Thursday, October 20, 2011

Savings plan over Chrisco - can I do it?

Every year in December I get a mass delivery of food from Chrisco. Boxes and boxes of necessities, goodies, and generally enough food items to keep my normal grocery shop down to $40 per week till at least Easter. Even now in October, we are still going through the tea, coffee, sugar & sauces from last years hamper. It's definitely a huge help to find my grocery bill slashed in the silly season, and quite frankly, my family loves the excessive food in the house at that time of year.
But with Hubby being out of work for 8 months last year, all our savings depleted by a major holiday just before, and now me off on maternity leave this year, I am now the penny pinching queen of the grocery shop. Our weekly grocery budget is less than half what it was 2 years ago (not counting baby nappies right now, eck.)
Suddenly the Chrisco hampers are not looking like they meet my value standards anymore. But the concept still does.
So I've picked out the hampers I would have ordered this year - at just under $40 per fortnight, it still seems reasonable. But by my calculations, I could buy all that food myself for somewhere between $6-700. That's going to leave at LEAST a $300 difference. Honestly, with the major retailers competing so heavily, Chrisco needs to pick up their act if they want to create the illusion of value with their hampers. That's almost a weeks mortgage payment for me. Or a weeks accommodation in a QLD caravan park with the kids. Both things I would prefer to use the money for.
So like the good little penny pinching mummy that I am, I have cancelled the Chrisco order for 2012. BUT, I've opened another online savings account and set up the automatic deduction already. In December, my family is still going to have the excess of goodies that fills the house and freezer for months to come, but I will do it my way and put the leftover money to good use. Hopefully I will have the discipline to leave the money alone.
This is exactly why I love money so much - there is never an end to what I can do differently to make my money work harder for me.
How do you feel about the value and concept of Chrisco hampers?

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