This is the WASTED BLOG. For my main author website, click this link.

Awards: WASTED won the Read it or Else category in the Coventry Award and was runner-up in the North East Book Award. It is longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Manchester, Grampian, Angus, and RED Awards.

Sunday, 17 October 2010


This is nothing to do with Wasted but I have a conundrum for you, which illustrates just how weirdly my brain works.

Today, I bought a new pair of boots. (It happens.) And they had £20 off. Which was lovely, especially since I'd have bought them anyway.

Then, I went into Lakeland and bought three things for a total cost of £20. So, I decided that what I bought in Lakeland was, in effect, free.

But, the three things I bought were in a "buy 3 things and get the cheapest one free" offer. So, the cheapest was free.

Does that mean that the cheapest was free twice?

Or, was a proportion of a boot free, while two of the Lakeland items cost me and the third was free?

I know where the problem in this argument is, but I'd love to hear what you think!

Meanwhile, if you're of school age, don't forget to enter the new competition HERE; and if you're an oldy but know some keen reading/writing young readers, do send them over there. It's the perfect brainy task for a half-term break.


Marshall Buckley said...

I think the key fact is: how much did you expect to spend on the boots or, more precisely, did you know which boots you were going to get, and know the price?

If, having arrived at the shops to buy a pre-determined pair of boots at a pre-determined price, you then found the boots to be £20 cheaper, then you are "up" by £20 (and the Lakeland items are all "free" as you haven't spent more than you originally intended).

If, on the other hand, you left home with only a vague notion that you *might* buy some boots (but might not), then you are "down" by the actual cost of the boots, not by the original price (you haven't saved, since you didn't know the original price).

Therefore, the "cheapest one free" item is only free once.

Another way to look at it, is what would happen if you returned a Lakeland item for a refund? If you returned the cheapest item, you would probably have to return the other 2 items as well, get a refund for £20 then buy the other 2 items again (presumably for £20) - you woulnd't be able to get a refund on the free item alone (or, if you did, the refund would be for £0).

I might be over-thinking this...

Anonymous said...

Naah, it was free twice. Sell it on eBay and buy some more boots.

Nicola Morgan said...

Runny Thinker - I like your thinking.

MarshallBuckley - I respect your thinking and am very pleasantly surprised to see you thinking so much about shopping and boots!

catdownunder said...

The first question has to be, did you actually need any of these things? (Now come on honestly - did you need them?) If you did not need them then you have not saved anything at all. (Sorry, my ancestors were Scots - and you know how to stop a Scotsman/woman from being seasick don't you? :-) )

Sarah Callejo said...

My mind blocked. It does that, it sees numbers and it freezes, just like that. In any case, I think you should go and get some more boots and more free (or not) things. It will make you feel good one way or another.

Sally Zigmond said...

I don't believe anything's free. You paid for the boots and you paid for the items in Lakeland. Check your credit card statement. It's all an illusion to make us part with out money again and again because we think we're winning.

(Sorry. I've been married to an accountant for far too long.)

Colette said...

So far behind on blog reading, but this one caught my attention.

None of the items were actually free. They were each a portion off of the original price. The boots were minus the 20 pounds, the other three items (if equal in value) were each the same cost.