Ideation

Today, I promised to tell about the WHAT of the blog, or at least, what will be the main driver for writing.

Groceries

What? Are you serious? Groceries, really?

Grin, yes. It started a few years back. I’m personally tasked to do the heavy lifting groceries once a week, with the intention to get the big, heavy and ‘large number of’ items to survive with the family over the coming week. Tactic is to stock supplies based on:

  • The regular stuff, like milk, drinks and meals for the kids at school, breakfast serials, etc..
  • Meal ingredients, based on the recipes for the meals we plan to have over the week.
  • Things on sale, good deals for money.

Why are we doing that? Well, we know from experience that if we do groceries every day, the total expense at the end of the week is higher than if we do a planned one time a week shopping trip. How come? Don’t know exactly, but it is repeatable. It’s probably in a number of small things, like temptation to buy more when you go more often, or visiting shops closer to home when we go on a daily basis … And all those small amounts end up in a bigger difference at the end of the week. So doing groceries once a week, saves us money.

Optimization

Now if I weren’t an obsessed madman, that would not be so exiting news. But our shopping mall has two competing grocery shops located within 50 meter of each other. And moreover, there are two more grocery shops in the vicinity of our home. So you can guess what happens Glimlach. After knowing the menu for the week and the gaps in our stable stock list, I browse online folders for the grocery shops to find the cheapest one to visit for doing my weekly groceries. And sometimes I visit more than one, certainly the two that are very close to each other.

The frustrating bit is that for some products, the advertised deals are still higher in cost than the normal price with another shop. And sometimes, the total profit for the articles on sale that you buy are compensated by the higher price of the other articles that you also need that are not on sale. Help! How can I get some level of support making wise choices where to get what?

And that inspired me to start searching for The App, because “There always is an App for that!”.

The App

For starters, what I (as an IT nerd) think I need is an app that will:

  • Take my stable stock list and put it on my grocery list
  • Provide menu suggestions for the week, and upon making selection for daily meals, puts the ingredients on my grocery list as well
  • Detect the grocery shops in the vicinity of my home and let me make a selection of shops to include for comparison
  • Run my grocery list against the active product prices of those shops, including active deals
  • Suggest the one or two to visit, with the expected total price for my grocery list
  • Taking the additional travel cost (gasoline) in account, calculate if it makes sense to visit more distant locations
  • Compile a grocery list for each of the shops I’m going to visit, minimizing costs.

With this comparison I can make a choice to go for an easy one-stop-shop, or visit more shops and save some additional money with this additional effort. For example, if a split of grocery shopping over two locations saves me 20 euro, I can consider the additional half hour time investment and 2 euro travel cost to achieve that saving. Wicked, isn’t it! It’s almost becoming a fun exercise to get more for less, and that sort of makes the repetitiveness of the dull weekly shopping trip more fun. I know it’s weird, but that’s how my brain seems to work.

Next post, we will analyze the requirements in a bit more detail to understand the challenges getting such an app established, and believe me, they are not all technical Glimlach Bye for now!

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *