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Friday, August 14, 2009

Shopping with Sidewalker #1

The day is finally upon us for the inaugural shopping with Sidewalker feature and the list has been finalized. We often hear the talking heads on finance TV blather on about inflation and they often reference a basket of commodities, a basket of currencies, a basket of bonds etc. That is great (for them anyway), but I have never seen Bonds ready-mixed with mayonnaise, or oven-ready Gold, or Light Sweet Crude cooking oil in my basket when I go shopping. So I have set out to create a list of twenty products we all find in our shopping baskets on a regular basis, and I'm going to track their cost once a month. Hopefully this will help us "foot soldiers" defending our cash on the front lines in the battle against inflation! Think of it as an inflation barometer.

I'd just like to make a few points. I will do this "shop" on the weekday closest to the 15th every month. This is not a budget exercise, I could get the stuff cheaper by using coupons and/or changing brands, but I want to choose products that are readily available in supermarkets from coast to coast. I'm not a dietitian, do not use this list and market it as the "Sidewalker Diet Plan"! I wanted to choose products that we see on our shopping baskets more often than televisions, cars, washer/dryers and houses that the economists like to use as a measure of inflation/deflation. It does not represent the weekly shop to stock the pantry at Castle Sidewalker.

$4.49 1lb Land O' Lakes unsalted butter
$3.29 1 dozen Eggland's Best large grade 'A' eggs
$1.66 2 liter bottle of Coca-Cola Classic
$4.75 5lb Perdue Oven Stuffer whole roaster chicken
$9.99 12 pack of Charmin Ultra Strong toilet paper
$2.50 1 loaf of Wonder Bread Classic White
$3.79 2.5 Gallons of Poland Spring drinking water
$2.79 6.4oz. Starkist Chunk Light Tuna in water
$4.98 2lb of 80% lean ground beef
$3.19 5.6oz. Aquafresh Triple Protection toothpaste
$1.99 1lb Seedless White Grapes
$3.49 5lb Idaho Potatoes
$2.29 3 Bars of Dial Soap white
$25.49 Nestle Good Start 2 Natural Cultures 9-24 Months baby food
$2.99 12 oz. box of Kellogg's Cornflakes
$3.49 11.3 oz Folgers Classic Roast coffee
$5.49 3lb Uncle Bens long grain rice
$1.79 4 pack 9 Lives cat food
$2.99 50 oz. Ajax laundry detergent
$3.19 5lb Domino Pure Cane Granulated Sugar
Total: $94.63

So there we have it, the baseline has been set at $94.63 it will be interesting to see what number we come up with next month and to monitor any future fluctuations. We must keep a vigilant eye out for the stealth inflation tactic of shrinkage as well! Isn't it weird how every price seems to end with a 9. I had never noticed that before, all very weird. Any psycology majors out there want to give us the reasoning behind that?

I would like to give a big thank you to Mrs. B the Pagan Soccer Mom for sending her "angry horde of pagans" to help me build my list. And indeed thanks to everyone who participated in the list building, it was much appreciated.

In other news, I busted through $18 last night...

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $18.01


Heather said...

you're paying way too much! Here's a trick for you and your readers -
You know how in everystore they stock their 'store brand' right next to the 'name brand' with a price comaparison? It's the same stuff - different package- seriously - made at the same place with the same ingredients - Stores buy in bulk from the Name Brand company, repackage it and sell it for less!

i'll be back to see if you can shop a little smarter next month! LOL!

Ametisti Kuu said...

I remember reading somewhere (wish I could remember where though) that the reason most prices end in a 9 and even more common .99 is because aparently to us the one penny difference is all about the dollar amount. eg. 99.99 sounds better to us then 100 dollars. and 9.99 is better then 10 bucks. by keeping the dollar amount lower we are more willing to shell out the dough.
Mrs.B told us to put in our 2cents so there is mine ;) lol
great blog!

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

Yeah, that was research performed by advertisers to get us to put more stuff in the basket. Off the top of my head, I can not cite the textbook I saw that in.

I would like to state that the generic cat food causes stinky cat syndrome; the amount you save on cat food is spent on incense and tissues instead. That is why the House of Bast buys name brand cat food; it is self defense from toxic gases emitting from kitties.

Ty-Anna said...

Glad I joined in time for the market shopping MrsB chose a great blog here! thanks

Angela said...

Love your blog. I have to add that "Courage is bending down to pick up a penny in a crowded public place." made me spew tea on my monitor. The next time I see a penny on the sidewalk I will probably crack up. Then people will stare like I am crazy.

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