Finding a bargain

shoppingI love to shop and I love to find a bargain.

I can’t say I really enjoy going grocery shopping though.  It’s more of a chore and is just one of those things that needs to be done on a regular basis.

When grocery shopping I prefer smaller supermarkets, the big ones are so busy and impersonal. People seem to rush around like their life depends on them getting the whole thing over as quickly as possible.  School holidays tend to be worse and the children seem to like to take charge of the trolley like it’s their first driving lesson and they still need to learn the road rules.  No crashing, no bumping or charging.

Usually once a month I like going to the boutique grocery shops, and I enjoy walking sedately around looking at all the delightful tasty food on offer.  I also love the free samples of cheese, bread and wine.  My grandson has cottoned on to the free samples as well and as soon as we go in he is on the scout to see what he can try.   

My husband has Wednesday and Thursday off for his weekend and apart from doing the grocery shop we like to have a potter in the shops and check out some of the endless sales.

I am quite a softy when it comes to buying things for my little grandsons and I am forever looking out for something they may like.  It’s part of the indulgence of being a grandparent I think.  

Bargain shopping is so much fun and I tend to buy things because I think I may need them at some point. I think my husband has given up querying why I need to buy some things.  Men are way too practical and seem to be averse to overindulging in what they call ‘unnecessary shopping’.  When it comes to Christmas shopping, I just love the experience and enjoy buying all the little trimmings for Christmas Day.  Gifts don’t have to be expensive, it is just nice to find something special and it’s nice to be able to put thought into your purchases for the people you love.  

My late mother loved to shop; her weekly outing to the shops was a special occasion for her. Buying gifts in advance in case she may need them was something she loved to do.  Mother had a drawer in the spare room dressing table that held a myriad of weird and wonderful gifts.   She would never forget anyone and often when we would go and visit, she would take us into the bedroom and say “I think I have something in my drawer for you”.

I think giving is so pleasurable and to see the delight on someone’s face when you give them a gift is so worthwhile.

I am also easily tempted by shop promotions like, ‘If you buy this we will throw in this’ – totally works on me.  I am the perfect consumer.  It also works in the supermarket when they have specials out at the end of aisles.  I often get sucked in, like today I bought some hand wash I didn’t really need.  The display looked good so I purchased.  My poor husband just shakes his head.  

It really is harmless fun and I don’t blow the budget.  Any big purchases we always do together.

I must admit going to a ‘sale’ is not as exciting as it used to be.  Shops seem to have a sale on every second week.  This takes away the excitement of them.  I recall days when you waited outside the door full of expectation at finding something special in a sale.

Shops should have one major sale a year then perhaps one for each season.  I am sure their revenue would be just the same in the end.

People need to feel excited about shopping and these deals that say ‘buy one and get the next one half price’, I find so annoying.  I may only want one.

Retailers seem to be so competitive now I think they need to put out a few surveys to see what the consumer actually wants.

The Boxing Day sale was always a pretty good one, but now they start that just before Christmas.  It really is a shame I think.

When overseas I love checking out the shops and looking for different things to bring home.  Sometimes you can find great bargains such as handbags, shoes and designer clothing.  Being able to barter for goods is also fun, I think I still end up paying more than I should but I am learning.

We are off to Bangkok in July for two weeks to visit our son who is teaching there.  I am looking forward to it but not necessarily the heat.  They do have some wonderful malls there so I will be looking for a bargain I am sure.  I think part of the excitement of going overseas is coming back with some special little memento.

Bargains are here to stay so make the most of them and have fun; you never know what you might find.

Happy Shopping.

By Kay Rayner. Read more here.