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I realise that this might seem like a strange post, but bear with me! A fall from my bike really got me thinking, so read on for my tips to help you to ensure that you always get great value for money.
I fell off my bike recently, landed very hard on a tarmac road, and after cycling 5 miles back home, took a quick look at my leg and realised A & E was the only option. It was only when I got to the hospital that I realised the full extent of my injury - a massive gaping wound in my knee! The good old NHS were amazing, and an hour later I hobbled out with 15 stitches and a couple of boxes of painkillers!
Now this is not about the value for money that our NHS offers us, though that is worth mentioning too. The NHS gets so much bad press, but often we forget just how lucky we are. I got personalised service from 3 nurses, one doctor and a radiologist - all dedicated and caring professionals, who work exceedingly hard. Add to that the fact that it did not cost me a penny and I would say that is exceptionally good value for money!
Anyway, back to the original point about what this accident taught me.
My hubby persuaded me to buy, UK designed, dhb thermal tights - he had read the reviews and thought they were great value for money. I really thought that the cheap pair I had got last year would be fine!
However, in hindsight, I am so glad that I bought them. Even prior to my fall I was totally in love with these tights. They were so warm, cosy and comfortable that I had even joked about wearing them round the house. They were great value for money and the padding is also amazing, making them my absolute favourite tights for cycling in.
Now, after the crash, I am so impressed with them that I thought they deserved a blog post all of their own!
As you can see from the photo, (I will spare you the before stitches photo!) it is a nasty injury. I honestly cannot believe that my tights are still completely intact after this fall. No rips, no grazes, no sign of my fall.
The fact that they didn't split meant that no dirt got into the wound. This meant that the job of cleaning the wound was simple, the chances of infection were hugely reduced and therefore my recovery was incredibly quick. Two weeks later I was back to work, and 6 weeks later I was back on my bike.
After reading reviews, I expected these tights to be warm and comfortable, but I did not really think about how they could actually protect me in the event of a fall. After washing them, they honestly looked as good as new.
I am so glad that Dougie persuaded me to upgrade to these dhb thermal tights, as they were great value for money and I dread to think how my knee would have looked without them.
For me this emphasises my belief that money saving is not about buying the cheapest things, but instead is often about ensuring that you get great value for money on every purchase that you make.
How can you ensure that you always get great value for money?
Choose quality brands and products
These are more likely to stand the test of time and will, over time, deliver more value for money than buying cheaper brands. This is not true of all items, but you can decide which items, for you, are better spending a little more money on. Although my Roubaix jersey was expensive it has paid for itself many, many times over and still looks like new. I am currently saving up for fantastic waterproof jacket (Hint, hint Dougie!)
A great habit to get into is to always check reviews before purchasing an item. Many websites now have reviews for their own products, but you may also find a review site like Trust Pilot useful for comparing different websites.
So last year
Some items are much cheaper if they are in last year's colours! For many items, you can get huge discounts simply by buying last year's model.
Once you know the item that you want, use the "shopping" tab in google or use a price comparison website to find the cheapest stockist.
Get into the habit of always checking to see if you can find a discount code. Pouch makes this super simple, with their brilliant system of automatically searching for codes, then adding them at checkout!
Don't forget that on many purchases you can actually earn some cashback. Sign up to Top Cashback and they will give you cashback on purchases you make from over 4000 well-known retailers - there is no catch and it really is a discount from the retailer. Sign up today and download the cashback notifier by going to "features" and you will start making savings every time you purchase from those retailers.
I hope that this post has helped you to think about how you can get best value for money when making purchases.
What's your favourite purchase that has offered you excellent value for money?
Share it with us in the comments below. If you would like to get other tips and suggestions then please pop along to my women's only Your Money Sorted Facebook group.
I am Eileen Adamson, Your Money, Sorted coach, working online with UK based women. I can help you to develop a better relationship with money and feel calm, relaxed and positive about money. This will allow you to feel confident, in control and able to make good financial decisions. Through creating a good relationship with money you can then live the life that YOU want to lead.