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Never did I ever think there would come a time when this grandma would not going shopping without her smartphone (being the late comer to the smartphone party that I am). I don’t necessarily need it so much for phone conversations or texting although I’ve done both on occasion. What I really use the phone for is comparison shopping.Grandma with Phone

In the old days I would pull out the flyers or newspaper and spend time browsing to see which store had the best price. As time went on instead of pulling out paper flyers, I did my comparison shopping on the computer. Armed with a printout I’d go to the store and purchase the item of my choice. Things have changed significantly since then and I’ll share an example.

Buying Cooking Pots

Being a grandma makes me even more aware of what I prepare and how I prepare it. The toxin levels in our environment are far more damaging to tiny little growing bodies than they are to the full-grown more established human. Don’t get me wrong, the toxins are bad for all of us but they’re particularly damaging to the very young and very old. As such I’m in the process of tossing out my teflon coated cookware in favor of cast iron and stainless steel.

I’ve been fortunate enough to secure a few quality cast iron pans from the local flea market.  I haven’t had such luck for stainless steel so I opted for newer Calphalon tri-ply stainless steel pots and pans. They’re quality pans without the harmful chemical coating.

Not wanting to go out and buy an entire set, since the set doesn’t necessarily provide the pots/pans that I normally use, I decided to purchase cookware on an individual basis.  As I toss out a pot or pan, I replace it with one of better quality.

Smartphone Comparison Shopping

Kohls SaleNow that I’ve given you my philosophy on cookware, I’ll get back to the purpose of this post. With pans in mind, I ventured out to Kohl’s Department store to take a look at what they had to offer. Buying cookware goes above and beyond reading reviews on websites and blogs. I had to see, touch and lift the pots to see if they were what I wanted. Online shopping is great, but it doesn’t beat getting a first-person feel for an item. And yes, the Calphalon cookware was just what I wanted.

I opted to start with the 2.5 quart saucepan since that was the only pot Kohl’s was selling that didn’t require the purchase of the entire set. They had the saucepan marked down from $79.99 to $69.99.  A real bargain…or so I thought before I pulled out my smartphone while standing in Kohl’s and looked up the prices online.

Amazon had the exact same 2.5 quart tri-ply Calphalon saucepan with lid for $29.99! Imagine that? The exact same saucepan for $40 cheaper. Granted, I had to wait 2 days for the saucepan to be delivered, but for a $40 savings, I would have waited 2 weeks!

Working with the Saucepan

When my pan arrived, I inspected it, washed it and used it. It worked as expected and I am pleased with my purchase. Since I liked this saucepan so much I decided to purchase the smaller 1.5 quart Calphalon saucepan with lid. After my Kohl’s experience, I immediately went to Amazon to price check. The 1.5 quart saucepan on Amazon goes for $45.04.

To do a further price comparison, I looked around at stores in my area. Imagine my sticker shock when I saw that Macy’s was selling the exact same pot for $129.99! Now that’s just plain ridiculous. They’re selling it for $84.95 more! What’s going on?

Just in case you doubt my story, I’m including screen shots of the price differences below (click images to see full size):

Saucepan on Amazon


Saucepan on Macys



As I said in the beginning, “Never did I ever think there would come a time when this grandma would not going shopping without her smartphone.” And you know what? I don’t recommend you go shopping without yours either. Don’t get bogged down with texting, facebooking and Instagramming. Whip out your smartphone to check prices to make sure your spending wisely. No sense in giving away your hard-earned money needlessly.

FeliciaFelicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low tech blogger.