Goodbye Indomie! Saving cost this economic season

I was at the grocery shop earlier today and the place was packed with items all the way to the gate. I just calmly respected my debit card by picking only what I went in for. These days, no one needs a reminder to stick to the list.

 

Grocery store aisle.
Grocery store aisle.

I know some people still struggle with handling shopping pressure so I have compiled a few tips I employ, to help keep my shopping budget sane.

 

Don’t just believe the housekeeper, look around the house yourself
You see, the times aren’t very friendly. A lot of thinking and pruning need go into the shopping list before one exits the door. Before now, I only wrote shopping guides (more like type a draft text message or Evernote) so as not to forget the necessary items. These days, I write, contemplate, edit, negotiate with the nanny, look in my kitchen store, ransack the freezer, then crosscheck the list again just to be sure that only the required are purchased and no pressing need is forgotten. There are hardly rooms for inclusions outside the list.

What's in the fridge?
What’s in the fridge?

 

Look in the computer as your goods scan. Who shame epp?

This is always easier than scrutinizing your receipt after you already paid.
I have stopped spending time at the till asking explanations from the attendant for why prices increase as rapidly as daily. I have decided to save my energy as the conversations never impact on my bill. These days, I feel absolutely no shame in staring at the computer to see the price of each item as scanned before my total is announced. This way, you can quickly spot multiple entries or identify which items to reduce or remove if your total is going above budget and the attendant is still computing the items. No shame. No pressure.

Don't let him woo you. Look at the screen yourself.
Don’t let him woo you. Look at the screen yourself.

Keep receipts from different stores or a price journal
I now stock receipts from different stores, comparing prices to decide which store to get what item from and who still has old stock. The downside to this is that you have to plan your shopping. You don’t just dash into any store. It may also mean that you will be spending more time getting your same old purchase. If eggs, fish, and plantain are cheaper at the green stall around the bend, why buy same from your one-stop shop?

 

Get creative. Trade time for money
My toddlers are eating a lot more home-made food. The N450/550
that goes into buying a bottle of Beechnut or Cow&Gate bottled food, can no longer be spared. I now use the same bottles to store and freeze her home-made sweet potato porridge, pasta, rice and peeled beans. Yes it means I have to devote time to cooking her special meals and even look up recipes on how toddlers like their meals made. The good effect this has produced is that she’s more open to trying adult meals apart from saving me a good amount of money.

 

img_20161213_221903
Porridge, beans, pasta stash… 1 bottle = 1 meal

 

Form alliances
My eggs and yams now come in from Ibadan – a neighbouring city. I found out that my friend, Funmi, always has someone come into Lagos weekly from Ibadan. This someone, brings her supplies from her parents. I have therefore teamed up with her and now get eggs for N750 a crate in place of the N1100/1200 which I pay in my neighbourhood shop for the same item. Yes, the Ibadan eggs are smaller, but I couldn’t care less.

Fresh eggs
Fresh eggs

Find alternatives. Bye Indomie!
A carton of 40packets of 70g Indomie noodles has gone from N1450 to N2200. I never thought there could be an alternative to Indomie. The maggie taste and reduced size post-cooking had become so annoying, I vowed to try another brand. Yes, I had some concerns. What if my children don’t take to it? What if my husband (a major noddles consumer) doesn’t like it? What will I then do with the carton of 40packs? But my mind was made up. I’d been exploited long enough. So I asked at the store, 3 days ago, for another brand. I got Mimee. And we have all eaten from it. I LOVED IT. Asked for my husband’s verdict and he said, he didn’t miss Indomie. N400 saved. Case resolved!

 

New favourite: Mimee!
New favourite: Mimee!

 

Conclusion

In the midst of the different survival tactics people are engaging to get by these days, no brand is indispensable. Brands should be sensitive enough to be content with marginal profits or creative enough to source other ways of augmenting income. Don’t be deceitful like Beloxxi cream crackers who in spite of raising cost price, still went ahead to reduce the number of biscuit in each packet. They were deceitful in putting no information on the carton to the effect so that consumers can buy fully aware of the change. I got home with my usual packet of biscuit only to be informed by my son’s nanny, days after purchase, that each packet now contains 2 biscuits in place of 3. Shame on you Beloxxi. I’m now searching for an alternative.

