Hello. Martin Lewis came in for a lot of stick yesterday on Twitter, for daring to suggest that if you go into a supermarket for one or two items, you don't need a basket. Insults were throw his way from several offended trolls who were most indignant that his remarks were patronizing, and who did he think he was to tell people how they should do their shopping and spend their money. All he was trying to do was point out that holding a basket in your hand puts temptation in the way, and encourages picking up extra items that you didn't go in for.
Of course Martin was right. You only have to read the MSE forum to see that people do have a problem with impulse spending. They are addicted to buying stuff they don't need, and it is ruining their lives by digging them deeper into debt. So surely every little tip to control this willynilly spending, has to be a good thing.
Martin's tip is a great way of controlling how much you spend. I will not pick up a basket if I only want a couple of things. I go in several shops when I am in town, checking prices and looking for the special offers. My eyes just go to the shelves I am checking, I ignore everything else around me. I check Wilko for offers on cat food, more often than not there aren't any on the food my cats normally eat, so a basket is not needed. I have been caught out occasionally though and have had to juggle ten small packs of Sheba in my arms, sometimes balancing on top of three or four bags of dry food.
The same thing happens in all the shops I enter, no I don't need a basket, I walk straight to the section I need. Sometimes the price is right and I make my purchases, sometimes there is nothing I want, so I walk out empty handed.
The shops are not daft, they know that people pick up a basket automatically, they are hoping you find more than what you went in for, hoping that when the basket is full you go back to the beginning and get a trolley.
Some shops have now got plastic baskets which have two handles, a short one for carrying, and a longer one which you can pull along behind you because it also has wheels on, instantly turning a hand basket into a trolley, thus encouraging you to load more items into it. Items which you didn't know you needed until you saw them.
I hate those pull along things. You have to stoop because the handle isn't long enough, putting strain on the back. Ideal for someone of a smaller stature, but hopeless for those of a regular or taller height. You need a long arm to pull them, or else you bash yourself on the back of your heels. The handle collapses when you let go to reach something on the shelf, then you have to bend to pick it back up again. If you are not careful it is easy to trip over someone else's pull-along when they aren't paying attention to what they are doing. The small Asda has these clumsy things, I never use them.
I know what I want to buy before I go in a shop, I make the choice between a real trolley or a basket. If I only want a couple of items, I don't need either. Next time you go in a shop ask yourself, do I really need a basket, or can I manage without one. I think it's a great money saving tip. Thanks Martin.
Thanks for popping in, enjoy your weekend, we'll catch up soon.