This weekend a mother posted a vent post on a community forum I am on. She complained about wasting her Saturday filling up a trolley at her nearest Checkers only to leave the trolley at the till when she found out that there were no Checkers Little Shop Minis – the tiny collectible replicas of actual grocery list items. She would have to go shopping again on Sunday. This time she would ask if they have Minis in stock first.
Her vent was met with disbelief and even anger from other forum members – how could she create so much work for the Checkers employee who would have to unpack the trolley full of groceries? What about the perishables that will be left in that trolley the whole day, is she going back to pay for it? She should feel ashamed of herself, placing so much worth on something so worthless…
In 2015 Pick n Pay’s Stickeez craze gripped parents all over South Africa, even non-parents were collecting. My sister somehow managed to collect a full set for all four of her young nieces and nephews. My toddler now uses hers for colour recognition and sorting; it’s a fun bath toy! My point is, I am not one to bash these things, but I do think it is important that parents keep a level head.
This year Spar, Checkers and Pick n Pay all released these self-liquidating promotions at about the same time. Depending on the age and interest of your child you have most likely been compelled to do your shopping at one of the chain stores only. Even occasionally throwing something extra in your basket to make sure you reach the next interval of R150 so that you can max out the freebies from each shopping trip.
Believe me, I understand the thrill of collecting something but it is costing you money, even more so if you’ve been ignoring better deals at other shops in favour of completing a specific collection. Using digital promotional material from Pick n Pay, Checkers, Spar, and Woolies food, HomeTimes could compare the price of a basket of goods. This list is in no ways complete as it has been limited to include only comparative goods that were contained in promotional material prior to publishing. The shopping list assumes that a shopper has no brand loyalty or preference, opting for the cheapest product on offer at any one shop. The basket contains the following:
- 1kg Frozen vegetables
- Fresh chicken per kg (skin on)
- 1kg Margarine
- 2kg Rice
- Breakfast cereal
- 6x100g Yoghurt
- 750ml Dishwashing liquid
- Jumbo pack of disposable nappies
In calculating the total no shopper discount or savings associated with having membership cards at the various shops were taken into account. Here’s the results, from cheapest to most expensive:
Spar – R331,92
Checkers – R349,73
Pick n Pay – R369,79
Woolworths Food – R434,79
|Basket||Checkers||Pick n Pay||Spar||Woolies Food|
|1kg frozen vegetables||R22,79||R23,90||R21,99||R54,99|
|Fresh chicken per kg||R36,99||R37,00||R39,99||R64,99|
|2x 1kg Margarine||R32,99||R38,50||R35,99||R29,99|
|6 x 100g yoghurt||R11,00||R12,70||R12,99||R16,95|
|750ml dishwashing liquid||R20,99||R20,00||R18,99||R19,99|
|Jumbo pack of disposable nappies||R169,99||R189,99||R149,99||R179,95|
The basket of goods will therefore cost a consumer least at Spar whilst Woolworths will be most expensive; it will cost a consumer R434,79 to purchase this basket of goods there, R102,84 more than at Spar. It must be added, however, that the chicken pieces at Woolies are free range, making the price per kg significantly more expensive.
While these collectibles are admittedly fun and makes for happy kids, sanity must prevail. When it comes to your hard-earned money and saving where you can you should do the maths before shopping for your household must-haves at a store because your 5-year old said so.