Do You Know Your Stores?

Every year NCP updates its Store List in the scanner and in the NCPMobile App. I love to review the store list and get to know the different stores.

I’ve gone to several NCP focus groups across the country and heard panel members talk about their local stores. This has helped me learn more about stores in other states that I wouldn’t be aware of otherwise. Now, when I travel, I recognize a lot of the store names!

Check out our Store Name List and Store Type Descriptions: www.ncponline.com/wbcnt/Members/StoreTypeDescriptions.pdf. This is a helpful reference list, so be sure to take some time to familiarize yourself with all the different store names and store types on it. (NOTE: Stores specific to your area are NOT included on this list.)

Acorn

As you know, it is very important that you not only record your food store purchases, but also your purchases from all the other types of stores.

So when you record a shopping trip, be very careful to choose the correct store name; if you can’t find the store name, please select the appropriate store type. If you still can’t find the right Store Type, use “All Other Stores.” Even though you won’t be telling us the specific store, we can still use these information, plus you’ll be credited with having provided us with a shopping trip.

Here are some Store Types (and descriptions) that you might not have thought of and that we want you to be aware of:

  • Bagel Store – Sells fresh-baked bagels and rolls right and refrigerated items, such as milk, eggs, juice, butter and cream cheese.
  • Beverage Store – Sells a large selection of soda, beer, water, etc. (Some items may be sold in large quantities.)
  • Bodega – Small grocery store that sells primarily ethnic/international items, such as tortillas and plantains, as well as beverages, snacks, prepared foods and household products.
  • Butcher – Sells a wide variety of meats. A clerk-attended counter is usually where you’ll place your order.
  • Close-Out Store – Sells a little bit of everything at highly discounted prices.
  • Coop/Farm/Feed – Sells bulk packages of food for livestock (i.e., cattle, horses, sheep) and other animals, such as dogs and cats. Primarily located in rural farm areas across the U.S. Veterinary supplies may be on hand, too. They also carry seeds that farmers use to plant their crops.
  • Craft Store – Sells mostly craft/hobby items, such as art supplies, yarn, ribbon, dried flowers, baskets, sewing patterns, etc.
  • Dairy Delivery – Use this if you have milk and other dairy products, such as cheese and ice cream, delivered to your door.
  • Fish Market/Store – Sells all types of fresh caught or frozen fish, as well as condiments to accompany your “catch.” This type of store can also be used for “open-air” markets where you can select your fish from outside stands.
  • Flea Market/Swap Meet – You’ll find all sorts of products in this type of “store.” It could be clothing, housewares, furnishings, beauty products, crafts and food, just to name a few. They may be permanent or temporary structures (indoor/outdoor) with many booths/stalls and may meet once or twice a week.
  • Free Sample/Gift – Use this when you receive a free sample or a free gift. Enter 0 (zero) for the price. Note: If you receive a free sample in a store, use the store name to record it.
  • Fruit Stand/Store – Sells all types of fruits and vegetables. They may also sell some other food products and perhaps even sell fruit trays, baskets and platters.
  • Garden Store – Sells all types of gardening supply items, including potted plants, fresh flowers, gardening tools, seeds, etc.
  • Home Delivery – Use this store type if there’s a store in your town where the only means of ordering a product is by phone and then it’s delivered to your home.
  • Hospital Pharmacy – Use this store type if you pick up medication from a pharmacy located in a hospital.
  • Kennel/Vet – Use this store type to record purchases made at a kennel or veterinarian’s office.
  • Mail Order – Use this when ordering an item by mailing an order form or calling a customer service phone number after making your selection from a catalog or flyer.
  • Manufacturer Outlet – Manufacturers of all types of products have outlets where they sell their products at discounted prices. Sometimes these are in “outlet malls.”
  • Military Store – Use this store type if you make purchases from a store located on a military base.
  • Pro Shop – Specializes in selling everything you need for one specific sport. Some Pro Shops are even located in sporting facilities, such as tennis courts, golf courses, bowling alleys and skating rinks.
  • Tobacco Store – Primarily sells cigarettes, cigars and other smoking accessories.
  • TV/Home Shopping – Use this store type specifically for merchandise (clothes, jewelry, etc.) that you purchased because you saw the item on television.
  • Vending Machine – Use this store type if you buy items from a vending machine, such as candy, soda, snacks, sandwiches, etc.

Have a great weekend!

Best Regards,
Taylor

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Plans

Today is Valentine’s Day! Now don’t panic if you’re still working out some plans and/or gift ideas. I have some tips for you! (Just so you know, this week’s blog is not directed at my husband, who’s always very good at making plans. Love you, hun! Happy Valentine’s Day!)

