Spending Experiment

Consumers on strike for 2012.

Winning the Battle?

Well, I’d like to think it’s all down to me and my little one-family protest, but it seems that a whole swathe of the UK population is saying ‘no’ to consumerism and driving down the power of the supermarkets. Tesco has announced massive losses over Christmas, and surely a part of that must be down to people wising up to their marketing methods. I was starting to feel like I was under attack every time I entered the store. Certain things that I bought every week were a different price each time. Last year, the price of a pack of nappies went up nearly £2, then a bit later they dropped it by about 8p and promoted them as part of the Big Price Drop. Is anyone really taken in by this? I used to find the little price per weight cards underneath the items really useful, but now each product has a different criteria. Eg. Jaffa Cakes – xp per biscuit; Tesco’s own Jaffa Cakes – xp per 100g. Unless you take a calculator and a maths graduate with you, how are you supposed to know which is the best deal? And those little yellow cards, which draw your eyes to the fantastic offers of 89p each or “2 FOR £2!” I could go on, but enough has been said by too many lately about how consumers are being poleaxed by the retail giants.

There’s obviously a large movement of people away from what we are increasingly finding distasteful and corrupt. This week I did the big shop in Aldi. Usually I only go in there for parmesan, mussels and welding masks, but we’ve decided that we’d rather our money went to them than to Tesco, so I gave it a go. Well, Aldi – you’ve changed! Actually, it’s not Aldi that have changed, but their shoppers. When I went in on Monday morning it was full of well, women (just a little bit) like me I suppose. Mid-life, mid-income types, with Olivias and Oscars in their trolley, buying smoked salmon and fennel and stuffed olives. The women you’d normally see in Waitrose. In fact, if Aldi started stocking organic baby food Waitrose would be stuffed. And I like Aldi, for the reasons I like Waitrose – nice quality food (especially the chocolate), wide clean aisles, and a calm atmosphere. So, we’re going to stick with it for a while and we’re currently testing their own brand loo roll (big hit), cat food (not so popular, but half the price of branded stuff, so Tiddles will have to lump it), washing powder,nappies and pasta sauce. My bill for a week’s ‘stuff’ came to £26.24, although I have to go and buy Quorn and Kenco decaff from an evil overlord. C’mon, Aldi, start stocking those and I’ll never shop anywhere else again!


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