. It is possible to want something and not buy it, thinking about dust and clutter deter me.
Saving money might be real simple. Here is a suggestion; spend less than you earn and put the difference in a Cookie Jar.
Cute! For a moment there I thought you had inherited Andy Rooney’s job :). My theory is this: if you never go anywhere, you never spend any money, but what fun is that 🙂
You’re right no fun. (We could shop on-line.)
Great post. Those BOGO offers take mathematical genius at times, but in most cases they’re worth it at our most popular local grocery chain if only because it means I don’t have to go to the Big WM down the road 🙂
Thanks for making us all laugh about the silliness around us
Thank you for saying so.
Love your blog! I’m actually looking around now for less expensive places to shop and what I bought this morning at Aldi’s for $70.00 would have cost probably half again that much at my usual grocery store.
Liked your blog too, couldn’t find your like button.
Also the one pound can is usually about 14 oz. My pet peeve is shopping at Office Depot. It takes forever to figure which coupon to use and what qualifies. How about good old fashioned everyday low prices?
By the time I figure out the coupon it has expired. Thanks for commenting.
Great post! I think I fall into the “Financial Analyzer” category. I have a budget that I follow but have no confidence to handle my own investments.
I also find it funny that some of the stores I shop in will tell me “You’ve saved $142 today!” They even circle it on the receipt. All I can think is, “no, I didn’t save that. I just didn’t spend it.”
Thank you for sharing!
Good to hear from a like mind. Very few people handle their investments consider calling Jennifer or another financial planner.
Mr. Wonderful is correct as always.. You would be wise to use his many tallents.. And then there is Jennifer Richardson, my financial advisor.. She is wise beyond her years.. If you shop at Publix and buy Hillmans turkey, you can actually get three containers compared to the 2 for 1 of other items.. Save bunches on the smaller and smaller containers.. See you at Publix….
PS: Tell Mr. wonderful to call me the next time he goes shopping.. I just don’t want to buy any China made goods any more..
You and Mr. Wonderful have to go shopping together.
This is something in sales we really laugh at. BOGO is never really BOGO and just a tool like you said to get people to pay for 1 more item to drive their sales per transaction totals up. It really really works too. Not really convinced that the personalities have much to do with how people spend considering the increase in savy displayed in marketing and sales over the past few years. Most buyers are truly confused on what they are really paying.
You raise very good points. The consumer lost control way long ago.
The term I’ve always heard for this is “spaving” (spending to save). It’s incredibly insidious, trading as it does on the difference between wanting something and needing something. (If there’s a portmanteau for that, I don’t know what it is: perhaps “wanding?”) I’ve trained myself to look at unit costs when I go shopping–it’s the only way to really know how much you’re getting for your money.
Spaving, sounds like you know much more than I do about saving. Thanks for sharing.
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Well said, Miss Claudia! I especially liked the personalities at the end. My husband and I tried to pick out each other’s! 🙂