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"Sometimes you just can't help comparing" - Do you agree? What do you compare? You could win £250 by sharing your thoughts with E.ON NOW CLOSED

(115 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Oct-13 09:59:04

Inspired by the new E.ON comparison tool, they have asked us to find out your views on comparing - not just energy consumption but in other aspects of your family life too.

E.ON says "How does your energy use stack up compared to other E.ON customers in your area? Now, if you manage your E.ON account online, you can find out with the Saving Energy Toolkit our new energy comparison tool to help you use no more than you need."

So, if you are an E.ON customer and manage your account online, check out the comparison tool and let us know how your energy use compares to similar E.ON customers homes near you. Has knowing this prompted you to make some changes to how you use energy in your home? If so, what sort of changes do you think you could make? What quick fixes could you make? What could you plan for the future?

If you're not an E.ON customer (or don't manage your account online) please share what sort of things you compare with other people or with things you read or see in your own life: does this make you ever change your own behaviour? For example: do you compare your child's lunchbox with his/her friends and get ideas for your own? Or do you ask friends what books they've enjoyed and then go onto buy/ borrow them yourself?

Everyone who adds a comment to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £250 voucher (a "Compliments voucher" (a multi-store gift voucher that can be spent at 130 retailers and 450 independent stores making up over 20,000 outlets nationwide).

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ
For prize draw terms and conditions please click here - by posting on the thread you are agreeing to these terms

Bubbles85 Mon 21-Oct-13 11:29:26

I tend to compare recipes with other people. I always come back from visiting friends with plenty of ideas for meals for my family.

grape999 Mon 21-Oct-13 12:09:19

Currently looking to reduce petrol costs, so I compare cars and their fuel economy with everyone. Still not found any car big enough that won't cost a fortune!

Elainey1609 Mon 21-Oct-13 16:07:16

I compare many things
trying to live on a budget and at the same time buy for Christmas.
I look on price comparison websites and use blogs ect for best prices or deals.
I am currently looking for a decent food processor for mum for xmas present and doing all the shopping around at present and comparing prices.
Also keep an eye on petrol prices at all the stations near me to get cheapest.

Turnipvontrapp Mon 21-Oct-13 18:32:09

I compare lots of things.

Prices on the Internet of most things I buy, especially high value items.

Electricity, gas, cars, supermarkets, holiday resorts.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 21-Oct-13 18:38:26

I compare the price of more or less everything I buy. Drives DH mad when he's about to buy something and I say "I can get two of those for that price in Home Bargains elsewhere, put it back."

I do find energy price comparisons baffling though. So complicated and so many permutations, I just trust the comparison sites to do the maths for me.

BlackberrySeason Mon 21-Oct-13 19:00:18

Comparing Xmas spending with the ladies on the Xmas bargain threads here has made me decide to spend way less this year and buy everything at reduced prices smile

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Mon 21-Oct-13 19:25:43

I compare the prices of most things I buy by searching online or using mysupermarket for groceries, comparing petrol pump prices etc, but I've never done a comparison for utilities providers. I feel like I should, but we're serial short-medium term renters and have very little idea of what kind of usage we have.
It's not just prices I compare. If I'm looking for a new product, I'll seek advice from friend and online to compare the different options available to get the most suitable one for us and the best value for money.

SalBeautyMoll Mon 21-Oct-13 19:36:22

"• The names of the winners can be obtained by writing to Matt Francis, Digital Team, E.ON Energy Solutions Limited, Newstead Court, Little Oak Drive, Sherwood"

The above is part of the terms and conditions of this particular competition. Could you tell us whether our real names are divulged to whomever asks to know, or just our screen nn? I know it's unlikely many people would bother to write in and ask, but it might make us traceable if we win.

Thanks.

Tinlegs Mon 21-Oct-13 19:37:30

I think comparisons are, and have always been, a part of everyday life. Is the weather today better or worse than yesterday? How does it compare with the forecast? Which would be cheaper for a holiday - France or Italy, cottage or caravan? Who is going to win the game / championship / competition? Why?

How are my children doing at school? Are they better than others? As good? Struggling?

Does my bum / tum / cankle look big in this? Too big? Anything like the model in the photo? Could I get away with that look / those trousers / that hair do at my age? Ever? Why not? Can she?

And then came the internet....and we can do it with everything: restaurants, books, films, prices, bargains, celebrity disgraces, grumpy looking cats, music......even mortgages and electricity and plane tickets and the price of a tin of beans.

