(For non kiwis: We have a supermarket duopoly [So what else is new? It’s just like every other industry here]. Foodstuffs owns Pak n Save and New World, their super budget, no frills chain and their deluxe chain respectively. Progressive owns Countdown and Foodtown; the former is their cheaper chain, but it’s still more expensive than PnS.)
Since we moved to this area, we’ve only ever shopped at Pak n Save. It’s close, and of course, it’s cheaper. They also don’t advertise, so you never know what their deals are until you get there…but that’s fine by me, because I’m not the kind of person who sticks rigidly to a list anyway.
At our old place, we lived closer to Countdown, and would randomly split our trips between CD and PnS depending on, well, how we felt that week.
But the expensive Mt Eden Foodtown nearby has now been converted into a Countdown, its cheaper sibling. And I’m kind of tempted to see how well we might fare there. There’s more variety, and it will almost GUARANTEED be better stocked. Also, PnS produce is generally crap, and we don’t always have time to get to a separate fruit n veg shop. Also, the Progressive chain actually sends out flyers, so with a bit of forward thinking maybe it wouldn’t increase our bill by too much. Although…is more choice really a good thing here?
Anyway, chance – okay, traffic – led us to Greenlane Countdown this week. I have to say, I don’t really like visiting new supermarkets. I’m entrenched in routine and I like knowing where aisles are and where to find everything. And this particular supermarket is pretty big (although the aisles could be wider…are you listening?). Basically, the whole experience was nicer. Pak n Save = grey and concrete. Countdown = bright, light, tons of choice. I’ve been to tons of other branches before, but never noticed it quite as starkly. There were some good specials this week – part of the reason we spent nearly $10 on drinks. I’m a water drinker, but T is the opposite. Sadly, produce was not particularly cheap, and we refused to pay their meat prices fullstop.
Of course, the main question is how much did we spend?!
Sorry about the ugly/confusing docket. Countdown prints the original price and then a deduction for the discount. I do like how they show the unit price for produce, though.
Add to that $33 something for meat from the Aussie butcher and we clock in at $135 this week. Pretty average. And two weeks into February, we’re at $254 of our $500 goal. Can we do it? I remember, vaguely, a time when we could occasionally pull off a $100 weekly shop. Now I’ll be happy with $125.
So, do you shop at the same supermarket every time? And do you go to independent butchers/produce shops for fresh food?