Saturday, June 16, 2007

How I Have Chosen My Grocery Store

It can seem that being a student on a tight budget I must buy groceries in the store with the lowest possible prices. But I don't, because I still value convenience and time a little more than low prices.

I figured out that the students who live in my dorm usually shop in about 4-5 nearby grocery stores. Among them there are two stores where prices are a little lower than in other stores. However, I just can't make myself to shop there. First, they don't take cards. (I hate paying with cash and I don't usually carry any.) Second, there are too much people there! When I used to shop there the aisles were always blocked with the carts of other shoppers and I always had to line at the cash register. Maybe if I stuck to shopping in these cheap stores, the money I saved would add up into something nice. But I think personal finance is not just about the lowest price, but about finding the right balance between what you want and how much does it cost. Well, the stores that I've chosen are convenient and have reasonable prices, that are much lower than in stores in the downtown. So I am satisfied with them.

Speaking of saving on groceries, I think I could spend more if I shopped less often. I can never reduce shopping to once a week. I don't have a car, so I have to carry all these heavy bags back to the dorm. I can't grab much things, so after two or three days I have to shop again. I remember when I was a first year, it was considered so money-savvy among my friends to go shopping in Aushan, a mall in the nearby suburb, 5 minutes by metro, 30 minutes by bus, 1 minute by walk, and buy a week's worth of food. Now I feel too old and too lazy for such an adventure :)

1 comment:

SF Money Musings said...

There are two grocery stores directly across from each other. Both are pretty cheap though one's the mega chain so sometimes they do have much lower prices.

But like you I value convenience over money. It's not worth it for me to make a separate trip to the other store to save 50 cents or a dollar considering the time it takes to go in find the item, line up, pay and then I easily get distracted once I'm inside and forget what my purpose was.