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I could use a shopping advisor
May 2, 2016
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by Ivan Raconteur

Getting up early on a Saturday morning to make a Walmart run has the advantage of allowing me to get in and out of the store reasonably efficiently without having to navigate through herds of clueless customers milling in the aisles.

It can have some disadvantages, as well.

Shopping before breakfast can result in all sorts of peculiar items finding their way into the shopping cart – things I didn’t know I needed.

I considered this recently as I was putting away the groceries from just such a trip.

I was at a loss to explain why I needed a package of Chili’s nacho potatoes with beef and bacon in a bold and zesty cheese sauce. Prior to that morning, I had no idea such a product existed.

Next to the nachos was a bag of Arby’s curly fries. I have only been to Arby’s about three times in my entire life, so why I suddenly felt compelled to purchase their fries, famous though they are, according to the bag, is beyond me.

There were other mysterious items in the bags that came home with me, and it was while I was putting these away, it occurred to me that what I need is a personal shopping advisor.

This would be an excellent part-time job for some frugal woman. This is not a sexist remark, but a qualification based on experience.

I have been shopping with other guys before, and that usually leads to me spending more money, not less.

Guys can be a bad influence.

The role of the shopping advisor would be to help me to make better decisions during each retail expedition, and thereby save money.

I suspect a lot of single guys (and perhaps single women) could use this kind of service.

When one is on one’s own, life can be a haphazard affair. I rise in the morning and go to bed at night when I feel like it. I eat when I’m hungry (or possibly bored), and I drink when I’m dry. Without the influence of a woman in my life, I tend to drift.

The way I see it, all a shopping advisor would have to do is accompany me to the store, and say things like, “Put that down, you don’t need it,” or “That’s too expensive, leave it alone.”

If she could manage to make some of these remarks in a sarcastic tone, like a real wife or girlfriend, that would be even better.

Also, if she would roll her eyes periodically, it would give the proceedings that extra air of authenticity that makes all the difference.

If I picked up any packaged food items, which I know very well are full of nasty ingredients, not to mention being overpriced, she could remind me of this, and maybe add a lecture about how it would be much better to do my own cooking on the weekends, which would give me the convenience of leftovers during the week.

I studied the receipt from my most recent shopping expedition. I figure 42.73 percent of the total involved medical items and clothing, which were planned expenses. An almost equal amount, 42.68 percent, involved food items. The remaining 14.59 percent consisted entirely of impulse items – things I didn’t plan to buy, and can’t explain why I did.

Had I been accompanied by a competent shopping advisor, I’m confident I could have avoided all of the impulse items, and about half the expense of the food items, just by making better decisions.

Even if I were to pay my shopping assistant $20/hour for her services, I’d still be money ahead.

We could take it a step further, and if my shopping assistant helped me prepare a shopping list before we headed to the store, based on an actual meal plan, I’m sure I would save money and eat better.

I can’t believe I’m the only single person out there who has this problem. Ladies, take note: this is a perfectly sound business idea for you. Start your own shopping advisor service, and you could make some easy money and improve the lives of undisciplined single people in your community.

If you do, it might also be a good idea to counsel your clients to eat breakfast before going to the store.


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