Shopping the specials…

For the past 3 years, I’ve just been shopping at the same one supermarket. I haven’t been using one of the best money-saving tricks my Mum taught me.

Why? 2 reasons. Firstly, convenience – we lived a 5min drive from that one supermarket. Any others were 20+mins drive away, so it was just way to far to even bother. Secondly, timing – monthly pay meant that as a general rule (except for bread and milk) I did a bulk shop once a month, so there was just no point in shopping for specials. If something was on special that we regularly bought, BINGO! Otherwise, we I just bought the same stuff every month and our food bill was roughly the same every month.

Now though, Hubby’s new job means we’re getting paid weekly, and our new house is LITERALLY less than 1km from 4 different supermarkets, so I’ve started shopping the specials again. It’s great, because generally the stuff you want is on special at one of them in any given week.

One thing I had forgotten about it though – how time consuming it was! I’ve got a 3hr block put aside on a Sunday night to sort out my meal plan for the week (takes about 20mins), check the pantry to see what needs topping up & make shopping list (20mins again), then spend about 2-2.5hrs going through the catalogues, comparing prices and deciding what I’m going to buy from where!

At this point, it is worthwhile, because I am not at uni or working at the moment, and therefore I can afford to spend that time doing this. When I go back to uni though, things may change – there is a high possibility that I’ll be eligible for some sort of government assistance once I get the official acceptance paperwork for my Nursing degree (i.e. we’ll have a bit more money week-to-week) and I’ll also have significantly less time to spend on something like this (5 subjects – eek!). At that point I’ll have to decide whether my time is worth the $20-$30 in savings, or whether I’ll just shop at the one supermarket again.

Oh the joys of being an adult…