Thought For The Day: Shopping On Time #TFTD

Today’s post is about how general purpose stores use us as cash cows when we do our month end shopping. That’s right, you are unwillingly milked for every bit of cash you have in your back pocket at specific times of the month. Why you ask? Well, because most humans are predictable lemmings that inadvertently rely on their month end pay check to go shopping during peak periods of financial trade.

I’m sure you have experienced that mad rush at month end where you end up battling disgruntled harpies while you make your way to the grocery store. You put on your face paint, perform an ancient tribal dance and then march off with spears and family in tow to perform the age-old art of hunting for food in order to restock the cave. This has been happening since the dawn of time and things really haven’t changed that much except for the way we acquire our food and dinosaurs being replaced with cars, because evidently we all lived liked Fred Flintstone. At the end of every month, we still gather the family to forage and during this gathering, we still end up battling other individuals who threaten our survivability by taking the last loaf of bread from the shelf or taking our parking bay closest to the shop.

Yet most people still remain oblivious to the one common denominator here that’s always a constant. The evil geniuses and the shops they run that continue to take advantage of our routines and predictability. You see, at the end of the day, the food chain (play on words) has become a little bit more complicated. We have become part of the process of natural selection and are no longer the alpha hunter gatherers we once thought we were. Our dominance has ended and we are now the hunted. Fortunately, there is a way earn back something akin to the title of alpha predator and enjoy a bit more financial freedom if you are smart about it.

Don’t stress, this is not an infomercial, I’m not going to break out in song and do a Walt Disney special or give you 50 different shopping techniques to follow. It’s just a bit of re-education.

Here are some things that may make sense once you apply logic:

  • Shops usually receive new stock on a cycle just before month end and it’s always their most busy time of the month because of the lemming routine and payday.
  • What they usually do is push their prices up during the last and first week of the month. Try to hold out and not spend your money by planning carefully
  • The opposite applies to the 2nd and 3rd week of the monthly cycle. At this stage, the shops are trying to burn through their old stock quickly to get it moving off the shelves. You’ll usually find better deals and save a nice chunk of change if you are thrifty by shopping during these periods
  • Shopping during times that are not considered “peak periods” means you’ll have the added bonus of less stress, less foot traffic in the store and no need for a battle royal outside to get a parking bay that’s close to the shop

So think about it and pay attention next time you are in the store. Have a look around and be conscious of the pricing. Be dynamic, mix up your shopping schedule and keep those stores from adjusting to your routine.You might just be pleasantly surprised or completely horrified that the same box of Matzo (I like Matzo #NOMNOM) costs about 50% more or less depending on what time of the month you shop.

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