Updated: Nov 22, 2022
With the return of the ever-increasingly promoted Black Friday to Black Friday Week, are we being manipulated by marketing or do we think we are savvy shoppers?
Petrol prices rose drastically this year and a slight decrease to £1.69 seemingly makes us think that we are now getting a bargain. Petrol companies are achieving huge profits selling above their purchasing price and we the consumers are ‘fuelling’ this crazy market. I wonder how many noticed that the fuel shortage at the end of last September was just before the end of the quarter on which inflation is based. Unsurprisingly people gave time that they can not get back to sit in queues to pay money to raise prices.
Marketers along with the news media create problems to increase public panic. This year along with the past seven years there has been a threatened Christmas turkey shortage. This encourages the purchaser to buy early, reducing excess stock and with freezers it’s an easy thing to do. More recently we’ve been told there is an egg shortage. If everyone buys more than they usually do, then yes there will be, and prices will increase. However, where I live, I don’t see an egg shortage.
To be a savvy shopper be aware of the manipulation of Christmas lights enticing you in (I do love a Christmas light but…), the world’s system guilt that makes us think a child needs pile upon pile of gifts. Advertising feeds us a dream life where the expectation is that everyone must have the latest iPhone, iPad, PlayStation etc. In reality they don’t.
To draw you in supermarkets place items at eye level, a savvy shopper looks at the top as well as bottom shelf. A savvy shopper knows that those little labels can be confusing and sometimes incorrect. As a shopper I know that buying 2 packets of cheese for £5 when usually a single pack is £2.70 may not be a bargain. I consider whether it’ll be eaten before the sell by date (or go to landfill), whether I want to spend £5 on cheese or perhaps buy one packet of cheese and something else to make a meal. I also think about the health benefits of the food I am buying as I don’t recall seeing healthy foods such as apples or oranges in these deals.
The annual event of Black Friday was a day until recently now is a week where I am seeing advertisements for many things, I am being told I need.
One challenge about this years Black Friday is that item prices are high. A wise person would probably this year consider their budget without using credit cards, I’d suggest take the cash with you.
A second challenge is to think. I have a saying, ‘A bargain isn’t a bargain unless you were going to buy it in the first place’. Were you really going to buy that electric blanket that just popped up in your email from Martin Lewis that is being sold for £3? Am I really going to bring cheer through out the year purchasing a subscription to a magazine that I’ve never read cover to cover even with a 50% discount?
The point I’m wanting to get to isn’t about buying. Buying for some is an emotional response, it makes them feel good (a counsellor will help with that), some buy without having the finances to -if you can’t afford it don’t buy it or think of something less expensive. Think about why you want something too. Martin Lewis promoting electric blankets makes me consider have they been checked to be energy efficient. Do you have blankets at home you can use instead?
We are so heavily bombarded by advertising that it would be amazing if you thought before you bought:
1, Can I afford it?
2, Why am I buying it?
3, Do I really need it?
4, Is it a bargain or can I find a less expensive alternative, a recycled item?
5, Am I being played by the marketing or media industries?
So, the point I really want to get to is cows. People who’ve had conversations with me this year will have heard me mention these four-legged animals. I see them most days out of the window and have watched the young running across the field to be fed and sometimes they run to say hello. Vegans and vegetarians have their view on the consumption of these great animals, but I have a different issue.
The media have been blaming cows and their plumbing for years for their methane production!
It’s been annoying me for some time. Not only are cows unable to respond to their reputation being tarnished but that they are not the only producers of methane. Methane comes fossil fuels which we can reduce our use of however, the real impact we can make is by reading all the above again.
One of the biggest contributions to Methane comes from landfill sites. With 50% of gases coming from methane and being emitted for 50 years (I’ve read that – if you think otherwise do share), I/we/you need to look at ourselves to reduce this figure.
Christmas is one day and I’m thinking bigger than that I’m thinking 365 days of excess!
To reduce our waste it would be great if we consider before we buy where the items will end up. Sadly in this country built in obsolescence is in items. Obsolescence if you aren’t aware was invented by The Phoebus cartel in 1925. In France they are encouraging companies to sell repairable goods however until we have access to that here perhaps thinking about your needs is something I can encourage you to do. Don’t be sucked into Black Friday Deals!
I passionately believe as a steward of this earth, if we really care about our earth, the people who live on it and if you care about cows as much as I do, then I would love you to consider what you really need to buy.
Watch out tho, those marketers are highly trained professionals who share their love of all things shiny, sparkly and new.