Brands or Generics?
As with many public bodies, it appears that the NHS has been held to ransom by a bunch of private sector firms seeing Government money and determined to have their pound of that. So drugs are in the thousands of pounds for a course, stationery is prohibitively pricy and uniforms are several times the price of a similar shirt bought in Primark or other discount fashion store.
Unlike many school uniforms, medics' tunics must be bought from specialist retailers, and like those which supply private schools , these firms smell money coming and put on an obscene markup. Pens and pencils are non-existent, stationery blocks and notepads are usually easier and cheaper to find in the local supermarket (which is where I buy my own for 30p for 10 pens and 50p for 10 pencils!) Any charity which is remiss enough to give or send me a free pen to complete a survey with would find it in use in my department, I am sure.
Don't get me wrong, I love brands when I can afford them. My husband and I have done good business and refreshed wardrobes at the outlet malls Stateside for the last 8 years. Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren Polo, Reebok, Nike, Puma, Vans and Clarks are all affordable from the outlet malls, whereas here in the UK we can barely afford one Polo t-shirt for the price of three from an outlet mall.
We buy economy food brands here because for the price of one Heinz tin of beans we can purchase three of the economy brand from the store. My husband has switched from many branded items to store's own because he has come to realise that the quality is just as good these days and the extra money goes on the name, not on the product within. I have rarely eaten branded food - in fact I actively discourage the buying of same because I find there is less of it than buying a store brand. And in any case I can't taste the difference.
I have used economy brand body sprays for years because I prefer the smell. The fact that they are cheaper is a bonus. Same with economy shower gels, rather those with our hard water than the pricey shower cremes that leave my skin feeling greasy.
Are you a brand hound or do you prefer cheap and simple?
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/businessman-leave-marker-text-font-562572/ by geralt