Are you an own brand snob?

Don’t immediately take offence; by brand-snob (patent-pending) I really mean, are you too embarrassed to push your trolley up to the till packed with Tesco value or Asda Smartprice? I don’t know about your local store but mine is packed full of trolley-watchers. I have to admit, I was once a brand snob. I cowered under the trolley-watchers gaze, hiding any own brand goods under “normal” packets.
Now… I really couldn’t give a monkey’s uncle! We use a lot of own-brand goods, margarine, bread for toast, pasta, rice – all sorts! The majority of basics products are just as good, sometime better, than their more expensive counterparts. Don’t get me wrong, some are hideous, but some branded goods aren’t much cop either!
By debranding a little you can save an absolute fortune! I can do a weekly shop, all in with fruit, veg, meat, cleaning products, the lot for three of us for £50-£60 a go. This is a packed to the rafters shop too, no need to do a top-up shop, apart from the odd fresh item.
So give it a go, chin up and brand-down, just see what swapping a few items a week can do for your bills!
Those of us that do buy own brand, from whatever store…. do comment and tell us which products you recommend and which ones you would poke your own eyes out before trying again!

For me:
Do: all baking goods, basics such as bread, milk, cheese, yogurt, pasta noodles etc, fruit and veg, sandwich meats, loo roll (it’s loo roll!)…
Don’t: Value curry or sweet & sour sauce (hell no), value cereals – with the exception of Tesco own muesli (which we add more raisins to) the rest (to us) taste pretty vile!

Glossary:
Trolley-watchers: people who will risk neck injury craning to see what you have in your basket/trolley.
Brand-snob: Someone who isn’t able to be out and proud with their own brand shopping due to real or imagined social pressures.
Top-up shop: Where you go for 2 – 3 items and spend £20 on crap and dubious bargains you really didn’t need.

The Wonder of Freecycle!

Guestblog for Bizziebaby 20/7/10 http://bit.ly/aMPUri

I recommend FC to anyone and everyone locally and otherwise. I stumbled across it several years ago and have never looked back. Basically the idea is you give away your unwanted things to members of your local community, for free, encouraging recycling and keeping items out of the landfill.
It is so simple to use too! Basically you post a “wanted” request or “offered” post. If you, for example, “wanted” a computer chair, you would ask if anyone has one, then if anyone locally does, they will email you via the site. Then, it is up to you to collect the item. The rules stipulate that the item must be free; no payment is to be offered or asked for (bonus!).
If you are “offering” an item you post a description and wait for the emails to come in. You’d be surprised what people will ask for and accept too!


I have given away loads including a freezer, fridge (which was a bit dodgy but I listed it as such and the guy who picked it up was thrilled with it as he could fix it easily), bookcase, old magazines, Slimming World books, baby & child items…. and have received a pc chair, baby and child items, homeware, a brand spanking new printer (seriously!), all given and received for nothing!


It really is an amazing case of one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! If for example I wanted to get rid of my fridge & freezer, my council were going to charge me a minimum of £35 to collect and safely get rid of them, instead they were picked up by someone who could use them and were grateful for them and it saved us both a packet!


Now, you can see why its a great idea, but for those of you moving house, setting up house for the first time, having a child perhaps who is going to uni and needs essentials or a new mum to be with a list of wants and needs… is a Godsend!
Lots of people dismiss it as a faff, but seriously, it could save you a packet and really help you get rid of the clutter/unwanted items. It’s very easy to use and there is a comprehensive FAQ file to read to help you with the basic rules and FC etiquette so there is no need to be worried or apprehensive about trying something new.


Not my usual witty blog type but an important one, both environment and budget-wise.


Give it a whirl and look it up, after all, what have you got to lose? Look up your local group now!

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