Complaining about the price of things is easy. And when the two major players got into the game of making a contribution towards savings and price cuts, most people viewed it through a very cynical eye.
But what I have been trying to argue is that although there is no escaping price rises, inflation, and all the other issues the economy faces, it doesn’t have to be as hard as some make it out to be.
That late night legislation last week by the Government over land covenants and competition was window-dressing, given the supermarkets, pre the release of the Commerce Commission report, had already said they had stopped it and wouldn’t do it again.
By the way, this is a practice they should never have entered into, was shabby, and goes some way to explaining why so many see them the way they do.
Anyway, the Herald Focus team go out, grab a group of essentials items and compare price. The Warehouse price was $30.54, Pak N Save $31.27, and Countdown $41.28. So even on a comparatively small group of goods, there are big variances in price.
That backs up what I have been saying all along. If you think about it, look for the bargains, don’t get hung up on brands, or even the same product every time, you can help yourself out a lot.
Convenience is what the supermarkets rely on. Our laziness lets us down. Moaning takes very little effort but research and shopping around does. Hence, we do more of one than the other.
The difference between $30 and $40 on a small shop could well extrapolate out to the difference between $300 and $400 on a bigger shop. $100 difference for the same stuff is major.
It also explains why the Commerce Commission didn’t come up with anything really scandalous. It's simply because when you actually look, compare, and work at it, they are not in cahoots and they're not scandal merchants.
On any given day at any given place there are a world of variances and reasons for prices being what they are.
As always, the headline about cheese being $21 or the supermarkets ripping us off is more noise than it is reality.
Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.