Showing posts with label trend. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trend. Show all posts

Be A Trendsetter with Small, frequent Shops

An interesting study was conducted by Nielson that correlated the number of trips to the store with the economic woes. They categorized shopping into 4 types
  • Immediate: low-value, instant -need driven baskets with an average basket ring of $15 per trip
  • Fill-In: slightly higher value baskets averaging $51 per trip
  • Routine: weekly, high-value shopping trips averaging $98 per trip
  • Stock-up: large trips averaging $242 per trip
Not surprisingly, 82% of trips are the short "fillup" or "immediate needs" trips. I guess I'm part of the trend because I can tell you before couponing you would not catch me in the grocery more than once a week. I hated shopping, in part because of the large totals at the register. Anyway, the trends say more people are making more frequent smaller trips so they have more cash on hand and just get what they need to get by. 
I checked my receipt log and discovered that I made 253 trips to stores in 2010. Thats pretty frequent. I averaged my cost for each visit and its $5.53 per trip average since I spent about $1400 last year. But, my small trips were made for entirely different reasons than most people, and they were not due to economic trends. Maybe the studies got it wrong.
My small, frequent trips were calculated to maximize my coupon savings. Since I almost always have a $5 off $25 or $30 store coupon, I try to keep my trips before coupons close to that amount. If I made trips closer to $100 which fall into the "routine" category, I probably wouldn't be allowed to use 4 of the $5 off coupons since they are competitor coupons. But by splitting my $100 order into 4 smaller ones, I can save at least $5 on each transaction using the $5 off $25 coupon. Duh. Thats why I wonder sometimes when I see couponers in the store with their binders spread out across the baby seat area and their cart is overflowing and also filled on the bottom rack. They probably don't have tons of the $ off $$ coupons for that large order, so they are essentially wasting money. 
I also like to just get reasonable quantities of the items, to leave some product behind for the next shopper. Another reason for my small trips is that we tend go shopping on our motorcycles to far away stores in the country on the weekends. We are limited in what is shelf stable and what we can carry in saddlebags, so heavy things like soda and ice cream are off the list on weekend trips. Plus small orders allow for easier calculating in the aisle - you know, counting your coupons, counting your items, and then adding up the value of the cart vs adding up the value of the coupons. These 4 little calculations have saved me from big boo boos at the checkout with overage. I like to keep my totals between about $2 and $4, this gives me wiggle room for errors doing all that high math in my head.
 
Anyway, if you're using coupons and make frequent small trips, consider yourself a trendsetter!
 Graphic via Nielson

This is a repost from 2011.