On top is the 'New' carton and under is the 'old'
On top is the ‘New’ carton and under is the ‘old’
Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Goodbye Indomie! Saving cost this economic season

  1. Great article and practical strategies. Thanks for sharing.
    On brands, I ditched Indomie over 6 months ago. I buy Golden Penny and my toddlers and husband love it. We de-camped from Beloxxi last week and my kids now eat Top biscuit (a similar brand). As an alternative to high priced yoghurt, I now buy the 150ml (N50 per pack/N1100 per case) Hollandia yoghurt. I’m still looking for a cheaper alternative to Ribena, Coco pops and Golden Morn 😊. Please let me know if you get πŸ˜€. I got a recipe for Golden Morn which I intend to try this weekend.
    My perishable goods and other food staples are purchased once a month from Iyana Oba farmers’ market. I sell yams, plantains, palm oil and snails which are sourced from Ondo state…let me know if you are interested.

    1. Thanks for your comment Sola.

      I endured the continued Indomie price increase for so long and just couldn’t justify it any longer.

      I have tried Top biscuit, it’s really tiny and my son doesn’t quite fancy it. Thankfully, I don’t do yoghurt and my son doesn’t do Coco pops or like Golden Morn (I’m hoping to discover a cereal he’d like). But Ribena? Ah! Alternative will be highly appreciated because I’m too scared of Caprisone.

      I buy Plantain in bits simply to match ripening with consumption. We can definitely do yam business together.

      1. Will definitely look forward to doing yam business with you 😊. I will contact you via email. On plantains, here’s a trick for you to keep it fresh when you do have more than can be readily consumed. Wrap in an old or any newspaper and keep in the fridge. You can preserve the newspaper from getting wet by protecting it with a polythene bag. When you are ready to eat, just bring out of the fridge. The skin may be black but the plantain will still be fresh and firm.
        I will let you know when I find that Ribena alternative. Cheers

  2. A very good article. I think it is very important for everybody to cut out unnecessary wants just to save money. We compare prices and buy from the cheapest store. we use to do home made food like you mentioned in your article when he was less than 2yrs old. I make cookies at home and also bread at home. My son doesn’t take noodles because his body reacts to it (some form of allergy), he also reacts to any crackers biscuit. my wife cooks more of spag which is quite cheaper. she is also looking for an alternative for golden morn but occasionally she makes oat for him. I normally give the generator set to a mechanic for repairs but now i do the repairs myself except for very complicated fault. The bottom line is that we are more conscious about expenses than the way it was before now.

      1. you ‘re welcome. you can actually bake if you are interested. The thing about baking like every other thing is that you get better everyday. You can check online on how to make cookies and bread, they are the simplest of all baking. The beauty of it is that you control the sugar level and how nourishing you want it to be. If I can(at times help my wife when she is busy) bake bread and make cookies you can do it.

  3. For Ribena I buy the triangle pack. It’s still the “safest cheapest” if you know what I mean. Luckily for me, I raised my kids 5 and 2 on more cooked meals, so I don’t have to deal with the excesses that come from cereal and milk lifestyle. They have them occasionally. Biscuits – only when school is in session, otherwise it’s whatever fruits that are in season at home and even when I have to take them out apples, bananas cucumbers and carrots are staples in my house. Noodles as well minimizing that’s as well. They get more pasta instead. Hubby is the indomine champ, monthly ration was drastically cut #icannotshout He goes off it next year. I have different “cheaper” sources for my items. Ain’t no shame in my shopping game. I cut my purchase in half for so many items and gave mandate for it to last. We all have to be creative 😁 and this has worked in the last 6 months

  4. This has to be my BEST post on this blog! So practical and timely. Thanks for the encouragement o, the staring at the till computer now no get mate. We will keep replacing, scrutinising and finding alternatives. I laughed at the negotiating with nanny part. That goes on a lot here and it’s hilarious. Jam is finished, ehen? Na who jam epp?

  5. Very nice tips
    I go out of my way to a particular shop because their prices are the cheapest and I have a discount card
    In his recession they gave me a N7000 voucher yesterday! No ne God???
    *laughs in swahili*
    Lovely blog

  6. I recently moved from Ogba to Gbagada and after 7years in Ogba I knew which stores to get what items. It’s been 2months in Gbagada and I am still not okay with the stores around. I realised one thing that the local shop across from me sold some items at cheaper rates than De Prince and Home affairs but not in bulk.

    1. De Prince isn’t exactly as cheap as many like to believe. Keep experimenting with small stores, you might find the bargain you seek.

      It took me more than a year after marriage to find where the deals were in my then-new neighbourhood. I kept buying from where my husband shopped as a bachelor until I decided to try other stores out of curiosity and boredom. Two months isn’t very long yet. Keep looking. Also, speak with the neighbours…

      Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s