Searching High and Low for a Deal

Which of these three animals pays more for his groceries?

A) The beaver
B) The moose
C) The giraffe

If you guessed the moose, you are right. But do you know why?

Manufacturers fight hard for eye-level space in grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores and other retail outlets. They often pay for the space. Retailers, for their part, want to place those items that earn them the biggest profits (the highest mark-up) at eye level. This is because of: “The Rule of Lazy”. Which states that people will look where it is easiest to look, in other words, at eye level.

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What this means is that anything at eye level has the highest mark-up. And guess who pays that markup? Poor Mr. Moose. The can of beans that the giraffe buys from the top shelf and the can of beans that the beaver buys from the bottom shelf will have less of a marketing fee tacked onto the price than the can of beans that the poor moose will end up buying.

You can look high and low and never find the meaning of life. But you will find a cheaper can of beans.

This post was featured at Managing Your Personal Finances List #3.

Five Animals Teach Us Less-wasteful Dining Habits

Feeling frugal?  Wondering how to save some money and time, while still eating healthy and helping the environment?  Here are five animals showing us ways to eat less wastefully, saving time and money, while helping our health and the environment.

The Fox
Saves: money, environment, health
Lesson: Buy direct from the source

By the time you buy a dozen eggs at the grocery store, they have been through several hands…and at least two weeks of handling, often three.  By the time you finish that last egg, it might already be four weeks old.  Not very fresh.

The fox goes straight to the source – the henhouse.  No middlemen adding extra prices.  No back-and-forth-between-between-companies transportation adding extra pollution.  No warehouse lay-overs reducing freshness.  In many cases, no (or less) chemicals and hormones polluting your meal.

Pretty foxy strategy.

The Giraffe
Saves: money
Lesson: Check for cheaper items

Stores always place in front of your face the items that yield the biggest profits.  These are the very things that a frugal-minded person least wants to be coaxed into buying.

The giraffe looks for less-obvious alternatives.  His long neck reaches for higher leaves and items tucked out of sight on the top shelves.

Always stretch your neck a little to see if you can find a less-costly option.

The Bear
Saves: money, time, environment
Lesson: Buy in bulk

Many people buy the same items week after week.  This makes sense for milk and eggs; they would spoil if you buy them months in advance.  But for many things, it makes no sense to make hundreds of trips to buy the same thing.

The bear shops bulk.  He doesn’t flit from flower to flower to collect honey; he waits for the bees to gather the nectar and churn out huge quantity of honey.  This way, the bear needs go only once to collect a huge amount of honey all at once.  When we do this, the item usually costs less, and we save time, money and pollution by reducing transportation.

Yeah – let someone else do the work.

READ ALSO: Three animals search high and low for a deal

READ ALSO: Get a $1000 Raise With Your Personal Fast Food Outlet

The Spider
Saves: money, time, environment, health
Lesson: Eat in

People seem to be eating out more and more.  But restaurant food is usually much more fat-laden, sugar-stuffed and salt-infused than food made at home.  It also costs much more.  And it often takes longer to eat, when you consider transportation time, preparation and the inevitable waiting-for-the-bill ritual.

The spider never eats out.  He waits for food to come to him, prepares it and devours it on the spot.  He saves time, money and the risk of getting squished by a boot.

Eat in and enjoy the privacy and the savings.

The Squirrel
Saves: money, time
Lesson:Buy when there’s a surplus

We buy things all year ’round, even things that could last quite a while. Apples and squashes are plentiful and cheap in the Fall, but keep well in a cool corner of the basement or garage for months.  Some items are overstocked after Christmas.  These are the times to buy.

The squirrel does most of his shopping when the nuts are plentiful, then stores them away to eat over the course of the winter.  This saves a lot of time that otherwise would be spent running around looking for food.

Why run from store to store, when the store can be right at home?