Apr 262015

When Saving is NOT in the Bag.

Pre-packaged peppersWhile in the produce aisle the yesterday I was struck by something, so I hung around and I did a little experiment. I watched people buying peppers. Shoppers could choose between the pre-packaged peppers and the identical type of peppers loose in bins directly beside them.

80% of my admittedly small sample of shoppers bought the pre-packaged. 100% of those who did were women.

I was shocked. If those shoppers had been paying any attention it would have become obvious that they were choosing to pay more—almost 40% more!—to have their foods put in a bag for them.

Here’s a quick look at the numbers: The packaged yellow, orange, and red peppers were priced at $4.99/lb. The very same peppers, hand-selected by your hand and bag-free, would have cost only  $3.62/lb. (The yellow and orange peppers were $3.99/lb; already a dollar less per pound than packaged. The reds were $2.49/lb. $1.50 less.)

Grab-and-go convenience. I get that. Some of these shoppers were probably rushing through food shopping while their young trombone player was at practice, or maybe they were hurrying to get getting back to work themselves. One of those buyers might have been you. And possibly me.

red, green, yellow, orange peppers

So a reminder to be aware out there!. You could still put your peppers in a bag if you want to, they’re are rolls of them hanging all over most grocery store produce departments. And they’re free, not $1.37

Around here we’re all for paying a little more when doing so has an obvious benefit. But there’s a difference between buying simple convenience, and paying for it.


Very excitable and prone to fits of glee, Christine cooks on a vintage 1950 General Electric double-oven stove, does not have a dishwasher unless you count the husband, and is guilty of posting cat cuteness on the interwebs. She photographs and blogs about food and other joyful topics from her home in Vermont.

Co-Author of Garden Candy Basics

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