Archive for Prices

Bad Experience at Ingredients at Omaha Midtown

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2014 by urbannight

Interesting lunch at Ingredients today.

I ordered the sandwich of the day with the side of pasta salad and added a cup of soup for four dollars to try it.

Instead of ringing it up that way she rang it up as a side of soup which up-charged the meal by almost two dollars and an added side of pasta salad for two  and a half dollars.

So instead of it costing four dollars more like I ordered it, it cost about 4.50 more the way she rang it up, to get an addition half-dollar from me.

Is this normal practice to change the order of sides to make it cost more money for their customers?

I attempted to use the ‘contact us’ form to contact them but each time I try to hit send it clears out the location field. I renter the location and it clears it again.

I guess that is one way to make sure they don’t get any comments that might contain complaints.

 

Update: The head chef called me back and offered me lunch and that he had a discussion with the staff on how that works.  I’m guess ‘that’ being the math.

Since he had my phone number, I have to guess that the contact us for DID work after all.  Even thought the site makes it look like it keeps failing.

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The Value of Time vs The Value of Money

Posted in Economics, Economy, Food, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2012 by urbannight

Now one of these would save time and money when it comes to grocery shopping. It never seems to need refueling of any sort and you can pop into the past when things cost a lot less. But not too far because your money wouldn’t look right anymore.

There is a MoneyTalks news article comparing the prices of Walgreen, CVS, Wal-Mart, and an online drug store owned by Walgreen. 

She is surprised that the drug stores were more expensive that Wal-Mart.  She expected, that since it was a ‘drug’ store, with the word ‘drug’ in the name, that OTC medications would be cheaper there.

They are a type of convenience store and convenience stores are always more expensive. You get stuff there when saving time is more important than saving money.

You then have to factor in the value of your time (usually based on your wages) to determine if the cost of your time would make the cheaper items cost more since driving to a Wal-Mart, going through a bigger parking lot, walking though a bigger store, and then getting back on the road again would all take longer.

There is always a Walgreen or CVS right on the drive, the more expense item suddenly becomes cheaper under those circumstances.

It is a balancing act between the value of your time and the value of the dollar in hand. 

There was a finance person that used to recommend a person write out all their normal groceries in a notebook and go to all the local grocery stores to compare all the prices.  Then make a list of which items to buy at which stores.  Then when you needed groceries, you would go to ALL those  stores and buy the items that are cheapest at each store.

This has always seemed ludicrous to me.  Think of all the extra gas used to go to all those different locations.  You also have to factor an addition 10 minutes at each store just for parking and walking into the store.  The time to exit depends on the lines.  So you are looking at a minimum of 10 15 minutes to as much as 30 minutes per store.  Since you have to walk around each store to get the items, your total walk time is much higher.  The end result is that a 1 hour grocery shopping trip might take 4 hours going to 4 different stores.

If you know your gas mileage, figure out how many miles you are driving for all these extra stops.  Figure out the cost of gas based on the current gas price.  If it takes 4 hours you have taken 3 more hours that it could have had you gone to one store.  Say you make 10 dollars an hour.  Your groceries have just cost you an addition 30 dollars.  Then add the gas cost.  Add that to your total receipts from the 4 stores and you have your REAL cost.

I know that some items are cheaper at Wal-Mart.  So I wait to get them when I’m in there, usually once a week whether I want to be or not.  I carpool with my roommate and sometimes he make a stop there. 

If I need to go to the grocery, I focus on the stuff I know is better priced there. 

I recently discovered that Target’s ready to eat soups are cheaper than both Wal-Mart and the Grocery.  I don’t make a special trip and use extra time and gas.  But it I’m going there for something I need and I know is only available at Target, I will also hit the grocery section for those items Target has cheaper.

By working it in with needed trips, I’m not wasting time and gas driving all over town on one day to get groceries. 

The other option is to do that notebook thing, tally the numbers at the bottom, and use whichever store has the over all lowest costs as the primary grocery store, thus saving the 30+ extra dollars in time and gas.

Farmers’ Markets vs Grocery Stores

Posted in Economics, Economy, Food, Life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by urbannight

I remember going out to the local fields (back home, not around the current city) and paying a flat price per basket.  You then got to pick your own fruits and veggies until you filled your basket or baskets. 

Then you got your farmer’s markets which did the picking for you.  But since there were no transport fees to the stores, they could undercut the store prices and you bought your fruit and veggies at a much better rate than the grocery store.

Now you go to the farmer’s market and (aside from a few veggies) you pay more than at the grocery store.  They don’t want to bother with pricing anything under a dollar.  So a bundle of green onions costs a dollar at the farmer’s market but only .80 cents at the store.  A fruit pie costs 18$ while fresh made at the bakery it costs 8$.  A jar of salsa costs 5$ but usually just under that at the store. 

Buying locally has now become something pretentious.  Everything costs more than at the store so if you do all your produce shopping at the farmer’s markets you have to have a bigger grocery budget.  Looking around at the people you see a lot of people in more expensive casual wear. 

Farmer’s markets have become the “thing to do” for the richer people.  As a result, the vendors have raised their prices.  And now it’s more affordable for me to shop the grocery store sales than to buy locally.

Somewhere, buried in this phenomenon, is a statement on where society is heading.  I’m just not sure yet how that statement reads.