Robert received a Priority Mail package at college from his mother. The box contained a variety of canned foods: Vienna sausages, sardines, beans, liverwurst, spam, and corn. Which is awfully nice of Robert’s mother, except that the box she sent him only contained fifteen cans of Goya brand beans. Where did all of this other stuff come from? [More]
Coupons are like horses, in that depending on how you handle them, they can either take you on enjoyable, smooth rides or buck you off and leave you trampled and broken. [More]
In the last few decades, Americans use credit (or debit) cards for more and more of our everyday spending. We’re also, collectively, becoming more and more obese. A group of researchers wondered: is there a correlation here? They conducted four experiments looking at what types of food people purchase when using a credit card, and what they purchase when using cash. They published their findings in the Journal of Consumer Research. The result is not surprising: people are more likely to buy junk food, on impulse, when paying with plastic. [More]
Warehouse stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club like to lull you into a false sense of security, sure that everything you see on shelves is cheaper there than elsewhere. But in many cases, warehouse prices are unbeatable. [More]
There are certain assumptions we make in this world: The sun rises in the east; the Cubs will never win the World Series again; and Whole Foods is an expensive place to shop. But don’t tell that to the grocery chain’s CEO John Mackey, who says that only .1% of the products he sells are pricier than you’ll find elsewhere. [More]
Expiration dates on refrigerated food aren’t gospel — they’re conservative estimates by food manufacturers to ensure you don’t get sick from spoiled products. The trick to minimizing food waste is how to know just how long you have to wait to eat food that’s past its prime. [More]
Sure, the exploits of the coupon ninjas are interesting, but we live, shop, and eat in the real world. Who has time to make a job–or at least a time-consuming hobby–out of couponing? Jeffrey doesn’t. Yet he began a challenge to feed himself on $1 per day in April…and is still at it. Using sales, coupons, and (ugh) rebates, he’s managed to survive, without a huge time investment in couponing. What are his secrets? [More]
If you’re worried that grocery store loyalty and discount cards let retailers amass a detailed profile of you and use your buying habits for marketing purposes….don’t worry. Safeway, at least, doesn’t actually seem to be paying attention. That’s the conclusion you can draw from the coupon that Steve says printed out during his shopping trip for his Passover seder. [More]
Americans love steak. Now, in a recession, we still love it, but we’ve shifted to buying and cooking delicious high-end steaks at home instead of eating them in restaurants, thanks to greater availability of fancy cuts of meat to consumers.
I wrote a (hopefully) humorous money-saving book called Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel: 100 Dirty Little Money-Grubbing Secrets. The New York Post called it “required reading” Sunday, although not everyone’s a fan.
You reach for an item at your local grocery store, and notice that on the shelf next to it is a coupon thoughtfully left behind by another shopper. But wait, is this a thoughtful way to keep clipped coupons from going to waste? Or just a way for shoppers to feel good about themselves, but create more litter for grocery store employees to clean up?
Wal-Mart’s management is watching their customers during the recession. What have they learned? More shoppers now make lists, instead of buying on impulse. Sales of frozen vegetables are up; sales of Angus beef are down. And mysteriously, $5 white toilet seats are a hot item near Denver.