In this article I will not tell you how much pasta, ham, eggs or veal slices have increased. These numbers have been read for months and it is fair to take account of them. But that’s not enough. By regularly attending i supermarkets as a consumer, I realized that since the inflationary spiral started, many chains have revolutionized the stores. In some stores, the sequence of products on display has changed. In others, the brands subject to promotion. Sometimes i brand they are the same, but the different brands have changed the placement on the counter. Often these are choices dictated by assortments and stocks, but just as often the changes are the result of an attempt to mitigate the decline in sales volumes.
Here is a brief guide to avoid falling into the (legitimate) traps of sellers and to limit the amount of the receipt.
1) Watch out for brands. The brands you have bought for a lifetime, considering them the most convenient ever or in terms of value for money, may no longer be. Not all references of the same type have increased with the same intensity. Always compare prices with each other. Perhaps the lowest is that of a product subject to “ungramming”, the weight of which has been lightened, but the price tag has remained the same.
2) Offers but not too much.
Never trust promotions placed near the entrance to the store. They may not be as affordable as they seem.
To understand this, just go to the aisle where the same references are displayed: you will almost always find cheaper ones.
3) New products at a discount.
Many brands that entered the promotion on a fixed basis have left the discount area. Don’t be conservative: it can be an opportunity to try new references.
4) Make a complete shopping list and follow the order.
It is the only way not to give in to impulse purchases that weigh down the receipt.
5) Bulky products first. Bulky items, such as mineral water, soft drinks, wine or beer, must first be loaded into the cart. There is no risk of succumbing to temptation under the effect of an empty cart.
6) Watch out for three for two. Discounts that are triggered only by purchasing multiple pieces of the same product inflate the receipt. Instead of saving, in the end you spend more: the opposite of the goal you set for yourself.
7) If products move on the shelves … almost always the relationships between one price and another also change. Always compare the tags: the references moved from the lower levels of the counters to the higher ones are usually heavier than the others.
WHAT TO EXPECT ABOUT PRICES Then there is a reflection on the expectations for the coming months. I happened to hear consumers who are postponing the purchase of pellets for the stove, saying: «Now they are too expensive. Sooner or later they will lower … I wait ». And in fact the pressed wooden cylinders which for many represent a cost-effective alternative to natural gas heating are very expensive. The average price has jumped from 4.50-5.50 euros per bag of 15 kilograms, paid up to last March, to the current 9.10, even 12 euros per bag. But there is no reason why their price will drop in the coming months. On the contrary: after the stop to exports of wood and pellets decided by Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria, it is likely to increase further. And this applies to almost all consumer products, with the exception of those related to seasonality. Unfortunately, forecasts indicate that energy and raw material costs are likely to rise further. And for a good number of references – for example pasta, rice, meat and cured meats – packers and large retailers will soon download the share of increases they have taken on up to now on the final price. So it is logical to expect that the cards will increase even more, perhaps suddenly. The likelihood of them diminishing abruptly is remote to say the least.
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