What does value mean to you? Does a £3 t-shirt lasting 6 washes feel like value? Does the word ‘value’ conjure up images of cheap beans and bottom shelf food items? For me value, when it comes to expenditure, is something I can rely on to fulfil its purpose for a long time, something dependable which represents a good investment – even if it is only a tin of beans. For the item to stand the test of time, last and seem like a good buy long after I’ve finished using it.
I bought an expensive pair of shoes from Jones the Bootmaker and expected them to really last, to see me through a life time and they simply did not. They cost (to me anyway) a small fortune, so I was really bitter when they gave up the ghost after 6 months. 2 years ago I bought a pair of tan Primark brogues (when I was caught in a sudden Manchester rainstorm in flip flops), which you may have seen on this blog a whole lot. They are only now, after wearing them 2-3 times a week, starting to show signs of wear and tear and are still going strong on the sole and heal. That’s value, really bloody good value for money.
|This photo doesn’t really have a huge lot to do with anything but it IS colourful.|
I’ve had many a highstreet handbag which has lasted for 6 weeks before the lining ripped or the zip broke meaning each one was essentially £30 down the Mersey but the designer handbag I was given for my 21st birthday is still going strong (and as deliciously soft) almost 9 years later. That represents good value to me.
Isn’t it strange where value crops up? I would never expect Primark to trump Jones the Bootmaker, never, it goes to show you never really can tell. When I find a good value brand however, I grip on to them and stay true to them for years. I’ll always buy my wellington boots from the same two companies – even if some people raise their eyebrows at the price. I always know I can trust a certain jeans brand to sell jeans which will last for years. I buy mid-range baked beans which are rarely reduced because expensive ones and low prices ones taste like acid to me and I don’t want them to sit in my cupboard while I fill myself with dread at the thought of eating them just because they were cheap. I always know which hairspray brand does a damn good job at an excellent price and I’ll always return to buy the same one. If I know a brand offers me value I’ll stick with them whether they’re expensive or budget – the budget ones are a real bonus though!
Sometimes ‘buy cheap buy twice’ is advice I really pay attention to and sometimes it isn’t. I’ll always try to seek out a cheap alternative to something but if I know (and as I mentioned above it can be hard to tell) an expensive item is durable, dependable and classic then I’m happy to spend more. I think buying good value is a strong element of thrift. If you buy something just because it is cheap then that is not thrifty but if you buy something knowing you can make it last for a really long time then to me that is thrifty, not to mention good value.
P.S. What is your idea of good value?
P.P.S Earlier today I posted about my love for Freecycle, so don’t forget to have a quick read of that post while you’re hear.