Sunday, March 3, 2013

What-What?! Week of March 3rd

I keep telling myself that, by six weeks into the semester, things would quiet down.  Well, we’re at nearly seven weeks in now, and it’s just as crazy.  This week, I’ve been writing about the language services industry, which has been pretty interesting.  If anyone’s looking for an industry to invest in, this is one that I would recommend; the industry has experienced a 50 percent growth from 2007-2011, and grew by 12 percent last year alone.  This kind of growth is expected to continue, and with the languishing economic recovery, that’s not doing too bad at all.

This week’s post is basically all about grocery industry stuff.  I have been so overloaded with school that I have just needed to do something else that’s interesting.  That something else has been reading about the state of the grocery industry.

Yesterday, I did make some scones.  My husband had seen Yvonne and her husband Matt from G:M:Me bakery last week, and they gifted him some of their delicious scones!  After eating those, I had a hankering for more.  Yvonne is out of the markets right now because she is taking care of her baby (who is beautiful!), so I had to do it myself.  I chose this recipe specifically because it included butter, which, in my opinion, is of utmost importance in a scone.  Something interesting I found while I was looking for this recipe is that, in the UK, on the box of Bisquick there is a recipe for scones, while on the U.S. box, it’s a recipe for biscuits.  In this recipe,   I subbed the 1/2 cup blueberries for dried cranberries, because that’s what I had on hand.  It turned out okay; not the best, obviously, but not bad for 20 minutes’ worth of work.  Next time I’m adding more butter, I think.

News: Nob Hill Offerings Sub-Par

On the topic of grocery stores, according to what I’ve read on a few couponing forums, it sounds like shoppers aren’t impressed with Raley’s/Nob Hill; the deals have just been sub-par.  This week I’ll be shopping there to pick up some peanut butter, but otherwise, I haven’t stepped foot into that store in weeks.  It makes me wonder if the recent union issues have eaten away at some of Nob Hill’s ability to compete with Safeway’s loss leaders.

This article discusses some things that I’ve experienced in the last few years of couponing; reduced number and value of coupons that I want to use.   Apparently, there’s been a 6.5 percent reduction in food coupons in the past year, though really the thing to look at is the value of the coupons, which has declined to an average of $0.99 for food products.  Compounding the reduction is an increase in the number of items you have to buy to use a coupon; 45 percent of all food coupons require you to buy two or more items.

My experience reflects this; a year ago, it wasn’t difficult to find a one dollar coupon for one box of cereal.  Now, it’s neigh impossible, as the values have been reduced to one dollar off two, or even a dollar off of three boxes!  The food coupons have been replaced by more coupons for items like lotion, shampoo, and so on, and even those have been reduced in value as well.

I’ve reacted to this by buying less, and buying more private, store brand items.  My family now eats a lot more oatmeal and eggs for breakfast rather than cereal, and we eat a lot more whole foods in general.  As for non-food items, I stock up when I can get them inexpensively.  I no longer coupon over at the drugstores anymore, as the increased prices, shoddy sales, and reduced coupon values have combined to make it no longer worth the effort.  Many other couponers have made the same kind of changes in their shopping habits.  Overall, I think that companies are shooting themselves in the foot by reducing coupon values.

Yep, that's it for this week.  Next week I'll be more interesting, promise. :)
(images from everywhere xP )

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