Put any butcher, baker, landlord, or stocktaker against a wall and grill them on the cost of things and they will probably be able to reel off the list of items relevant to their trade and where to get the best value. Put a prime Minister on a radio show and he can’t even tell you the price of a loaf of bread (he bakes his own, you see) but he can plug the flour he uses and the machine too. He just doesn’t know what they cost.
But the PM will be able to confidently give you all the low-down on this or that statute, the nuances of a particular bill before Parliament or the intricacies of the trade agreements with another country. And it’s quite interesting how politicians will talk of paying millions of £’s for something as though they were discussing the cost of a packet of crisps, but get very serious expressions on their faces and talk about the generous increase in the NMW of 12p per hour to a hefty £6.30.
If you want to turn your hard-earned cash into a profit, though, just don’t send the PM or Boris off to the shops together. The only one making a huge profit from their custom would be the shop owner.
Songwriters Kandor & Ebb wrote “Money Makes the World go Round” for Cabaret, but few would disagree with the sentiment. Without it, you can’t live at the level you want to. With it, you can! Anyone who is “in business” is probably constantly working on ways to ensure that they have an excess of the stuff by applying Mr Micawber’s recipe for happiness – spending less than you have, instead of more. Jon Rutter’s teams of stocktakers know what it’s like to juggle the options and ensure that their customers work on Mr Micawber’s happiness formula rather than on Dicken’s other character, Pip, who “… began to contract a quantity of debt …”
Perhaps this is what lead to Ben Hatch labelling himself as Britain’s stingiest dad, with his cost-cutting measures and frugality. His account of the tricks and ploys he uses makes fascinating reading and will have many raising their eyebrows in disbelief or astonishment. From the way he sneaks his own food snacks into Disneyland Paris (strictement interdite) to shopping almost exclusively at Oxfam, his accounts of cost cutting is ingenious. And it stems back to the example he learned from his mother. One of the lines Ben writes jumps out when he says, “… children don’t need expensive things. They just need love and your time.” He is quick to point out that his family do not lack anything. He just has a different way of approaching spending habits in order to stay in profit.
Sky is also doing things differently. They have launched the new Pub Challenge App in an effort to help landlords with their profitability. It’s designed to search for nearby Sky Sports venues that are showing Premier matches and also to incentivise patrons to spread their custom around so that they qualify for prizes and special deals.
And with the Christmas season fast approaching, be on the lookout for the calendars that are being sold to make profits for various charities and causes. Over the years, though, diverse groups have had to resort to ‘nude shoots’ as a way to get their calendars sold. Remember the Calendar Girls? That was the start. Then there have been the Troopie Wives, the Firemen, the Armed Forces etc. The latest is the Foxy Fillies Naked Posh Girls calendar, from the Jed Forest Hunt. All on horseback or holding shotguns or hanging round 4×4’s.
I wonder if there’ll be a Naked Pub Landlord calendar on the cards soon?