The Carrot Trick – Buying Food on the Cheap (Unethical)

The carrot trick is something I learned about while staying at ChiliBlue and was commonly used to get good food on the cheap. The carrot trick is just slightly more ethical than down right stealing the food but not by much. Although I personally have never done it, I have seen many friends do it before. So if you are dirt poor and hungry, this may be your best bet to surviving before stooping to the outright thieving level.

The Carrot Trick

Courtesy of some friends back in Australia. They enjoy carrots, a lot.

The carrot trick consists of a few basic principles that didn’t exist before the advent of the self-checkout kiosk. Pretty much instead of scanning the items barcode, you weigh it instead, lookup the item and select carrots. Keep in mind that if the machine reads the barcode, you lost your chance to ring it up as carrots. Be sure to block the barcode so the machine cannot read it. Easiest way is to have the barcode facing you when you place the item on the machine to read the weight.

In some regions of the world, there may be a cheaper option other than carrots but as far as I know, the cheapest selection in Australia is carrots. Instead of buying prime rib at $12/kilo, you are now buying it at $1.98/kilo. Not bad. Obviously the same holds true for items without barcodes as well, you simply select carrots instead. You may want to buy some actual carrots as well to put on top of the deeply discounted items you are practically stealing, just so you don’t raise any eyebrows.

Now, if you aren’t the brightest of thieves, you may end up paying more for items than if you were to use the actual barcode. To prevent this from happening, always read what the price of an item would be by weight. In Australia and New Zealand, it is always listed on the price tag on the shelves. If the items cost by weight is equal to or less than carrots, scan the barcode. If it is more, weigh it as carrots. Simple right?

The carrot trick is unethical and in the end does amount to shoplifting. I do not take responsibility for your actions if you are dumb/poor enough to actually do this. This article was simply for entertainment and informational purposes. Keep in mind that if you are caught, the police will most likely be called so be smart about your actions or at least nimble on your feet. As always, when the police are called you risk deportation so you need to ask yourself, is it really worth saving some money by buying a lot of carrots?


Leave a Reply