These days ‘Pester Power’ is stronger than ever, despite the measures put in place by the European Union to stop companies directly or subtly targeting children in their adverts. Children are encouraged to lust for branded products in many TV adverts, rather than cheaper alternatives. There is however, a great way to easily save over £1,000 on your annual shopping bill.
It seems that over the past decade we’ve been further pushed up the brand-chain by relentless advertising, especially by the big supermarkets; think of all the adverts featuring claims of ‘savings on the big brands’, ‘your favourite brands for less’, and so on. Being pushed up this product chain means we end up paying more for a better-marketed, but essentially identical, product.
So the way to effectively save, and not be drawn in by the promise of a ‘better’ product, is this:
Swap the branded item you would usually buy for the product one level below, for every single product in your shopping basket.
The outcome will be, wait for it, a 30% drop in your shopping bill. If you’re a typical family with a weekly shop of £100, the saving ads up to a £1,750 annual saving!
Now this isn’t a hard and fast rule. If you try a brand/product a level lower and it turns out you don’t like it, go back to your original brand for that particular product, but continue with the ones you do like. That way, you’re much more likely to persist with the plan and benefit from the savings.
Here’s the important bit: Rather than treating those savings as money to be flittered away, use it to invest in a safe Pension Investment Scheme, so it increases in value. Remember, it’s already a saving so you’ll still have the same budget.
It’s also important to remember children are far bigger brand snobs than adults, so they’re going to be less willing than you are to accept unbranded products. Don’t despair, there are ways to combat the pester power
The most valuable lesson to the child in the long term is to explain the merit of what you’re doing, and the benefits of prudent spending and saving. But, if this sounds naïve and doesn’t work too well, you can always take the easy way out and fill up the branded packaging with the unbranded products.
It does require some serious willpower on your part to refrain from cheating and buying the odd branded product here and there, but if you do, remember you’re just ‘eating’ away into your saving. The supermarkets are the masters of customer manipulation; that smell of bread wafting around the store while we shop – perfect to make you feel hungry and subsequently spend more money in the store.
We’d love to hear how you manage with your unbranded plan, and what savings you can make to cut your grocery spending, so let us know. Good luck!