Many of us will try to find the cheapest products when we are buying things. This is because we want to either be able to buy as much as possible or we want to make sure that we are not spending more than necessary. However, this is not necessarily the best thing to do. We really should be looking to get good value for money. This will enable us to make sure that we are making the most of the money that we are spending.
- What does good value for money mean? Many of us make the mistake that good value for money means that the item is the cheapest available. However, what it actually means is that the item gives us the best for the money. This could mean the best quality, service or whatever. For example, imagine you are comparing chocolate bars. The cheapest bar might give the most chocolate for what you pay, but you may not choose it because you prefer the flavour, texture, packaging, health benefits, manufacturer or other things about an alternative bar You probably do not always buy own brands and avoid big brands and there are many different reasons for this. However, there are also some people that will always buy the more expensive items or those which are branded because they think that these offer good value for money. They assume that paying more will ensure the quality is better. This is not always the case though and it is so important to make sure that you actually try out different products to see which you actually think is best. If they are cheaper products then you could blind taste them and decide whether the ones you are buying really are the best. If you are comparing more expensive items then you will not be able to afford to do this, but the closest you can get would be to ask people you know for recommendations or to read reviews.
- How can we know what is good value for money? We all have our own individual ideas about what offers good value for money for different things. For example, if you like small carrots, then you might be prepared to pay more for them, but someone who prefers large ones would pay more for those. Therefore, this means that there is no definition of whether a specific product can offer good value for money as we all have different opinions on what we are looking for and what we consider to be good value. This means that we have to establish in our own heads what we are looking for first and then see what fits with that. Obviously, we do have a limit on what we can afford to pay or are prepared to pay as well and it is getting a balance between these which is how we will manage to find the items that offer us the very best value for money.
We will need to investigate the products so that we can work out whether they will match our expectations. With cheaper items, such as food, we can try different things but when it comes to more expensive things such as loans or cars, then we will not be able to do this. We will have to rely on past experience, asking other people and looking at reviews to find out what we are prepared to try. This can make it much more difficult, especially if there are things which we know very little about and cannot find much information on. It can be a good idea though to find out as much as we can using the retailer’s website, manufacturers website too if appropriate and perhaps talking to the customer service department about it. Online reviews and rating can be very handy although there is always a risk that they might be biased. Have a look at plenty of them and this will reduce that risk and also trust your own judgement. Asking people you know will also reduce the risk of bias as it is very unlikely that they have any reason to be biased.
It might feel that this is too much hassle, but it can make a big difference. It will probably mean that you will end up spending more money on some things and less on others and in the long-term it should help you to save money as you will not need to replace things so often. Just make sure that if you are buying things like furniture or clothing that you get classic styles and designs and then they will not go out of date as quickly as more fashionable items which tend to soon look aged because within a few months they will no longer be current.