Is factory shopping worth it?

Many people favour factory shopping over mainstream supermarkets, but I have never found it successful, either from a monetary point of view or from product satisfaction. Perhaps I am too particular about the food I eat or the cleaning products I use, but I find it slightly unsettling to buy a dented can or a chocolate that says BB 07 21! This is no doubt due to indoctrination to reject anything that is less than perfect or at risk of giving you food poisoning. Today I ventured into a well-known factory shop stocking a good variety of brand names, as well as imports, and I’m sure the business would have closed long ago if there had been any ill-effects from consumption of the expired goods. Food wastage across the globe is a direct result of sell by dates, I reckon. There were definitely bargains to be had, but beware of the purchasing power of the major retailers, who can still beat a few prices.

Call me a snob or just fussy about food, but I never buy meat or chicken that is frozen, and prawns feature so seldom on my menu that I never buy them – I am particularly unskilled at turning them into any palatable form and prefer an expert to do that for me.

When it comes to clothing factory shops, I haven’t had much luck – they either never have my size or the defects only become obvious on wearing – the left front of a blouse being a few centimetres wider than the right front, or a wrinkle in a seam that passed the first glance. These items become gardening clothes and have put me off looking for bargains for life.

With the exorbitant price of petrol now, distance is the deciding factor. Living out in Kommetjie means a 20-30 minute drive to the nearest shopping mall, and with most factory shops over the mountain in Retreat and further, it makes no sense to travel that far unless you happen to be passing. Kommetjie is well served by two superettes and an amazing deli that has very competitive prices, not to mention a Neighbourhood Farm and it can be cheaper to shop there for almost anything and avoid the malls altogether. Food for thought!

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