Dubai Consumer Mirror

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Confessions of a Dubai Shopaholic

Guess what, this is not about a hot chic trotting around in her Jimmy Choo’s trying to shake off a nasty spending spree habbit she started since becoming legally liable... Its about surviving what is officially now the world's 20th most expensive city.

Cost of rent, utilities and healthcare can be so expensive to the point, in some countries; you’d have the legal right to sue companies charging such extortionist prices. But lets not get into that (not for now at least) and tackle things are that more close to home. Things like buying groceries.

We’ll reveal to you a few tips that can help you cut down the cost of your shopping list without having to feel like you are stuck on an island and have to hide your Dharma Initiative stash from that fat dude on LOST.

So, the first tip for saving when shopping in Dubai is:

Do not shop in Dubai
If you have the stamina of a Roman bull and feel that you can withstand the torturous traffic ride from and to Dubai, do your shopping anywhere but in Dubai. Do it in Sharjah or even (gaasp) Ajman. I’ve been to places in Sharjah like Ansar mall or Fan Fair (next to the Fruits and Vegetable Market) in Sharjah and walked out with killer bargains.

Hit the fridge before you hit the supermarket
If you ever wondered why the heck did a box of Duck liver paste balls in licorice and anchovies sauce .... on a stick, found its way into your shopping bag, its most likely because it looked so yummy when you were shopping while starving. Or simply because you have disgusting taste, but that’s a nother story...

Bottom line, hungry is the last thing you wannna be while shopping for groceries. Grab a bite to eat before you indulge on your sinful grocery needs.

Make a god-damn list
Though there is a significant risk of ending up looking like the hairy version of Brie Van de Kamp from Desperate Housewives, but it sure beats your look when you reach home and discover that you already HAVE half of the things you bought - and the other half is basically shit you don’t need.

Shop alone
Shrinks and other renowned consumer behavior-know-it-all's think that you tend to grab more stuff off the shelf when both hands are free. So basically, shopping alone and pushing a shopping trolley or carrying a basket, you’ll have one less hand to grope that luscious, plump, round sweet melon at the fruit stand ....

Carry a basket, don't push a trolley
While on the topic of baskets, don’t you really really really hate it when you walk into the store for a carton of milk and some toilet paper, and you end up walking out with a shopping cart full of groceries? Well guess what: if you ate your broccoli instead of playing with it when you were 5, and went to the gym to actually workout instead of starring at the hot blonds’ ass at the treadmill…. then you would have carried a basket to work out those biceps. Not only that; a basket will be filled after a cart of milk and 2 rolls of toilet paper. Then the basket will scream and yell at you to head to the counter.

Trolleys, on the other hands are possessed with evil deominc spirits that keep asking you for more and more. Avoid them like the plague

Bigger is not always better
There is certain foodstuff that you are better off when buying in larger quantities. Sugar, flour, Oil – granted, you will save more for sure if you buy in large sums; AND, best thing is that you will always end up consuming them over a prolonged perioud of time - since God created them so durable, they can withstand a nuclear holocaust. But items like veggies, cold cuts, fresh cheese are always better bought them in quantities designated for humen, not for a clan of Jabba the hutt.

Special offers are specially made to screw you
Questions: Vendors bundle a special promo because:
a. Product will expire soon and they want to replenish shelves with the new batch soon
b. Product quality sucks and no one seems to buy, so they target douche bags who are only after the deal
c. Product is too expensive, so they create the illusion of “a value deal” by slapping a ‘special price’ sticker, and target the same douche bags as above
d. All the above

Guess what is the answer...

So hold on to your wallets and brace yourselves. Economies are still tanking, companies are laying off more people and more exciting times to come...


  • Superb!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM  

  • WOW! It's like you read my mind and, actually, listened to what its been trying to tell me over the years.

    "do your shopping anywhere but in Dubai. Do it in Sharjah or even (gaasp) Ajman."

    People get so lost in all that glamour, they often forget there are true suburbs and a world beyond DXB. In several ways DXB prices have shot up prices at SHJ -thank heavens for AJ, where one can still live the ol' UAE ways.

    By Blogger rosh, at July 7, 2009 at 7:22 PM  

  • In the past few years my monthly shopping bill jumped from 250-300 to 500-600 dirhams minimum. I can't afford this place anymore.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 7, 2009 at 7:49 PM  

  • Anon 5:50 - Thank you

    Rosh - I loved shopping in Sharjah. Products even felt more fresh some how..

    Anon 7:49 - I hear you. I wish i can say things will be better soon.. i really do.

    By Blogger moryarti, at July 7, 2009 at 7:51 PM  

  • Awesome... dude you should be writng a book on consumer behavior!

    I think the most important one is to 'have a list'. Else you end up 'browsing' the shelves and buying stuff that you don't need in the first place!!!

    By Blogger Photos Dubai, at July 8, 2009 at 6:06 AM  

  • I am the browser shopper kind of guy which is why when I go grocery shopping I don't even carry a backet anymore. I take whatever I can carry in my hands and head out. I threw out loads of expired food from the fridge, what a waste of money.

    And yes shopping in SHJ and AJM is brilliant. Beat the traffic on weekend mornings.

    Do a next round on retail shopping!

    By Blogger KJ, at July 8, 2009 at 10:40 AM  

  • hahahahah.. halerious

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 8, 2009 at 2:17 PM  

  • hahahahaa... this is an awesome post...

    I loved the part where you mentioned "Hit the fridge before you hit the supermarket" this is sooo true :D

    hey... try shopping in Citi-Center Ajman... you will get even a better killer prices and less crowded than Dubai :P

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 8, 2009 at 3:10 PM  

  • Excellent list!

    But what could a married guy do when the missus commit all the above prohibitive acts?

    I guess nothing.

    By Blogger Dubai Jazz, at July 8, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

  • PD - thank you. I always carry a list, i do admit sometimes i get more things, but i feel so good when i only have in the trolly what i actually noted down in the list.

    KJ - I am not big on retail shopping. Need to ask the Mrs for that one ;)

    Naseem - Shopping while hungry always ended up in a disaster for me.. not a good idea at all :)

    DJ - I guess these may apply to both men and women; though i see as much men doing grocery shopping as there are women.

    By Blogger moryarti, at July 8, 2009 at 10:19 PM  

  • Hello,

    I was wondering if you are offically in a position to make these comments regarding savings?

    If yes, I'd like to invite you to talk on Television.

    I'm researching for a financial talk show, and I came across your blog. I don't know how to get in touch with you without displaying my email address here... kindly reply.

    By Blogger Jasmine Mehta, at August 27, 2009 at 12:26 PM  

  • Thank you Jasmine - My email is actually on the blog's main page here

    If you send me more info i'd be happy to reply.

    By Blogger moryarti, at August 27, 2009 at 1:54 PM  

  • i totally agree with you about not shopping in dubai. The shops are merchandised in a way that make my pupiks dilate! I am a shopaholic and i can't stop. hubby has already paid for 2 of my credit cards.. and here i am shopping again Its just really addictive, i really need some help. I just dont know how to do it :(

    By Blogger Abbie's Closet, at October 19, 2009 at 4:12 PM  

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