I am not sure how I could get through a day without making some kind of comparison. Maybe I should give it a try...

creepypenisreaper Mon 21-Oct-13 19:55:34

I compare the idea of living on a desert island and living off of the land like the Swiss Family Robinson, as opposed to paying silly rising gas and leccy prices.

themummyonthebus Mon 21-Oct-13 20:11:32

I compare recipes and shopping prices with friends.

asuwere Mon 21-Oct-13 20:39:12

I compare most things - I'm not obsessed but I think it's quite natural to compare little things with other people. I do compare bills especially - takes ages to choose home/car insurance as I make sure I've compared all possible options to make sure I'm getting a good deal. I also compare my gas/electric regularly and switch whenever I can get a better deal. I am happy to say I have no loyalty to any company for anything! smile

woodchuck Mon 21-Oct-13 20:39:38

I also compare the price of EVERYTHING as I am always really skint. I also compare my breasts with my colleagues smile

I try not to compare my kids as it is not a productive exercise and only makes everyone feel bad

HootyMcOwlface Mon 21-Oct-13 21:18:12

I compare the price of big ticket items online, and try and get a price match if I can.
I compare my parenting with the way my parents did things. For example the way I treat my son or the family outings we have. I have some lovely memories of being a kid and I want the same for my boy.

GetKnitted Mon 21-Oct-13 21:23:25

New swimming costume this weekend, too low cut for my taste and too late to change (online purchase!!) I spent a few minutes comparing cleavage (a largely reassuring exercise smile)before remembering that it was none of their business or mine!

I already use very little energy (£50 a month DD dual fuel based on regular readings), but I research deals on pretty much everything, I can usually find a cashback or discount voucher for things I'm buying.
Last month I got my home & contents down by £40, plus £60 cashback, plus £2 for using a comparison site (even though I didn't buy through them).
I love knowing that I've got a good deal, and the money I save goes towards reducing the mortgage, this saving even more in the long run.

QueFonda Mon 21-Oct-13 21:32:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SacreBlue Mon 21-Oct-13 22:31:51

I compare energy bills not easy in NI as we have limited places to compare

I also compare all my previous bills so even though E.ON isn't in NI if you provide an ongoing 'compare your usage' I love that kind of service assuming your builders/landlord/energy company hasn't labelled your meter as you neighbours

Nothing like spending over 5yrs being careful with your leccy only to find you were paying your neighbours bill & vice versa shock

Other than that my main treat spend is eating out - so restaurant get a lot of comparing in our house!

ouryve Mon 21-Oct-13 22:33:13

I tend not to compare things with other people.

I'm a data, rather than an anecdote person for most purposes. If I want to know the fuel efficiency of something I'll look up stats, online. If our neighbours have brand x, their experience isn't going to help us work out whether brand y is any good for us, after all.

mawbroon Mon 21-Oct-13 22:51:49

I compare prices in the supermarket. Not always easy. If there is a bag of apples marked by price each, I will weigh the bag to compare with the one which is priced per KG.

And very often I find that the ones on "offer" are NOT the cheapest hmm

SetFiretotheRain Mon 21-Oct-13 23:50:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I have just started online shopping for food and use a comparison site... It can be quite confusing but I need to be more careful where my money is going.

JustBecauseICan Tue 22-Oct-13 06:54:02

I rarely venture into real live shops, and especially this time of year, spend all day peruse the bargain threads and then all the code sites before reaching for my credit card.

and yes, I do compare my dd's class results with her best friend's

lolancurly Tue 22-Oct-13 07:23:00

I compare a lot of things, like the cost of large items I am going to buy and value for money. But, I also compare silly things, like does my sister have a nicer kettle than I do or more interesting food in her fridge! She shops at Waitrose and I shop at the Co-op - she has more interesting cheese than I do....the list is endless! I compare my husband with my sisters other half - is he more generous/fitter/helpful around the house? The list of comparisons is endless!

As I'm not the tallest person ever, at a mighty 5ft nothing, I compare my height with others on a regular basis.
Comparing with adults I fairly much always come off worse, so I've taken to comparing my height against that of children.
Sadly that means I now know I'm shorter than some 9 year oldshmm.
I'm sure they didn't make children that big beforegrin.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Oct-13 08:14:54

SalBeautyMoll - good point...bear with as I need to check it with E.ON and their legal team.

gazzalw Tue 22-Oct-13 09:41:20

I compare little (except commentary on my football team and other children's behaviour or rather the parents approach to disciplining their children, or not, as the case may be!) whereas DW compares much (very competitive upbringing) even though we are not exactly well-off and actually we aren't very materialistic. Actually thinking about it, it's more to do with academic prowess and manifestations of learnedness that she's on a constant comparison mission. Yes, bargain-hunting and who can get most for their money is one major source of comparison that's high on our household agenda too!

