*Public announcement: The trade-off between quality and price is a myth*
Okay, brace yourself for a rant. I’m sorry, but why is it so hard to buy quality these days? Nothing seems to last, everything seems to be expected to break and disposable. I have to buy three pairs of the same pair of jeans I like because they’ll end up stonewashed and frayed dare I attempt to wash them. Because of this complete lack of endurance, we are all afraid of bargains because our knee-jerk reaction has become ‘what’s the catch’, or, ‘its probably just a poor quality knock off.’ And if you do choose to invest in a quality purchase and buy something with a brand or logo on it along comes with the extra zero added onto the price too.
Thank god it’s not just me; it seems like other people have this feeling too. And in true British fashion we’re not having it. You only have to walk down the high-street to see the reverse-wave of consumers cottoning on to the ‘quality costs a fortune’ scam. Trust me, there are quality items out there which don’t come with the ‘quality’ price that high-end brands have fooled us into believing. And often they’re not just cheaper, they’re actually a better alternative too, you just have to look for them. Consider the Aldi Effect; once seen as a downmarket grocery outlet, it is now the UK’s sixth largest supermarket chain and is widely viewed as a haven for middle-class bargain hunters.
You’re probably thinking the same as me; great so there are loads of genuine bargains out there but I’m a modern day mum – who has the time or the energy to hunt for them? And that is where we find me writing this list. So, here are the best products for a champagne lifestyle with a lemonade budget.
Wine and Champagne
The most obvious example of paying for a name, and, lets face it, the most important in this price-quality dilemma. Its been covered in the press a lot recently that Aldi is now the place to go for good wines, and I can vouch for this. An Aldi Australian wine costing just £5.99 has taken gold at the Oscars of the wine world. It was up against wines worth three times as much, and came out ahead, to take gold as well as another 14 medals at the competition. Sure you’ll never be able to buy a bottle of Veuve for under a tenner except in my dreams, but Aldi’s ‘spend a little, live a lot’ slogan certainly doesn’t disappoint. My favourite is this Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut, and its only £10:99 – winning.
Other ones to look for include: the Iron Horse Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015 red wine (which costs £6.99 and won the Silver Outstanding Medal), the Callia Magna Argentinian Malbec 2014, the Estevez Pinot Noir 2014, the Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling 2016, the Lot 17 Wrattonbully Shiraz 2015, and the Exquisite Collection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Tempur Mattress vs. Simba Mattress
As mums we can certainly appreciate the value of a good night’s sleep. But that doesn’t mean you have to splurge £3,000 on the top of the range Tempur; this Simba Hybrid is the worlds’ most advanced mattress with cutting-edge technology after years of research, and they range from just £300-700. Now that’s a price which won’t keep you up at night.
Mulberry Bayswater vs. KeriKit Ivy
Made with the same leather and both luxurious. But the KeriKit Ivy handbag is actually practical too, with a well thought-out tech interior featuring innovative designated pockets, an integrated laptop sleeve and multiple waterproof bottle holders. Oh and its about £1,100 cheaper.
High-End Hotels vs. Air BnB
Using Airbnb for accommodation provides a cheaper, unique holiday. Not only can you get the authentic experience among the local neighbourhood, you get more bang for your buck. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you are saying goodbye to all the amenities of a hotel. Listings often include use of a full kitchen, laundry room, free Internet, and potentially much more. There are usually hosts there to help you too, so why pay for a concierge and a maid service? This whole apartment with gym and pool facilities is just half the price of a high end hotel, and gets you questioning whether pinching the fancy soap with the logos on it is really worth it after all.