Supermarket Survival Tactics: Save money, and your sanity

Supermarket Survival GuideOn a Saturday morning when the masses flood into the supermarket aisles and the checkouts start to get backed up, more than a few shoppers start to feel a little ‘war fatigue’. It’s enough to have anyone gasping about ‘the horror’ of losing that perfect car park, or plotting murder most ‘fowl’ against someone who stole the last reduced-to-clear roast chicken.

How are shoppers supposed to deal with the warzone that has become the weekly grocery shop grind? Here’s your field manual – a go-to guide for the weary shopper – to surviving in the battlefield of supermarket shopping.

Know your enemy: Shop early in the day

”… If you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

A recent news article revealed the peak shopping periods in Australian supermarkets are at 11am to 1pm, and 4pm to 5pm – all on Saturday.  If you want to avoid the masses, save yourself a headache and steer clear of these times.

It won’t come as a shock to anyone that some of the quietest times to shop are on Mondays and Tuesdays during the store’s opening hours…but interestingly, even Saturday early morning crowds were low, making it an ideal shopping hour. If you have to get your groceries on the weekend, aim for the opening hours for a less stressful shop.

You can also avoid the problem entirely by buying groceries online – the pros and cons of which we’ve discussed in a previous post.

Work as a unit: Don’t shop alone

“… Unit cohesion and teamwork are what give individual soldiers the confidence to use initiative, to be resourceful, and to be all they can be” – Glen E. Morrell, 7th Sergeant Major of the United States Army

Shopping with another person allows you to split up with two trolleys and grocery lists to get the work done in half the time. Furthermore, you can save yourself from impulse buying by avoiding certain sections of the supermarket.

You can also make it less of a chore by adding some competition to the shop. Who can spend the least, finish their shop the fastest, or (our favourite) find the tastiest treat for the week? The loser shouts the winner a cup of coffee and you both live to shop another day!

The importance of reconnaissance: Find the perfect supermarket for you and plan your assault

“Training is the cornerstone of success” – United State Army Field Manual 7-92 – The Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon and Squad (Airborne, Air Assault, Light Infantry)

We uncovered in our research that one in five customers drove to a more premium suburb because the supermarket there stocked a better range and higher quality products. Obviously, different supermarkets offer different benefits; and you should endeavour to find the one that best works for you. We’ve made it easier with our supermarket customer satisfaction ratings, comparing everything from supermarket value for money to quality and variety of products.

Once you’ve nailed down the perfect supermarket, learn the layout of the store, perfect your route and stick to your shopping list so you don’t buy in excess.

What would your supermarket survival tip be for this quote? Leave a comment below.

“There is no plan B” – The A-Team

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