Yes, I actually think it would be quite unnatural not to fall into the comparison trap, but maybe that says something about our culture and how we value ourselves and other people - ponders whether the Dalai Lama compares and contrasts life, love and the universe - I think possibly not.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Oct-13 10:24:04

SalBeautyMoll - T&Cs now amended. thanks

I do compare quite a lot, I try not to but I do!
Homes
Gardens
Children
Toys
Food
Car
Holidays
Days out
Pushchairs
Clothes

My material things are almost never as good but my dh and children are always better wink (biased!)

I think comparisons come from insecurities.

isitme1 Tue 22-Oct-13 11:19:11

I compare a lot but I think my biggest comparison seems to be between my 2 boys

My eldest ds is 3 and has always been a fussy eater since day1 and has never reallu thrived. Turns out he has medical issues and is in hospital a lot. Then comes ds2 who is 3months who is half the weight of ds1. Just comes to show that you dont get 2 the same.
I was comparing ds1 weight and 3months and ds2 at his current weight and ds2 'wins'.
In short ds2 is very healthy compared to ds1 but my love for the both of them remains the same

thlsmile

I compare:

- prices online before making purchases
- houses on the market locally (not even planning on moving but love looking on rightmove)
- average monthly temperatures in holiday destinations
- insurance quotes
- petrol forecourt prices
- ideas for entertaining the kids with other parent's plans to get ideas from each other
- gardens in the neighbourhood whilst walking my dog

I think it's natural to make comparisons, it's something I do without thinking most of the time.

Merrylegs Tue 22-Oct-13 12:30:10

I just checked the EON comparison tool and apparently we use 74% more electricity than other homes. I am blubbing now. And working out how I can turn tears into energy. Boo hoo.

Fumnudge Tue 22-Oct-13 12:50:42

I compare my husband to my friends' husbands! Usually he comes off quite well in comparison

3bunnies Tue 22-Oct-13 13:25:34

I compare prices of things I want to buy such a toys, clothes etc looking for a bargain. I also compare prices in stores, especially 'special offers' it is amazing how many things in supermarkets on offer are available in a different format for less next to the things on offer.

I recently did compare energy prices and have switched saving about 200 pounds, worth it for a few minutes work.

flamingtoaster Tue 22-Oct-13 13:34:42

I compare prices of any major purchases online before buying.
I compare prices of products I use all the time on mysupermarket.com and buy in bulk when they are on offer.
I should compare the prices quoted by the various energy companies but have heard such awful stories about people being charged twice when they switched etc. that I am currently getting up my courage given the recent price hikes.

clubnail Tue 22-Oct-13 13:47:37

I don't compare my life, or what we own, to other people's - some will be less well off, some better.
I don't compare what we eat to anyone else - we eat what we like and want to, I don't really care what other people do.

I do compare prices. Every year we check we are paying the best prices for gas/electric, etc. I always compare prices when shopping, and enjoy tracking down a bargain. It's so easy now with everything online.

SalBeautyMoll Tue 22-Oct-13 14:00:28

Thanks Ann re T&Cs.

Im not an eon customer but i do compare prices online for everything. if i am buying a game for the children ill look around for the best offers,discounts or codes! if im buying food shopping i shop in a variety of different places even though it means a bit of traipsing around. I recently compared my broadband prices through topcashback and switched providers earning £121 in the process smile comparision is important to get the best deals

I definitely compare prices, and I can sort of see the point of comparing energy costs with those of your neighbours if your houses are identical, but living in a village where no 2 houses are identical there doesn't seem a lot of point to that. Plus I am in denial about how much oil we use so I don't want to think about it too hard.

CMOTDibbler Tue 22-Oct-13 16:25:29

I frequently compare my dog to others, and tell him how dim he is in comparison!

Compare everything! Out husbands good points and bad points, hours our children sleep, what they eat, how much free time we have as well as more tangible things such as recipes, health tips, sales bargains etc

As soon as I saw this thread I had to add "Comparison is the thief of joy", Theodore Roosevelt...it is often quoted around communities of parents of children with additional needs. In this sense, comparison is useless and will make people unhappy about their perception of the lack of progress in their child.

