Thrifty Thinking

Friday, June 17, 2022

My cashiering work at the price-cutting supermarket, WinCo, has me with shoppers intent on saving money. I routinely check out some paying with food stamps and others using debit cards. Most customers bag their groceries while watching a large viewing screen that makes visible items being scanned and their prices. Most customers know the prices and stop my scanning on seeing an unexpected cost.

In my working environment pennies count. That impacts my perspective although I could weather some inflation. Yesterday after work, I shopped in Winco. Between a written list of needed items and “other stuff” that struck my fancy, my cart filled more than intended. Checking out cost me $95.00.

In earlier months my shopping trips at WinCo totaled less. Typical weekly needs from WinCo averaged $50.00 to $60.00. But Winco is farther away so I shopped at nearby Safeway and Costco. My Safeway purchases usually averaged $90.00 to $120.00. Of course, any trip to Costco averaged $200.00 and upward.

In fairness to Costco, impulse buying is my own fault. Nonetheless, good marketing encourages impulse buying at Safeway and Winco, too, but in lesser quantities. This impacts bottom lines less noticeably.

In today’s pricey environment, shopping at WinCo saves money compared to other venues. The environment hasn’t reached a point where I’d elect to travel farther and shop at WinCo instead of nearby Safeway and Costco. Nonetheless, my employment at WinCo is an education that impacts my thinking. And, I’m inside the store.

I prefer to pay less for my needs while having many choices. In the words of a WinCo manager who initially interviewed me, “We sell the same stuff as other stores, but we sell it cheaper.”

Dear Friends: Ever-tightening economics are forcing noticeable learning on us. Diana

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