Ego-free shopping – 7 tips for buying wisely


a sportscarWhy did you choose your current car model? Because it was a cult classic, the best-looking, the car that evoked your personality best? Because you liked the colour and design? Because the marque’s adverts are super-cool? Because it’s aspirational?

Was it a lifestyle choice or even a decision driven by your ego… “it’s fast, expensive, stylish and sleek, which makes me feel fast, expensive, stylish and sleek.”

There’s a lot to be said for ego-free shopping. In other words, when you buy the best value and best quality products rather than the most expensive, stylish, trendy, biggest brand or most widely advertised.

Cheaper products are sometimes poorer quality, but by no means always. To an extent, the choice depends on what level of functionality you need. A car – any car – gets you from A to B. A smartphone – any smartphone – lets you access the joys of t’internet and download amazing apps. You really don’t need the latest iPhone when the Nokia Lumia 630 does it all at a fraction of the price.

Here are some ideas about switching to lower cost alternatives. If you feel you’re too far easily swayed by advertising, marketing, peer pressure, designer looks and designer price tags, why not try buying on price and quality instead?

7 ideas for lower-priced consumer goods without the ego tag

  1. The cheapest new car in Britain –  The Dacia Sandero – £5995. Like all cars, it’ll get you from A to B. Want to know more? Here’s a list of the 10 cheapest cars in the UK, thanks to The Telegraph.
  2. The cheapest smartphone – This one is easier said than done, with pay as you go versus contracts and a zillion different types of deal. But Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert has created a really good guide to cheap mobile phones.
  3. Brand new jewellery – You get much more bling for your buck when you buy second hand diamond and gold jewellery compared to new.
  4. Expensive anti-ageing creams – This one’s easy. Anti-ageing products don’t work, full stop. There’s no scientific proof whatsoever. So save your cash and buy something like Oil of Olay’s basic moisturiser instead.
  5. Cosmetics – You could buy Guerlain’s ridiculously costly diamond-studded lipstick for $62,000. Or go considerably less mad and choose a decent-quality high street brand like Bourjois and get more or less the same effect without the 2.2 carats of diamonds, plus emeralds and rubies, that encrust the tube.
  6. Shampoo and conditioner – The TV adverts lie. There’s no way you’re going to get that model-like hair just by using an expensive shampoo and conditioner. Change brands regularly top avoid build-up and stick to low cost alternatives that, in reality, do exactly the same job.
  7. Trainers and jeans– If you’re a grown up, there’s no need to pander to youth trends and spend hundreds on designer trainers and madly expensive jeans. Bye bye ego, hello common sense. It doesn’t mean you end up wearing mum or dad jeans, it just means you ignore the hype and make a much more sensible decision.

We’d love to know your recommendations for the best quality, lowest price consumer goods…


About Author

I’m Kate. I live just outside Brighton, high up on the South Downs, with my husband Tony and our three cats. I’m dedicated to saving money, spending less, buying wisely, cutting waste, re-using, recycling, re-purposing and generating cash from the stuff I no longer want.

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