Sunday 10 November 2019

Doing Sums

Bless - thank you. Knee continues, but I have pain killers. Cars don't always have personalities, but I suspect that Red is getting one. It's funny. When I was a kid we had a huge, brown estate car (station wagon?). Father drove it over Scotland, Wales, and most of northern and western England. We put thousands on the clock of that car. It had no personality. It was just a car - a great workhorse, but just a car.

After a vicious divorce and a lot of chaos, father bought a car for £25. It may be forty years ago, near enough, but it was still a ridiculous amount for a car. It was a rickety old Triumph, and while father had it he practically rebuilt it. He did a lot of the work himself, but he had to get a mechanic in when the bearings went, and the steering once gave out on the motorway, but it was another great workhorse. That car had more personality than many people I have met. It didn't like the short runs and was hopeless for a quick trip to the shops, but that little car, with a very small engine, ran us up the mountains of Snowdonia, around the Lake District and did day trips from Cheshire to Bath, or up to Northumbria. You could feel it enjoying a good, long, challenging run, and father had Chuggaboom (after the car in the cartoon) for years. So while I don't assume cars have personalities, I don't rule it out.

person standing between shelvings
Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash
I thought I would add a photo from Unsplash as there are a lot of words.

Tesco have launched Clubcard Plus. It costs £7.99 per month and you get 10% off two shops per month and 10% off some of their own ranges. So I could easily save £7.99 from my Tesco shopping in one month except for one thing. It only applies to instore shopping. I do a lot of my shopping online. And, after last week's fun when I went in for stuff that should cost less than £5 and came out with near £100 of stuff, I'm not sure about shopping instore.

I would need to spend either £80 in one shop or £40 in two shops to break even. Further bits, like picking up some school uniform shirts or some crockery will add to the savings. I could probably do two good shops a month that came in at more than £40, with a little planning, but I can see the drawbacks. I have already proved I have gaps in my self restraint in a shop, and Red is only a little car. She has enough room in her boot for kit bags, and £40 plus doesn't buy as much as it used to, but I'm worried about her not getting everything in.

But if I did some decent planning, stuck to a list and got the heavy, bulky stuff delivered once a month, I could save quite a bit. The 10% off the two big shops is capped at a max of £200 per shop, so maximum £400 per month spent on shop qualifies, so max £40 saving, plus 10% off certain own brand stuff at other times, less £7.99 subscription, less impulse buys, less stuff to make the shop up to the right amount, less convenience in online shopping. And the other, insidious point is that if I don't spend at least £80 in one transaction or £40 in two transactions in store, I lose money. And if I shop elsewhere for bargains, I don't spend as much in Tesco and I don't make enough savings to cover £7.99.

Of course, if I'm going to impulse buy anyway then I may as well save. The £93 last week would have been nearer £84, and the saving would have covered that month's subscription fee. In other words, if I shop well, the Clubcard Plus isn't worth it. If I shop badly, it is totally worth it.

I should add that the Clubcard Plus doesn't cover petrol and diesel, stationery, diy, home stuff (apart from Fox and Ivy brand), lottery and stuff like that. It does cover alcohol, but I'm trying to cut down.

According to the T&Cs, it should be easy to cancel as it is month to month, so I may try it and track it. If I do, I will share.

You need a blackbelt in mathematics to work out whether something is a bargain or not!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, you do need to do a lot of maths to see if a "deal" is really a deal. It might be a good idea to try it for a couple of months and see how it works out. It should be easy to spend the minimum required around the holidays, anyway and then, you can stock up for a couple of months before cancelling the card, if you choose to. :)