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The supermarket reduction shelves have been a hot topic of conversation in our house this past week, with my wife's quote in BBC News alongside her 3 BBC radio appearances. With that in mind, I thought I would bring you a post about the 13 people you will encounter at the reduction shelf. I have not only encountered every one of these, but I have also been most of them at one time or another.
Although this post is made in jest, I absolutely love looking through the supermarket reduction shelf! The savings have allowed us to save money for our wedding, go on holidays and try new things out. One of my favourite reduction shelf staples is sausages because they can go in anything, including my toad in the hole recipe.
Don't you just hate it when someone has put their trolley in front of the shelf you need? Often when you see this person at the reduction shelf then the trolley is being used as a shield, fending off any competition so they can search in peace. Often others will wait until they are done at the reduction shelf -after all very few dare to try and move someone's trolley as it seems almost impolite to do so. Last time I tried to move someones trolley I got glared and growled at!
Bargains appeal to everyone but it often does shock you when you see someone you wouldn't expect at the reduction shelf. Usually it is people who are dressed as though they are very well off! You'd think they wouldn't bother with such small savings, however it just goes to prove that if you look after the pennies…
I have seen a woman in an expensive fur coat and jewellery buying heaps at the reduction shelf before. Just goes to show bargains appeal to everyone.
Most of us can remember their student days, buying the cheaper things from the supermarkets – at least I was. Especially in student cities you will have the savvy students at the reduction shelves just like the others trying to bulk out their meals or have something different whilst still sticking to their student budget.
Ever had the temptation to just grab everything from the reduction shelf? The Hoarders are those that have given in or there was some absolutely amazing reductions. Baskets will be overflowing, trolleys piled with items and shelves emptied of most or even all items…whether they need them or not!
Thankfully those who will empty the shelves are rare but I have seen plenty of people getting as many items as they can, forgetting how much fridge or freezer room they might have. My wife and I always think about how much room we have or what our parents might like, so more often than not we avoid doing this but there have been times when we have given in to the bargains.
The Reduction Chaser
Sometimes reductions are just not good enough and people will either wait or find a staff member and try to get things even cheaper, sometimes putting it back in disgust if it isn't reduced further.
This can actually be quite bad in several ways, after all there are more important things you can be doing with your time. I would rather use that spare time to make extra money online! Staff might not be doing another set of reductions for a few hours or that staff member has no control over the reductions or doing a different job.
When I worked at a local supermarket we had a lady regularly gather several reduced items from the chilled section and then wait in store for up to three hours until another or even final reduction before returning and asking the staff member to reduce the items again. If the staff member refused then she would leave most of the items, and because they had been out of the chiller for hours they'd be wasted. It got to the point that management had to tell staff not to reduce items for the lady, as everyone knew her by this point and she had become an annoyance for many staff. Don't become this lady!
At the other end of the Reduction Chaser is the one who will find none of the reduced items cheap enough but instead of waiting around will merely tut their displeasure and leave it on the shelf for someone else to have.
I admit that this is something I am often guilty of doing! After all, I'm there for a bargain, tut. After all, I've got video games to play.
You might want to read this part in David Attenborough's voice.
It seems we have moved from hunting animals to hunting bargains. Those that are hunters do not demand items to be reduced once already gathered, but instead quietly stalk their prey down the aisles, the staff member with the reduction device! They move quietly from behind, pouncing on any reductions left behind.
Most hunters get bored quickly of the hunt although some may stalk their prey across a store, but this is definitely an extreme case of bargain hunting.
The Dynamic Duo
Not as amazing as Batman and Robin, these are pair of shoppers that are shopping together as almost a single entity, hitting the reduction shelf with speed ranging from a tortoise to (quoting Spaceballs) ludicrous speed! At least you didn't have to wait long to have a look yourself.
But the darker side of the duo is the tortoise. They will both take their time or even stop and have a fifteen minute chat in front of the reduction shelf in such a way no one else can have a look see but you will hear all sorts of gossip about the people they know! Do you really care to hear about how little Timothy did at parents evening when the dynamic duo are blocking you from the reduction shelf bargains?!
The Impatient (including pushing and shoving)
Some people have so little patience and a reduction shelf, especially when crowds can bring out the worst in people. People will end up becoming this random hand that appears and takes something, as they get as close as they dare and think they are Mr Fantastic!
The darker path of the impatience is the one that starts to push and shove people so that they can see or get items and snatch items from others, the worst this can become is an argument or even a fight between the people at the cheap shelf, thankfully something I have not seen before though heard tales from staff and others!
On the other hand many people are still too polite and will just patiently wait around those blocking the reduction shelf, often at times blocking off part of the aisle. A nightmare during busy hours or the busy days. It can be unavoidable at times though especially when a large amount of reductions has been brought out or if it is final reductions before closing time but for the rest time it can usually be better to go and come back in a few minutes.
Some people although they love a bargain can be a bit embarrassed over the reduction shelf. These can range from the embarrassed children or teenager that is praying their friends don't see them to those adults that still think there is a form of stigma from getting items that have been reduced.
Not all kids are embarrassed about reduction shelves and many do not see any stigma over reductions but there are still those people and kids who do get embarrassed about this sort of thing.
This is nearly every frugal, thrifty, money blogger and many of their readers in the country along with those that have learned from experience. Learning the reduction times of the stores in their local area, knowing which ones have glitches in reduced items and any other deal they are a part of, having meal plans and knowing exactly their fridge/freezer space amongst other things!
My wife on our wedding day – she couldn't resist at all the reductions!
Last but not at all least: The little old lady
Old ladies and reduction shelves seem to go hand in hand, but they will be guilty of doing nearly everything at a reduction shelf from blocking the cheap shelf so they can rummage in peace, having a chat in front of it, or being impatient. Never will the little old lady be embarrassed though and they are most likely the true professional reduction shelf hunters as after all they will have been doing it well before most of us even started!
I hope that you have enjoyed this blog post, do you think I have missed anyone out of the list or have a funny story from the reduction shelf then please do comment.