Caroline Verdon: Why I’m a bit envious of bargain hunters

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I’m a bit envious of tight people. I don’t mean those who are scroogey and meanspirited with their cash, I mean the bargain hunters.

The people who take the time to research into getting the best deals. My cousin came up to stay at the weekend and before she left she asked where the best place to go was to get petrol. The best place? To me the best place is wherever is on my route at the time in which I run out of petrol.

Imagine if I actually took the time to just look at the pumps and see what cost what and where. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not made of money. I don’t not look because I go home and dive into my money pool like Scrooge McDuck. I just get midway through the month and start wondering just how many times a week we can get away with having pasta and cheese for tea. I reckon that if I started thinking ahead with fuel, I could probably save £100 a month – that’s crazy when you think about it! Imagine how much more I could save if I just put in some more effort?

My friend Lara is a good price researcher. When she needs to buy something, let’s say a new phone, she researches endlessly to make sure the phone she chooses is perfect for her and then once she’s made her decision she Googles within an inch of her life to make sure she gets the best deal on it. It all probably only takes her an hour tops and yet when she bought a washing machine she saved over £200. That’s a pretty nice hourly rate!

My dad knows the cost of everything. And I mean, everything. From a pint of milk to boiling a kettle, he’s got it all engrained on his brain. I’ve talked on air before about how last year he signed up to a last minute five day all inclusive OAP coach trip to the Lake District. He didn’t go because he wanted to see the lakes or meet new people or go on a walk or anything like that. He went because he did the maths and figured out it was cheaper than staying at home, buying his own food and paying to heat his house. He’s the king of couponing and could feasibly list “saving money” as a bonefide hobby. He loves it.

With the increase in environmental awareness, a lot of people have jumped on reusable items as a way to both save money and save the planet. Cloth nappies over disposable, metal straws over plastic, that kind of thing. Often the price can be more upfront but in the long run there’s money to be made. A guy in our office professes that he’s helping the world by using the same piece of tinfoil for at least a week to wrap up his lunch.

Every day he carefully unfolds his sarnie, puts it on a plate, wipes town the tinfoil and saves it for the next day. He’ll tell you he’s helping rid the environment of unnecessary waste but no one is buying his excuse - he drives a 4x4,

We asked this week for stories on spectacularly thrifty people. Carol in Burley gave us a ring to completely rat out her son (she says he’d living in Australia though so she’d get away with it!).

He’s a doctor but he doesn’t buy his own cutlery – instead, when he eats out at a swanky steak house he sneaks the steak knives into his pocket. He’s so bad that not only has he got a complete set but a member of staff handed him one on his last visit saying “here, take this clean one home with you instead”. Completely busted. But at least not in jail!

Now taking cutlery from a restaurant is obviously wrong. Obviously. But it’s a whole other level of wrong when rather than kitchen implements from a big business what you’re taking is cash from your mates! Rob Peberdy contacted us on Facebook about his friend who did just that. A group of them went out for a curry. When the waiter came to take their orders his friend ordered a glass of tap water and a poppadum and that was it. When the food came, he waited for everyone to eat their fill and then got them to pass him their plates so he could eat what was left and not have to pay. What? If he was my friend and was strapped for cash then we’d probably just buy them dinner but if they’re just tight, then that’s outrageous! I don’t think I’ll take any money saving tips from him anytime soon.

When is a date not a date?

I think everyone has been on a ‘date’ and wondered if it’s a ‘date’ or if it’s just two friends hanging out. It’s awkward.

You like them but do they like you in that way? They invited you and not one of their other friends so that has to stand for something right?

But what if all it stands for is that you’re just another one of their friends? It’s a cringey situation. You don’t dare presume and at the same time, you don’t dare ask either.

Instead you both just act weird all evening and the following day are left wondering what on earth it was all about. But you leave it at that.

Unless you are Jada Pinkett-Smith who instead, years later got embroiled in the most gut wrenchingly awkward social media conversation of all time.

Earlier this week she wrote a post about how years ago, way before she met Will, she went on a date with Alfonso Ribeiro aka Carlton from The Fresh Prince.

He replied saying it wasn’t a date, they were just eating dinner. Honestly my insides shrivelled up on her behalf. She responded simply with “my fault Alf…I thought it was a date” and then added in a smiley face to ease the tension (it didn’t ease the tension).

Why on earth did he feel the need to respond? Why not just be flattered? If I were her I would be avoiding him at all future social events.

A replica of the Titanic

So there’s going to be a Titanic 2. Not a sequel or a prequel, I’m not talking films, I’m talking boats.

An Australian billionaire is making an exact replica of the doomed Titanic so that people who love history and the film can sail in it – it’s even going to be sailing the exact same route as the original.

Personally I think this is barmy. Ant however, thinks this is a great idea and genuinely wants to sign up to be able to be one of the first people to go on the copy of the infamous liner which sank in 1912 after hitting an iceburg.

Not for all the money in the world could you persuade me to go on that cruise.

Sure, it’d be fun to walk down that gigantic wooden staircase that you see in the film and it’d be brilliant to recreate the “Jack, I’m Flying” scene but the risk of that whole drowning part is too high for my liking.

I’ll stick to the P&O from Hull to Bruges.

Caroline Verdon is one half of the breakfast show on Radio Aire. You can hear Caroline and Ant between 6-10am every weekday morning.