A recent poll from the Co-Operative Bank has shown that inflation is already beginning to kick in – and the public are changing their shopping patterns to suit. This is a classic example of how inflation can change society in unexpected ways. If there was a massive tropical storm and the banana crop was wiped out people would eat more apples rather than pay extra for bananas. This type of thinking is now being reflected at Supermarket checkouts up and down the UK. The interesting point to me is that the list of 20 luxury items being left on the shelves by shoppers shows nothing (absolutely nothing) that a frugal shopper would be buying anyhow. Here is the list, alongside my comments:
1. Flowers – available for free in every woodland and hedgerow in the UK.
2. Magazines – it's hard to find a magazine nowdays that does not have the same (or very similar) content available on the web for free.
3. CDs – rather than buy a new CD just listen to your current one, or adapt a "one in / one out" strategy – for every new CD you buy; you need to sell an old one on one of the online marketplaces.
4. Bottled Water – Evian backwards is Naïve. Enough said.
5. Hand wash – nothing beats good old fashioned soap.
6. Quilted toilet paper – "ownbrand" does the job.
7. Candles – these might look nice, but they have not served a valid purpose (outwith power cuts) since the days of Thomas Edison.
8. Branded washing up liquid – as per the toilet roll, "ownbrand" will do the job. Think about it this way, Tesco, Asda et al do not have their own brewery. The "ownbrand" cans of Lager on their shelves are being made somewhere. It may well be the case that Tesco's own lager is in fact very, very similar to the brand sold elsewhere on the shelves. The same applies to almost every other item in the store.
9. Organic produce – organic produce could be available for free every day of the year … In your own back garden.
10. Branded food – use the Credit Crunch as an excuse to go fresh. Lay off the macaroni and cheese and go for a homemade dish.
11. Fresh coffee – I'm not a coffee drinker so it would be unfair for me to comment too much on this one. I do know, however, that your body craves whatever you have to eat or drink a lot. If you drink a lot of Coke then your body will crave coke. If you drink a lot of wine then your body will crave wine. Taking things forward, if you drink a lot of low cost coffee your body will end up craving low cost coffee – problem solved (the knack of course is sticking to an inferior product while your body adapts).
12. Uncut bread – the best thing sliced bread is (wait …