Sep 6, 2006

Comparison shopping

I live 60 yards away from a grocery store. Small, convenient, cheap, but not my favorite since it doesn't have stuff like corn tortillas (only flour), assorted types of beans (like black) and a variety of other foods (like organic milk and Hellman's mayonnaise) that I prefer. The other store, a 10 minute walk away and on my way home from work, is therefore my preferred store. So when the online survey from my neighborhood store came in my e-mailbox today, asking, among other things, what percentage of my budget do I spend at said store, I was about to tick off the 0-25% box. Then I started wondering just how close to 25% I was.

I shop using a debet card and so that and bill paying come out of what would be the equivalent of a checking account. I rarely pay with cash. I enter all movement in said "checking" account in separate software that I have. It lets me create filters, so I made one showing me all shopping done at my neighborhood store for 2006: 29 visits so far, and a total of NOK 10,423.94 spent. I then searched for all shopping done at my preferred store so far in 2006 and surprised myself: 23 visits, and a total of NOK 13,041.77 spent. I had no idea the figures were that close.

The above figures include some cash withdrawals, making the actual shopping totals in each store much closer to each other. That I visit my local one a tad more often, makes sense, since that's the one I go to for stuff I've forgotten. The average amount spent per visit to the stores, was higher at my preferred one, but that's also the store with the specialty (and often costlier) items. I was nevertheless a bit surprised by the statistics: I prefer shopping in the other store, and view my next-door one as a "back-up", so I assumed I was spending way more money and time in my preferred store.

I ticked off the 25-50% box.


Mark said...

What the hell is "cash"???

I'd be lost w/o my ATM card!

Do they do the cell phone thing in Norway like they do in Finland?

Keera said...

I don't know. What cell phone thing in Finland?

Tim said...

:) Cell phone thing in Finland? I think he may possibly be referring to the option of paying bills and such via our mobile phones. In which case, yes, we do the "cell phone thing" here.

So which market is yards away from you, Keera? I guess I'm a dope for my Kiwi shopping. I do the majority of my shopping there because I know everyone so well, and the manager let's me know about all the deals, expiration dates, etc. in advance. Otherwise, we shop at Rema 1000 and (gasp) Lidl for those "special" products.

Mark said...

In Finland they do all sorts of shopping with cellphones, vending machines, forex. It's all added to the monthly phone bill. Parents are tearing their hair out.

Keera said...

We use the cell phone like a computer terminal to pay bills, as Tim mentions, but actually using the cell phone like a credit card hasn't started here yet. Plenty of kids in trouble, anyway, because of other offerings via cell phones (like expensive chatrooms on TV).

I hardly use my cell phone, but that may change if my plans of consolidating my PDA and current cell and pocket camera and iPod into one pan out. ;-)

Tim, it's a Kiwi. My other preference is a Meny. I don't like "pallebutikker".

Tim said...

I guess in the technical sense, we're far behind the times, then. I couldn't tell you why, but I refuse to have things such as PDA's and such. We still pay our bills via pc. We're dinosaurs, ha, ha!

I'm not much for the newest wave of mobiles, either. All I need mine to do is make a call or ring when I really need it. I actually have an old Nokia that's six years old, and I get strange looks!

Although, I wouldn't mind having one of those nice digicams.

I hate taking the public trans, going to the movies or sitting down for a nice meal in a restaurant and the general environment being interrupted by Pink or that bloody crazy frog on every kid's card-sized mobiles.

My wife says I'll be one of those wild old coots in the nursing home driving the staff insane listening to classic rock and wondering where my cassette tape collection is. Yes, I went cd and mp3 years ago, but there's something about a cassette. Maybe it's the size, or maybe I'm just a fool for nostalgia. :)

Mark said...

"We still pay our bills via pc. We're dinosaurs, ha, ha!"

I still write checks.

Keera said...

Tim, I hear ya when it comes to other people's ring tones. Some are cute, most are obnoxious and/or way too loud. One of the things that charmed me about Alison DuBois as depicted in "Medium" is that her Nokia rang with the original Nokia ring tone. No daughter's-favorite-hip-hop there! That said, my dear readers: Watch for my next post!

Tim said...

Oh dear, checks. You know, it has been five years since I have written a check, and I'm not entirely sure I could even remember how to write one! Let's see . . . first you write in the amount as words, a concept I never quite understood, then the number amount, and to whom the check is addressed? Oh, wait, there she be a date on there somewhere . . .

Wow, using checks isn't from the jurassic period, that's from the age of primordial soup. :)

Keera said...

I would have no problem, simply because at work, we make mock oversized checks as a gimmick when we've had some kind of collection for a co-worker. Re amount as words: Cuts down on forgeries, and verifies/interprets illegible numbers.

(In my other life, I'd be a bad-ass CPA.)