What's the best £1 you've ever spent? From a corner sofa on eBay to a box of fish fingers that won a wedding dress, I asked what MoneySavers did with a quid
Recently, I went all out and decided to buy a battery-powered milk frother for £1. This small exchange of my small change booked me a one-way ticket to frothy town, and I've floated around since in a bubbly, silky, oat milk heaven. I turned to my editor and said: "I think that's the best £1 I've ever spent."
I bought it from Ikea (in case you're interested), and it got me thinking how the smallest spends sometimes make the biggest difference. You might be asking who needs a flipping milk frother anyway, but this little £1 gadget should mean no more spending £3.50 on dairy-free coffees (it's London), and I find these mini money savings very helpful for my bank balance.
Anyway, I ventured out into the virtual world and asked MoneySavers online, and MSE staff in the office: "What's the best £1 you've ever spent?"
Here's what some of them had to say…
'I got lucky' (£1 fish finger fortune)
What better plaice to start than MSE Tine's fishy tale of how Captain Birds Eye helped pay for her wedding:
I bought Birds Eye fish fingers back when they had a “Win your mortgage” competition on the pack. I won the weekly giveaway of £1,000, which paid for my wedding dress, my shoes, alterations and maid of honour dress. 😊
I've always joked I should've put a sign on the back saying “sponsored by Birds Eye”. The funniest bit – I hate fish fingers and was trying to be a good fiancée as himself-to-be loves them… the first box I ever bought (I still don’t eat them).
- MSE Tine
'I bid for a bargain' (eg, £1 corner sofa)
In a world of bargain hunters, be a Tim Wonnacott (or a David Dickinson, if you prefer). These days, you can buy anything online - my friend once sold his 'soul' on eBay for 11p. It was only a piece of paper with the words 'Darren's soul' on it, but somebody out there bought it, and I do wonder to this day what the buyer was thinking and what they did with it.
Anyway, if you do the right searching (and I don't mean soul searching), you can sometimes bag a steal for £1 on eBay. For tips on getting the best out of bidding see our 40+ eBay buying tips.
Here’s a bit more inspiration from two MoneySavers on Facebook…
My partner bought a dining table on eBay for 99p. We had it for years!
- Kayleigh S
I bought a corner sofa on eBay for a pound once 🤣
- Catherine A
Alan’s keen eye for a fashionable buy did not let him down in this eBay bidding war:
I bought a Levi’s denim jacket for £1 on eBay. I offered a ‘buy it now’ of £50, but the seller declined and wanted to let the auction run. Nobody bid, so at the dying seconds I put in a quid bid and got it. I bet he was gutted.
- Alan W
Susan struck charity shop gold with this £1 dress. See how you can find cheap gems yourself with MSE Jenny’s charity shop bargain-hunting tricks.
A Kruger Madl dress reduced to £1 in a charity shop as it hadn't sold in six months due to a broken clasp. I fixed the clasp by writing to the company and they sent me some from Germany for free. I then sold the dress for £48 on eBay 😂 They’re about €200 to buy brand new.
- Susan C
'I financed a romance'
As you may remember, J.Lo once sang: “Love don't cost a thing”. While that isn’t always strictly true, for the MoneySavers below it only cost £1:
It was 1970 and I offered to buy a coffee for a girl who had missed her train at Paddington. Two cups of coffee at 50p each and we've now been married for 45 years and have 3 great kids!
I spent £1 on a small birthday present for a man I didn’t know that well, who has now been my husband for many years.
- Jan H
‘I made a priceless high street purchase’
Lots of people who responded told me of priceless purchases they just wouldn’t be without. Whether because of sentimental value or just a nifty gadget (not unlike my own magnificent froth-making machine), MoneySavers certainly know how to shop:
I bought my travel plug adapter from Poundland about 13 years ago, and I’m still using it!
- Michele L
Beverly found a way to use her pound to shed the pounds:
Mini cheese grater for my dieting!
- Beverly R
MSE Kelvin's mum bought him the £1 gift that kept on giving:
In the run up to Euro 2016, my mum got me an England-themed bottle opener for £1 that cheered you each time you cracked open a bottle. While I hardly needed the encouragement, it was nice to be given regular positive reinforcement in at least one aspect of my life. The battery lasted far longer than England did in the tournament – while the team stumbled to international humiliation against Iceland in the second round, the opener was still emitting at least a crackle of appreciation right up until the start of this year, when an overly-enthusiastic bottle-opening sadly saw its head wrenched from its handle and the dogged crowd finally fall silent.
- MSE Kelvin
Brenda managed to find a gadget that helped with her arthritis:
I spent £1 at Morrisons years ago for a large rubber gadget shaped as a figure of eight, which I use to open twist lids, jars and other things requiring grip. As I have arthritis in my hands it is a god-send, and means I can open things on my own rather than waiting for help. Given a few as presents and they are valued. Sadly not seen them recently.
- Brenda C
Pardon me, Peter?
A packet of Wilko fat balls. I've had four months unbridled joy, watching tits and robins landing on my feeder every day.
- Peter F
When MSE Molly met her favourite film:
I once bought two DVDs for 50p each from CEX and one of them turned out to be my favourite film of all time - When Harry Met Sally. I’ve now probably seen it about 25 times, and know all the words. All thanks to a £1 spend. I can’t even remember what the other film was…
- MSE Molly
Erm... you're not supposed to keep them, Neil!
A supermarket trolley.
- Neil C
'I made a clever investment'
Smart money decisions can pave the way to brighter futures. For instance, here's Rachel's appreciation for her younger money-savvy self:
The £1 I used to open my first bank account when I was 10 years old.
- Rachel E
And finally, from the original MoneySavingExpert himself, Martin Lewis. Now he may have gone over budget slightly (by £79), but of course I've got to bend the rules on this one as without it, I wouldn't be here writing this.
While it may be massively more expensive than the best £1 ever – back in 2003, I paid a web designer in Uzbekistan (who’d I’d found via a tendering website) £80 to turn my homepage based at the URL moneysavingexpert.com into a proper website with web sections, and an off-the-peg forum. The job took a day or two, was the start of quite a bit more work for him from me, and it all turned out rather well!
- MSE Founder, Martin Lewis
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