I’ll admit it.


My wife creates the most delicious, incredible food.


It’s so good I’ll often finish my meal and lick the plate.


Is it greed?  


Or getting best value?  



My dad used to collect pencils from hotel meeting rooms. He’d wait until everyone had left the meeting he’d chaired, then fill his bag with the meeting room stationery.

His mindset was, ‘It’s paid for’.

When he died, we had a laugh emptying his desk drawers of the hundred’s pens and pencils featuring the branding of mid-priced northeast hotels.


Was he hoarding? 


Or getting best value? 



Lady Gaga reportedly loves coupons. Yes, she can afford to pay full price for her Monster Munch, but there’s nothing she likes more than clipping a coupon and saving 25% on her snacks.


Is she tight? 


Or getting best value? 



Do you lick the plate, liberate the pencils and cut the coupons?  



I’d love to know what you do to get best value.  Let me know in the comments.


Be Brilliant!





  1. May 5th 2022 by Lesley Renault

    I collect the soap and shampoo from hotel rooms. Always useful if someone comes to stay and they need some.

  2. May 5th 2022 by David Palmer

    Yes, pads and pencils are paid for, so I’ll have them. I also insist NO ICE in bar soft drinks as it’s water, free, and takes up valuable space.

  3. May 5th 2022 by Heather Coppard

    I collect the mini sauce and salt and pepper sachets and mini butters/jams from restaurants/take aways to use on camping trips and beach BBQs.I only take the ones we’ve been given- I don’t get scavenging the restaurant 😆
    Husband also loves the ‘free’ pens and notepads in hotels.
    Oh and I love the free toiletries for camping trips too.
    Mmmmmmm I can see a theme here!!!

  4. May 5th 2022 by Robert Brooker

    To get the best value begins with doing what I can to ensure I know the value of what I’m buying, service or goods, and this extends to paying more to not have to wait, so I am honest with myself if I just wanted something now, I will still shop around to find the most attractive option. What makes a choice more attractive is wide open, really, the only times disappointment arises is when I didn’t take enough time to research and reason with myself. I am unable to explain the last two car purchases, other than without a car, I did not feel fully human.

  5. May 5th 2022 by Doug Hertel

    Getting the best value is not getting more for the same price — it’s appreciating what you get for the price. That makes it feel valuable! For instance, sipping a great glass of wine allows you to really enjoy the taste and smell. I pay the same price as the guy next to me who gulps it down, but I derive more value.

  6. May 5th 2022 by Noel Wincote

    I don’t lick the plate per-say, I use a piece of bread It’s more dignified, but what I do love is a gravy-soaked stack of four slices of bread as the dessert?

  7. May 5th 2022 by Julie Jones

    Value is about what makes you feel good. The best value is not always about pounds and pence. I used to take a few pencils, because I like writing with pencils, hindsight has taught me that my notes fade away after time – so I’m not so pencilly any more. I do like to buy in bulk though, to the detriment of not being able to fit everything in the cupboard. Also, we don’t like shopping much – so time saved is valuable. My mother would create if we thought about licking a plate, but I have been known to drink the remaining milk from a cereal bowl….Don’t Tell!

  8. May 5th 2022 by Annette Gamble

    Brilliant service as always.

  9. May 5th 2022 by Dan Altmire

    Great point.
    When you read a book or watch a video for a second or third time, is that greedy?
    When you only eat a portion of the serving of food because I am satisfied, is that RUDE?
    If they don’t want you to take the pencils, why do they put their logo on them?
    Now I do draw the line on taking place settings and the silver.
    I think we sometimes are a bit too analytical. Lick on Micheal.

  10. May 5th 2022 by Susan Salmon

    I’m a BOGOF girl myself. Love a good buy one get one free. Always feels like a bargain!

  11. May 5th 2022 by Louise Campbell

    I am frugal and it is a skill I transfer to my daughter. If she asks for something in the supermarket I will agree if she can come back with the best value product. It is good to be grounded and appreciate everything which I have worked really hard for. However I question if I were born into money would I be just as disconcerting?

  12. May 6th 2022 by Susan Wilson

    I always take the unused butter pats and the jam portions if not used when we go in to a cafe for a scone and cup of tea. I also like looking for bargains.

  13. May 6th 2022 by Teresa McTavish Cripps

    I water down things…… fabric softener, i usually get a quarter of a bottle more.
    When dressings and sauces come to the near end of the bottle, i add approx a cm of boiled water, replace the lid and shake! I do this with shampoo and conditioner, cleaning solutions etc.
    I recycle diffuser reeds, and leftover wax from candle jars.
    Im also a hotel toiletries collector, including sachets of sugar, coffee, tea bags, sauce etc.
    My kids take the micky out if me all the time, but as my mum used to say, ‘take care of the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’

  14. May 11th 2022 by Jackie Winnell

    I love bargains and like getting my monies worth. When I used to travel or go to conferences a lot I would collect all the free notepads, pencils, plus lots and lots of free local places of interest leaflets and when I had a suitable bag full I used to take them to my local primary school and give them in, the leaflets were always popular as the children would cut out animals, trains castles and make collages!

  15. May 11th 2022 by Paul Cooling

    Hi Michael, I used to be a hoarder and would try to get best value by taking all the freebies but the realisation dawned that doing so was just increasing costs to the host which would invariably be passed on. Now I just take the shampoo that I already started in the hotel & leave the rest working on the basis that any remainder would only be thrown away. I no longer take the pens/pencils note pads as it’s not helping the environment and I have loads from the past 20 years anyway. when Mum passed away we gave away to a local charity a whole draw full of mini hotel soaps that she had collected over the years. There must have been 300 bars – now that was greedy and well beyond getting best value!

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