August 11, 2008

Feeling the pinch

I wonder if I am becoming a miser of late or just being prudent in light of the slowdown in the economy. After the JC Penney shipping saga which cost me a pretty 'penny', I am a little more cost conscious these days and therefore was irked by another revelation yesterday.

Last week I had bought an 8-pc crib bedding set from Robinsons, not on sale mind you, just so Nutty's bed could look nice for my SUGAR party (she did not have a pink bumper!). I had initially wanted to just buy an Aussino set for like $69 but I think the Centrepoint outlet had closed, so in desperation - I rarely buy non-sale items - I picked up a set from Robinsons at $122. I used up $40 vouchers to offset some of the cost and consoled myself that I only paid $82.

But yesterday, I chanced upon the exact same bedding set at Kiddy Palace and guess how much it was? $88 only (not on sale either!), a difference of $34! I wouldn't have minded so much if it was a few dollars but $34? That's a huge gap! I feel like my vouchers were used in vain.

Suffice it to say, I wrote in to the Robinsons website to highlight the price disparity. I am not expecting a reply, much less any partial refund but I just wanted to highlight to them that they failed in living up to one of their mission statements about providing value to their customers.

Will I still shop there? Probably, but where possible I will switch to Takashimaya or Tangs. Parking at Taka was a killer though, about $10 for a 3hr period, compared to yesterday's Marina Square outing which charged $3.21 per entry.

On the bright side, Nick and I made another discovery yesterday that will save us a few dollars on Nutty's expenses. A provision shop near his mum's house carries the Nestle Nan formula that she drinks and there is a stark difference in cost with the supermarkets. Granted Nan just introduced a new improved version that costs a couple more dollars now but here's a price comparison based on the old starter formula:

Carrefour: $32 or $33
Cold Storage: $31.90
Giant/NTUC: $29.60
Provision shop: $26

Their Pampers was also slightly cheaper so we shall be buying these two items from there whenever we visit his mum. Thank goodness we were sent down on an errand to buy ice cream otherwise we wouldn't have discovered the difference!

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