If you haven’t thought much about what to do today, here are a few ideas, from hitchedmag.com:

  • Create Something Together: Make a scrapbook or time capsule with your partner or children, parents, or friends, and fill it one with meaningful mementos. (The “time capsule” could be just an old coffee or box can that you place in the closet and open on a significant anniversary/day.) So all that sentimental stuff – photos, old movie tickets, take out menus, etc. – that Marie Kondo is encouraging you to toss out you can instead put in the time capsule or scrapbook. Talk about sparking joy!
  • Make A Romantic Meal at Home: Cook something that’s simple and serve the meal on a candlelit table. Play some soft, relaxing music in the background. And make sure to help your loved one clean up after the meal.
  • Go On A Picnic: If you live in a warm climate, take your valentine outside and enjoy some sandwiches and snacks. If you live in a colder part of the country, take your picnic inside; place a few blankets on the floor, and enjoy your meal right there.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be dinner out at an exclusive restaurant or expensive jewelry or a big box of chocolate, although those things are pretty nice! Valentine’s Day just means spending time with a loved one (or loved ones).

We’re all crazy busy and so don’t always appreciate the people in our lives. So make this day special for the special people you know and love.

Oh, and don’t forget to record anything you buy your valentine, like flowers, candy, apparel, etc.

Have a very happy Valentine’s Day!

Best Regards,
Taylor

Millennials And Online Shopping

Are you a Millennial? If not, do you know a Millennial?

Well it seems that Millennials – anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) – really like to shop online.

Pie

Millennials are certainly more active on social media than older generations, and this impacts how they look for information as they shop. For example, Millennials are much more likely than the general population to “conduct online research for common items like food and cleaning products,” according to The Nielsen Company.

And Millennials aren’t just doing research, they’re also buying a lot of consumer packaged goods (basically, anything packaged with a barcode). Check out this chart – based on NCP data – regarding the percentage who purchased consumer packaged goods online in the past three months:

How do Millennials – and others – get online? Well, according to Nielsen data, Millennials are “highly mobile, and their smartphones are increasingly becoming their go-to devices when it’s time to shop.”

This is how the various demographic groups get online, according to Nielsen:


Since so many Millennials, and other groups, shop online, here are some tips for recording those very purchases!

  • Online purchases may come in one or multiple shipments and don’t always include a packing receipt. Consider printing out your email/order confirmation so you can refer back to it when reporting your purchase.
  • If your items do come separately, please scan them as you receive them.
  • If an item arrives with the UPC barcode covered by another label, try carefully peeling off that label and scanning the UPC barcode on the item (or manually enter the barcode number if the barcode is damaged).
  • If you buy something from the website of a retailer that also has a storefront, make sure to report the trip as an online purchase. For example, if you order something from Walmart’s website, select “walmart.com” when you record the purchase (whether the item was shipped directly to you or picked up at the store).

As always, thank you panel members for reporting all of your purchases, especially the online ones.

Have a great weekend!

Will The Groundhog Give Us A Break From This Bleak Weather?

Well, it’s almost Groundhog Day. And that means if the little critter sees his shadow there’s only six more weeks of winter. Or is it if he doesn’t see his shadow there’s six more weeks of winter?? I always get confused.

But anyway … With much of the country in a deep, deep, deep freeze, any thoughts of winter being over and done with works for me! It’s been ridiculously cold in many parts of the country.

So let’s hope for an early spring as we await the “official” word from our groundhog friend.

Did you know that Groundhog Day marks the halfway point to the spring equinox? Here are some other facts about the day and the little guy himself, from The Old Farmer’s Almanac (almanac.com):

  • According to legend, if a groundhog sees its shadow on this day, there will be six more weeks of winter; if it doesn’t, then spring is right around the corner. But, as the Almanac says, “If he sees his shadow, we’ll have six more weeks of winter; if he doesn’t, it’ll be six weeks till spring” because, of course, the dates of the equinox do not change.
  • Groundhog Day also represents “the triumph of spring over winter—and birth over death.” Originally, this was a Celtic festival marking the cross-quarter day, or midpoint of the season.
  • The Christian church later called this festival of light, “Candlemas.” The English name refers to the candles lit that day in churches to celebrate the presentation of the Christ Child in the temple of Jerusalem.
  • In the 1800s, German immigrants to Pennsylvania brought their Candlemas legends with them. Finding no badgers but lots of groundhogs, they adapted the New World species to fit the lore.
  • The groundhog, also known as a woodchuck or whistlepig, typically makes its home in the brambles and thickets that grow where forests meet fields. There, it digs burrows between 4 and 6 feet deep and up to 40 feet long—removing as much as 700 pounds of dirt in the process.

Now if you’re curious about the long-range weather forecast in your area of the country, check out this page on The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s website: www.almanac.com/weather/longrange

Stay warm my friends! And have a great weekend. And go Rams!

Best regards,

Taylor