Tag Archives: grocery shopping

How can you tell if cream is off?

I’ve been visiting friends in Sydney, and today I was treated to scones by an old friend I met in my University days.

I arrived a little early, and while I was taken by her husband on a tour of the new house renovations, she put the scones in the oven.

Then we went to buy the cream. We visited three corner stores, none of which had any cream, but the fourth shop had two containers right at the back of the fridge.

The man behind the counter shook his head and said look at the Use By Date. One was 20 December – obviously well past it. But the second was dated 29 December. Hmm – maybe that one will be alright?

The man shrugged his shoulders and said, “I’ll sell it to you for $1. They’re usually $2.50.” I’m not sure that’s exactly legal, but my friend took out a $1 coin and we walked home with our cream.

After sniffing the cream and deeming it to be safe, she took out an old handbeater, not an electric one. One of the old ones with the handle on the top, not the side. I actually bought one the same in Levin near Wellington for $4. They’re just weighted so much better. And after beating it for 5 minutes, we had whipped cream. Fresh scones straight out of the oven, with a bit of strawberry jam, and whipped cream…is there anything better?

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Signed, sealed, delivered…

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t enjoy grocery shopping.

I usually shop at Pak’n Save but Countdown does delivery. They also do a pick-up service where you order online and then go and pick-up your groceries from the supermarket, which are packed up for you. That’s usually a lot cheaper than home delivery, but I only do it if I get it for free – I’m on the Countdown email list, and there’s often $5 or $10 off if you spend over $100, which is enough to cover the cost of picking it up (about $5.25) but not delivery. There are also deals for when you spend over $150 and $200 but I don’t spend that much at the supermarket so it’s useless for me.

I saved $15.25 because delivery was free.

I saved $15.25 because delivery was free.

Today though there was a special deal where delivery was free if you spent over $50. Bonus! So I ordered online and it was delivered today, saving $15.25 on delivery. The only thing they got wrong was giving me NZ tangelos instead of Australian ones (yes, there is a difference!).

I figure that if someone else goes round the supermarket for me, and I don’t have to pay for it, then why not? I know the quality of the fruit and veg isn’t as good as if I’d picked them myself, but that’s a small price to pay.

The shopping delivered to my door

The shopping delivered to my door

It all comes down to how much I value my own time. I saved half an hour of my time pushing a trolley round the supermarket and when you shop online you can see all the specials really easily, so I saved even more money. Today I also saved on petrol. A win win situation.

The only thing I really dislike is that everything comes in plastic bags. I do save the bags and use them as bin liners, but still…does all my fruit and veg have to come in plastic bags?

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Saving even $1.73 makes me happy!

The five pack of council garbage bags that saved my 6 cents rather than 4 cents off petrol

The pack of five council garbage bags that saved me 6 cents rather than 4 cents off petrol

I went grocery shopping today. It’s one of my least favourite chores, after cleaning the house, as I often have troubles choosing the cheapest but best options. I also hate getting stuck in a line of shopping trolleys, so I generally take my green reusable shopping bags and fill them up as I go round the supermarket. Then when I get to the checkouts I will take the self-serve counter, because I can pack my bags in my own time when I’m finished, rather than dumping them quickly in a shopping trolley and have the small squishy things get all squished at the bottom!

Most supermarkets these days offer a few cents off petrol when you purchase over a certain amount. I already had a voucher for 4 cents off, because I’d spent over $80 the last time I shopped, but when I’d finished scanning my items today, I was only a few dollars away from $120, and I know that means I could get a voucher for 6 cents off petrol – that’s a whole 2 cents more! So I purchased five council rubbish bags, worth about $12. Garbage bags, like newspapers, are things you can buy at the checkout, so very useful at times like these. I wasn’t going to have time to read the newspaper this weekend, and I knew I only had two garbage bags left at home anyway, so it was a good time to buy. Also garbage bags never go off, so having a few extra is not a problem.

I also saved 5 cents! Plastic carry bags at Pak’n Save cost 5 cents. Not all supermarkets charge for bags, so I get mine free when I can, and use them as kitchen garbage bags. I also try hard not to get too many plastic bags if I can help it, to be environmentally friendly. But I needed an extra bag because I had bought quite a bit and only had my two reusable bags. That is why I always carry a small, rolled-up reusable Envirosax bag in my handbag, and I whipped it out and put the rest of my purchases in that.

So how much did I actually save? Well I did the maths. Not much! The difference between 4 cents and 6 cents off petrol is only 56 cents. And overall, I only saved $1.68 on the petrol,  making a total of $1.73 when I add the saving on the plastic bag. But any saving is a good saving. Better in my pocket than theirs, is what I say.

One thing I have learnt though, is not to bin my voucher before the sale of petrol has gone through. A few weeks ago I had a 4 cents voucher, went to buy petrol at the self-serve bowser, typed in my voucher number, and then my pin for my credit card, and to my horror, it didn’t process properly, and I’d already put my voucher in the bin! And the bin was one of those types where you can’t get the lid off. I could see the voucher in there, sitting on top, but I couldn’t get it out! You can imagine how unhappy I was when I had to pay full price for petrol. I don’t like paying full price for anything! Call me stingy, but that’s how I am. You learn from your mistakes, right?

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