Do you shop on price, origin of ingredients, dietary restrictions, seasonal variations or other?

Posted April 26th, 2013 by Mimi

I'm trying to teach my 13 year old daughter to be a savvy, or at least sensible, supermarket shopper. It's hard going with her, because she's immediately attracted to brand names and has this teenage sieve in her head that we call a brain. Anything I told her on one shopping expedition is forgotten by the next, poor luv.

A case in point is when we were halfway through the checkout the other day. I realised that we'd forgotten to get loo paper, so despatched her to find the forgotten item. She reappeared with a brand we never buy, in a six pack, when we normally buy in bulk. She admitted that she just grabbed the first one she saw (possibly thinking she needed to hurry), and hadn't even noticed the 'other' brand name one which we really like, and which was in the middle of the aisle for half price that week.

Similarly, when unsupervised, she's brought for inclusion in our trolley, the most expensive shampoo and conditioner (again a brand we'd never buy) because she liked the metallic looking packaging, yoghurt that she likes but which I only buy when on special, and the most expensive tomatoes on the planet. I actually have in each of those cases, walked her back, replaced those items and pointed out to her again, the idea of looking at the unit price on the display, and not being swayed by fancy product packaging, particularly when the stuff we use suits us imminently well.

So our shopping strategy, in order of importance to us, is:

1. Dietary restrictions (my daughter is gluten sensitive, so we're all gluten free now by choice)

2. Unit price

3. Seasonal availability in the case of food, or effectiveness of the product in the case of cleaning and personal care

4. Origin of ingredients as often the products I would prefer to buy, are not within my budget restrictions

In an ideal world though, my preferences would be:

1. Origin of ingredients

2. Dietary restrictions

3. Seasonal availability and effectiveness

4. Unit price

What's your strategy and how does it differ from your ideal?

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