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Have a nice day #thrifty #frugal

Just driving to the supermarket these days is stressful and so isn’t it a relief when to find the checkout person is pleasant and helpful? Well run companies know this and train their staff to de-stress us at the checkout knowing we will do almost anything to avoid stress. Stress costs us money because as we walk around the supermarket we are tempted by sugary foods like chocolate and by alcohol. It is worse for smokers who will gasp their way to the cigarette kiosk and then hurry outside to light up.

Have a nice day

Have a nice day!

When people are nice to us, we feel safer and so that American cliché, “have a nice day” is deployed here in Britain too but a little more subtly. In Aldi, the trained staff ask how you are. The manager, who has by necessity been forced into acting as a checkout person, grunts. We notice the difference.

It’s wine o’clock

We make jokes to cover up our need for that glass of wine at the end of the day. All the driving is done for the day and so it’s wine o’clock. Time to watch some mind numbing soap with a glass of wine but does it stop at one glass? The addition of alcohol to our weekly shopping can increase our bill significantly. Stress costs us money. If we have problems, alcohol might help us forget for a while but to solve a problem we need to stimulate the brain and so stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can be addictive too. Even energy drinks can be addictive. We also get addicted to things that make us feel good about ourselves. If an upmarket image is combined with the stimulating effect of coffee and a pleasant barista, what do you get? Starbucks and Costa! These coffee shops are expensive compared to ordinary cafes but people flock to spend their money in them and convince themselves that the taste of the latte is far superior to their local greasy spoon.

Emotions

We are slaves to our emotions and the brain chemicals that are produced by stress and anxiety. If we become more aware of them we can make better choices. We can choose a nice meal when we get home instead of that chocolate bar in the car.  I gave up cigarettes a long time ago and the money saved has been very useful. The withdrawal symptoms go away eventually! I find limiting alcohol harder at times but if we take positive steps to avoid conflict and stress and try to lead a healthier lifestyle then it is easier.

Experiences

We all like pleasant experiences and tapping into this desire for a pleasant experience is the marketing people’s latest idea to part us from our money. Combine an experience with a desire for prestige and you can have a magic formula that will sell cheap scent disguised as posh perfume. The experience can be a pampering in a beauty salon or a fast drive in a luxury car. We are tempted and often tempted to spend more than we can easily afford.

Added value

All these marketing methods are said to add value to a product. They aren’t bad ideas because if a marketing method makes us feel good then it might be worth the money. We have a night out and the next morning all we have is a memory. If it is a good memory then it’s worth the money. I took photos at a museum on Sunday and enjoyed walking around and chatting to people. It cost me money in petrol to get there but I think I got value for money. It was good for my mental health! It was a nice day. We don’t have to be Scrooge-like. We can look for value and squeeze a little more out of every pound.

If you found today’s ideas useful, why not subscribe by entering your email address at the top of the sidebar or follow me on Twitter for updates. You can also find links on my Facebook page. Have a nice day!

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