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What do you never pay full price for?

Posted by on Thursday 9 December 2010 in frugal | 6 comments

There are some things that I never, ever pay full price for.

Due to a lifetime of “this is what that tastes like”, I’m brand loyal in about five cases: orange squash has to be Robinsons, baked beans have to be Heinz, brown sauce as to be HP, chocolate digestives have to be McVities and my breakfast cereal has to be Mornflake Chocolate Squares because first thing in the morning, I’m a big kid who hates nutrients and fibre. Out of those, it’s only the cereal that I ever buy full price – all of the rest come up on offer regularly enough that I just stock up when it’s on offer and that’s enough to tide me over to the next time the offers come around.

With other things, I don’t care about the brand – I’ll just buy whatever is on offer. Canned tuna for example, or pasta or butter or toilet rolls. It’s rare that there isn’t one brand on some sort of offer and if there isn’t, and we don’t *really* need it (which we rarely do, as we tend to keep good stores), then we don’t buy it. Again, the offers come up regularly enough that it’s never really worth paying full price just to have it then. I don’t think I’ve ever bought tuna or toilet rolls at full price, *ever*.

There are other things we rarely pay full price for: sugar, cat food, sweet treats (like chocolate biscuits or cakes), cooking oil, cleaning products (particularly washing powder, soap and shampoo) and jam (when we have to buy it).

Away from food and groceries, it’s very rare that I pay full (new) price for clothes – they’re either on sale, I have a discount code or second-hand through a charity shop or eBay (although that’s not without its problems…). And books – I buy more books than I should but they’re mostly from Amazon‘s marketplace or Abebooks.

What do you never pay full price for? What do you only buy when it’s on offer? Do you have any offer-surfing tricks to share?


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Su

    This has really got me thinking! I am brand loyal to Twinings Everyday tea, though I haven’t yet quite forgiven them for stopping selling it as loose tea, Branston baked beans (used to be Heinz, but they started messing around with the recipe & it’s just NOT the same), Faith in Nature shampoo, because it’s made about 8 miles from where I live and that’s it!
    The only one of those that I pay full price for is the shampoo, but since I only use about 2 bottles a year it’s hardly an extravagance. The Twinings tea is always on offer somewhere, as are the beans. I have a book at home, sorry can’t remember the name, which states that items such as these two are indeed always on offer in one of the supermarkets, you just have to look around to find out which one it is.
    Cat food I usually have to pay full price for since my elderly gent is extremely fussy & won’t stick with the same brand for very long, though oddly, he doesn’t like the expensive stuff!
    I don’t actually mind paying full price for things,if they are what I want & it’s needed, though they are considered purchases. The boots I currently have on my feet for example, were exactly what I wanted, will last for years & have been a treat in this horrible weather. They did cost me £50 (a LOT to me)but I was prepared to pay it.
    I never pay full price for knitting wool! I get it in charity shops.

    • louisa

      Hi Su,

      An interesting set of things there!

      I’m sure I’ve read the same thing about offers too – and from anecdotal experience, it does feel that way with certain things.

      Regarding the boots, I recently bought a pair of expensive (to me) wellies, and John bought expensive (to everyone!) walking boots – but both of us did it under the idea of paying once for an item rather than paying to replace unsuitable or poor quality items in the same amount of time. We still both found cheaper than RRP products online ;)

      -louisa :)

  2. Deb

    Hmm, I shop around quite a bit so I like this question! I never pay full price for: baby wipes (although we mostly use washable wipes), shampoo & conditioner, tea bags, cheshire & cheddar cheese, washing tablets / powder (the eco stuff is way too expensive at regular price), pasta & toilet roll.

    We’re brand loyal to Heinz Beans & Ketchup, Branston Pickle, Ribena and most breakfast cereal but attempt to get them all on offer.

    We never scrimp on meat and always buy it from the local butchers. We always try and get cheaper seasonal veg and try the local market first for stuff before the supermarket as it’s always cheaper.

    When we go for a supermarket’s “cheap as chips” range, we mostly do this at Waitrose as their stuff tends to be the same price or cheaper than our other local supermarket, Sainsburys and happier / more local.

    Would be interested to hear if you use any eco household products and if you opt for the supermarket’s own brand eco versions (e.g Sainsburys “Clean Home” range)?

    • louisa

      Hi Deb *waves*

      I’ll have to add basic cheese to my list too – we pretty much always buy whatever is on offer and use the “saving” to offset against some fancy schmancy expensive cheese. Mmm, cheese.

      Interesting point re: Waitrose and Sainsburys. I’ll have to compare that at the places we go to.

      Re: eco household products. To be honest, we’re really bad in that area. When things are on offer, I will buy them (and bulk buy them in the case of certain things like recycled toilet roll) but I won’t go out of my way to buy them at other times, and buy just regularly earth-destroying stuff instead. We do, at the moment, have Morrisons own eco washing powder – but I’m not sure how much better it is for the environment than normal stuff.

  3. Cate B

    It really depends on what your drivers are. We’re very lucky because we have a reasonable income so we will pay more for products that are as sustainable as possible. I will always pay more for products that value animal welfare (and can prove it) and will also pay for locally produced and minimally packaged stuff. As a result I am not brand loyal at all unless the brand has proved its environmental credentials. Clearly for many other people cost is a huge driver so their choices will be totally different. It just goes to show how political shopping has become!

    • louisa

      That’s a really good point Cate. I think we try to strike a balance between those things – we try to buy locally, from local independent suppliers and subsidise that by saving money in other areas.

      Gavin of The Greening of Gavin was talking about this recently – how there is a big overlap between frugal and sustainable, but you have to be careful too.

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