Teacher’s book to explain how to pinch your pennies

“…Sankar warns the consumer not to buy unneeded groceries ‘just because they are on sale’.”

March 1, 2015

I think this and maybe one other article were the only pieces I wrote for The Winnipeg Free Press.

When I was in that newspaper office writing this piece, some of the sports reporters were passing around a glossy photo of a female athlete and saying lewd things about her body. This made me so uncomfortable that I decided working for the newspaper was not for me.

I do not regret making this decision.

Going to the article itself, the quote that I use above from the story strikes me as being as true, if not more so, today than it was when the author of this consumes’ book, was being interviewed by me.

Why buy three large cartons of French onion soup from Costco because it is a really great buy if you actually hate French onion soup?

Don’t get me started. I run across this kind of thing, when I poke my nose into freezers during my house sitting gigs, more often than I care to think about.

Read on:

The Winnipeg Free Press

Teacher’s book to explain how to pinch your pennies

by Tanya Lester

Saving money is hard work, and Winnipeg high school teacher Gerald Sankar plans to have a book in print early next year that will help people to pinch their pennies.

“People have to make conscious effort to save and they don’t do it,” says Sankar. “They have to be resourceful. They should make a part-time job out of it.”

Sankar suggests a consumer should spend 1 1/2 hours a week working to save money and his book should be of help to them. The $1.25 book is being readied for printing and will be available in Winnipeg early next year.

His book suggests consumers check newspapers, especially on Wedsnesdays and weekends, for sale specials on food and clothing.

To help shoppers determine actual regular prices of grocery items, the book will contain a regular price list for 1,500 food products. With the book, the consumer can compare the ‘sale’ price to the item’s regular price to find if he is saving money.

However, Sankar warns consumers not to buy unneeded groceries “just because they are on sale.”

Canning is one way to save money so perishable items, such as fruit and vegetables, should be bought in large quantities while they are in season and at their lowest prices.

Cut-rate clothing

Sankar has found clothing stores where shoppers can save at least 50 per cent on shoes and clothing. He will list 75 to 90 such factory outlets and family-owned stores, including the Wescott’s factory outlet on Bannantyne Avenue.

Factory outlets often sell substandard items at 25 to 65 per cent discount. Sankar says it sometimes takes only “10 minutes with a needle and thread” to repair flaws in the clothing.   “If you want high fashion , don’t go there,” Sankar adds, “but some things in the outlets like jeans, leathers and cords are always in style.” A consumer might save $15 on a pair of pleated jeans and pay half the regular price for a sweater.

Sankar found most family-owned shops carry good quality clothes at prices lower than the chain department stores. “They rely on word of mouth and they pride themselves on good quality,” Sankar said. He added the customer will be dealing with the owner who made or supervised the making of the clothes.

Considering the time and money Sankar will spend compiling the book, he doesn’t expect to profit from it. He has spent $400 researching the book.

He expects to spend $1200 on typesetting and printing costs for the book. When the 35-page book is published, Sankar says, his main reward will be the satisfaction of knowing that “people in Winnipeg will have a lot to gain ” by using the book as a shopping aid.

He wanted to finish the book this month but said research has delayed it. “I want to add more to the book because I feel that I do not yet have enough information to offer the consumer,” Sankar said.




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Tanya Lester’s book,  Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, can be purchased from the author or by   going to the book title at amazon.com


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