Fine Gael doesn’t get much right these days but it has done the country a service with the launch of its consumer website, www.valueireland.com.
Having come to the site too late to benefit from Christmas shopping hints this year, I certainly intend to do my January sales hunting with print-outs of comments and the experiences of the hundreds of consumers who are now adding their rip-off and value stories on a daily basis.
A quick scan of the site last week showed that had I been a bit more purposeful in shopping online for the bulk of my CDs, DVDs, the DVD recorder, and Game Boy Advance purchases that were made at Christmas, I would have saved more than €110.
With a programme of home improvement projects on the cards for this year, I will be making a special trip to the DIY outlets in the north where lists of savings are posted.
It probably won’t last, but “thrift” seems to have replaced house prices as the most popular topic of the chattering classes these days. It has been a long time coming but the rot set in with the changeover to the euro and, two years into the single currency, we are all becoming a lot more aware of how expensive it is to live in this country.