Monday by the Magazine Rack

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Hello,

Good afternoon and welcome to Monday by the Magazine Rack. Our beginning of the week open chat thread.

Today I brought my own lunch to work. What’s so odd about that I hear you say.

Well it’s probably the first time I’ve made my own lunch and taken it to work in about ten years.

Usually I would just trot ‘round the corner and get my usual pide roll and occasionally, if I’m feeling indulgent, add one of those decadent large size chocolate covered Florentines to the order.

So why is today any different? To be honest I don’t really know. However I suspect that it’s something to do with an increasingly pervasive sentiment that in today’s current environment – “it’s good to be frugal”.

And it’s not just me. Matt Preston, the “Oscar Wilde” type food critic that appears in the Masterchef show I discussed last week, wrote in the Weekend Age, that it’s good to eat-in rather than go out to eat. Which is out of character for one who is usually recommending nice places for people to spend their money eating out.

It seems that while shoppers are still prepared to spend money, they demand more value and more heavily discounted prices than a couple of years ago.

Last week, by way of another example, we purchased a new fridge for the home from a leading national retailer. No not Hardly Normal, I wouldn’t shop there if you held a gun to my head. Well maybe I would, if you did, and it came to that, but you get the idea.

Anyway, after comparing a few prices, the retailer we finally bought it from sold it to us at the cost price – just to get the cashflow. Some $700 below the RRP.

Is it just me, or are any other Blogocrats starting to watch the dollars and cents more closely, than say, in comparison to this time last year?

It’s weird, because our household financial circumstances haven’t changed. If anything we’re better off because we can afford to pay more into our mortgage with the lower interest rates.

It seems that retailers are having sales for the sake of having a sale as they compete for the consumer dollar, and consumers, accordingly, realise that they are in a superior bargaining power.

Take a look at the sale of new vehicles for example. They’ve taken a severe nose dive. Even in the small town of Hobart about 4 or 5 dealers have shut up shop..

It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out..

Anyway over to youse..