“Supermarkets Make You Buy 84% More Stuff”

The headline that made me stop shopping at supermarkets

Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh

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A retail shop in India that will weigh out and sell you small or large quantities of grains, lentils, sugar and spices. Photo by the author.

Buy-one-get-one-free!

This was the attraction that made me over-purchase any amount of groceries and snacks at supermarkets. It was only when I read the above headline in a local newspaper that I started looking more closely at what happens to the second, “free” container.

Discounted? Or just a scam? Photo by the author.

I now shop at mom-and-pop stores that sell small quantities of things in paper bags. I buy only those items that I’ve run out of.

I sometimes buy stuff — like dishwash liquid or soap — off Amazon when the Amazon price is lower than local retail. Amazon forces me to buy two containers together.

I end up cleaning more and with more liquid. So I use up the two large containers of dishwash liquid in as much time as I would a smaller (albeit more expensive per oz) container.

Good thing we don’t have Costco and Sam’s Club in India.

By and large you get what you pay for also means that by and large you pay for what you get.

For example, if I place a giant can of ghee in the kitchen, it will run out in as much time as a smaller one. My maid, my mum-in-law and I use the smaller one more sparingly because we subconsciously know it will run out — so I save on ghee. One shouldn’t have more than three spoons of ghee in a day anyway!

Itty bitty dispensers sometimes help and sometimes, they don’t!

My mom-in-law tries to solve this by transferring the ghee from a large container to a smaller one, but it doesn’t work like that. Be it the maid, me or my mum-in-law, we just pour with a more generous hand when we know there’s plenty more in the fridge.

I over-pour ketchup and body wash when they are in larger containers, too.

I think I do best when I buy large containers of stuff I must consume, like whey protein, and smaller ones of things I discourage myself from consuming or using, like cookies or cleaners.

Cookies are bad for me and nothing cleans as well as elbow grease anyway.

What about you? Large stores, supermarkets or mom-and-pops?

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Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh

I don’t just create smiles, I inspire them! Dentist, mom—Jamshedpur, India.