Saturday, April 11, 2009

Do You Really Want to Save Money on Groceries?

It all started at Safeway's meat counter. Ooh, boneless chicken breasts -- $1.77 a pound. I was picking over packages and chortling to myself when a woman next to me looked at the sign. Looked at the chicken. (Which was quite fresh and plump.) Looked at the sign.

Then reached up on the next level and picked up a package of chicken breasts from a competing brand.

For $5.99 a pound.

After I'd picked myself up from that one, I headed over to the produce section. Wow -- Granny Smith apples, 3 pounds for $1.99! Our fruit bowl was full. (Wallymart had a stunning 29-cent-pound sale on Gala apples a few weeks back.) But I couldn't help admiring how fresh and crisp those apples looked. Headed toward the cash register -- and there was a lady pawing through a bin of the same Granny Smiths. Only these were $1.99 a pound.

"Excuse me, there's a whole bin of Grannys in bags -- 3 pounds for the price of those. Thought you'd want to know."

She looked at me, then at the three apples in her hand. "Oh, I only want a few." I blinked. "These keep for weeks in your refrigerator, and..." Voice trailed off as I realized she wasn't listening.

If this was a rare occurence, then I could just smack myself for fussing. But nearly every time I buy groceries, there is yet another person who cheerfully pays double, triple or even quadruple the amount for the same produce, meats or milk I get for less! (Last time, it was a girl at Wal-Mart who thought nothing of buying 18 eggs for $1.88...when she could get a dozen for $1. I got a polite 'who cares' response when I mentioned it to her. )

None of these people seem particularly wealthy. (In fact, the girl in Wal-Mart looked a little hard-up.) They're not stupid, either. No doubt they wouldn't mind saving some money. Wouldn't anyone, right now?

So what gives?

Wish I knew. But from on, in grocery stores, I think I am going to just keep my money-saving opinions to myself.

MoneySavingMom has a nice post or two on grocery shopping right now. At least she isn't wasting any money:

You won't, either...if you don't want to.

P.S. During the same Safeway's trip, I would have paid for the same package of BOGO smoked sausage I was supposed to get free. If I hadn't caught it, that is. Did the customer service clerk apologize? Mention she was going to note it, so no one else got to pay double? Naahhh...

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