Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Irrational Super Market Shopping or Something Else

Thyme is cheap. Twenty five cents worth is plenty for a family of four.

Hang out at the market and watch people buy expensive fish, chicken or beef to cook for a family gathering. Amost no one is buying fresh herbs. What's that about?

From Seth Godin

Godin suggests that when people spend $10 on the meat for their meal they don't want to also spend an extra quarter to buy fresh herbs. This reminds me of a classic economics example that shows people are sometimes irrational. In short more people would drive across town to save $5 on a $10 calculator than save $5 on $100 stereo even if they planned to buy both. The person should be indifferent, but our brains likes to save more on the cheap items.

I think one thing Godin misses is that fresh herbs are usually sold in packages that cost about $2. This makes it hard to spend just 20 cents on thyme for one meal.

An alternative, which my wife and I do is grow your own herbs at home.
Bookmark and Share


Jennie said...

Not only is is $2, but then you can't use it all before it goes bad and you feel wasteful, so you stop buying it.

Britt said...

I always wonder whether Seth Godin inhabits the same reality as me.

He's always all like, "Why don't people do this?" and I'm always like, "For the following five extremely good reasons."

Ditto on growing your own, though... I was just eyeing the thyme in my front flower / herb patch and wondering how soon it will start perking up this spring. I've got some sage out there, too, and am planning on adding oregano (but I'm a little nervous about that, because oregano can get out of hand easily, I hear.)