Supermarket shopping: how to save money

 

 

In thirty years spent in supermarkets, peeling off receipts at the cash desk or loading items onto the shelves, the most frequent reflection on the part of the customer is: I only came for a walk and now I have a full cart! supermarket

Well, in these short lines, is summarized not only the essence of the supermarket but also of any marketing technique, as well as hints of collective psychology: you do not need anything and I induce you to buy everything.

In the complacency of control over the individual, there is a massive dose of perversion. Behind that I will induce you, there are hidden strategies of persuasion. Harmless television commercials show salespeople on a mission for God. It is not by chance that I use the concept of a Superior Being because an entity, which for everyone’s understanding we could compare to a big brother, exists and acts in a devious way.

I do not intend to draw the portrait of a human being incapable of understanding, nor to tell the fable of Little Red Riding Hood that is lost in a metropolitan forest, but to draw the profile of a distracted person, confused, dazed by mail, and SMS advertising, TV and radio and newspapers, the web, and even call on the landline phone, flyers in the mailbox, even visit at home by employees of electricity and gas companies or real estate agents. And then, continuous offers and the Black Friday period, which by now only has the name of Friday, since it runs throughout the weekend.

In short, we are all subjected to an incessant advertising rain that in particular periods becomes a terrifying attack of water bombs. Persuasion is something that is part of our daily life to which we have become accustomed and which in many cases becomes addictive.
Let’s imagine that we enter a large comfortable space. The lights are artfully arranged and relaxing music is playing in the background. We observe we walk around, we immerse ourselves in that atmosphere, our defenses drop, we feel in harmony: if something is sold in that place, it is very likely that we will buy something, but if everything is sold in that place, we will most likely buy everything. And these spaces are the malls and supermarkets.

In my book Cast and Customers, I define these places as pagan temples of stuff, to echo the concept used by Giovanni Verga in Mastro Don Gesualdo. While Gesualdo Motta (the protagonist), would like to take his wealth with him to the afterlife, we beings of the new millennium, are programmed to consume it, get rid of it, and buy it back at the next Black Friday.

The advice is to make small, brief and, above all, targeted incursions to the supermarket, rather than visits without ideas that will turn into a rain of blood: you save when you don’t have the money, so if you go to the supermarket, make sure you don’t have any money. After all, even in the casino, you win when you don’t play. When it’s time for the family stash, just relieve yourself of the small, brief forays, but be at least focused. Presence in ourselves and mindfulness can break the spells of perpetual offerings and low costs because, at the root of it all, there is the question: is this all I need?
Oh, well…come on, I’m not that extreme. Every once in a while, candy and chocolate are allowed. Do some conscious shopping, you’ll be surprised at the savings.

 

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