The same would apply to material possessions and life events out of our control.

However a wise person would use price comparison websites and other consumer tools as businesses increasingly try to bamboozle customers with ever more unreadable tariffs and bills.

lapsedorienteerer Tue 22-Oct-13 19:32:43

I am an e.on customer and this prompted me to compare. I'm feeling fairly smug but must admit it has prompted me to order an 'Energy Saver Powerdown' thingy! i.e. I have a TV that has no real off switch, it's always on stand-by unless I switch off the plug (which is in a hard to reach position).

SalBeautyMoll Tue 22-Oct-13 19:51:34

The web is brilliant for comparing info about everything in order to make wise selections, e.g. buying goods, holidays etc. My teenage dd just can't fathom how we managed without it, in them olden days.

I try to avoid comparing myself with peers but often fail because I don't think it's healthy for my self-esteem or pride.

IncaAztec Tue 22-Oct-13 20:25:50

I probably compare too many things. Mostly in the hope of getting a better deal. However, I find some savings too marginal to bother with (e.g. £2 change on a car insurance deal probably not worth the hassle). I am currently comparing prices on a dining room furniture set. The difference in costs is vast, but you have to bear in mind the quality...

MadMonkeys Tue 22-Oct-13 20:35:30

Surely everyone compares loads of things... the clothes other people wear, their children's skills and aptitudes, the weather from one day to the next, the price of milk in different shops... I think I compare pretty much everything.

Spirael Tue 22-Oct-13 21:04:02

I compare everything I am considering spending money on at great length. I won't just walk to the nearest shop and buy some shampoo... No I'll visit all the shops I can reach that sell shampoo to check for the best offer currently available on one of my preferred brands.

Drives my DH insane, but also pleases him at the same time. He's an accountant and very protective over money! Obviously over the years it's rubbed off. wink

Spent many happy hours recently designing our ideal bedroom, then researching and comparing to get the best items possible within the budget I'd been given. Time consuming, but very satisfying!

LonelyGoatherd Tue 22-Oct-13 21:13:30

Everything - financial stuff on price comparison websites, what my mates are doing on social networking sites, how amazingly different (but equally fabulous) my DC are, how everyone has different stresses in life, be they work, family or other.

amistillsexy Tue 22-Oct-13 21:20:00

I compare my son who has ASD with other NT children. I like it most when he comes out well grin

I compare prices all the time in supermarkets, constantly trying to cut the cost of feeding the family!

sharond101 Tue 22-Oct-13 21:58:51

I compare everything, it's an unhealthy obsession because I always consider what I am currently doing to be the wrong thing and the alternative better so. Just now I am comparing my Mum's organisation skills to my own as I have gone and lost my keys.

Theimpossiblegirl Tue 22-Oct-13 22:33:29

I compare prices before buying or signing up to anything. This is one of the best things about the internet.

I love saving money.
smile

Wallison Wed 23-Oct-13 10:48:54

I'll tell you what I compare, Eon. I compare your prices with the other five big energy companies and I find that they are roughly the same. Some less charitable people than me would say that this is evidence of cartel-like behaviour and in contravention of EU competition laws, but they're probably just nit-picking.

I also compare the price that I pay for my energy compared to what people on a meter pay for theirs. Given that they're on a meter because they are struggling to pay their bills, I find it appalling that they are actually paying more per unit used than I am. I wonder how you can justify this practice of charging more money for the same product on the basis that one customer's income is lower than another's.

Lastly, I compare the fact that you and all of the other energy suppliers are going on the news and informing us that the reason our bills are going up by an average of 10% this year is because of the price of wholesale gas and electricity, to the fact that you and British Gas and EDF etc are actually wholesalers yourself. I wonder how it can be the case that wholesale prices are rising at a rate out of your control when you yourself are setting them and indeed paying those prices to yourself, funded by us, your customers. It's an interesting scenario, isn't it? What else could this practice be compared to, I wonder? Some would say a stitch-up, or maybe a rip-off; I don’t know. But whatever it is, it is not free market capitalism, and we the consumers are funding transfers of massive sums of money that you guys at the top slosh around between yourselves.

And yes, I am angry.

HavantGuard Wed 23-Oct-13 15:00:27

^ that

Profiteers.

KenDoddsDadsDog Wed 23-Oct-13 15:01:08

"Nothing compares to yooooooou"

Wallison Wed 23-Oct-13 16:06:35

Thanks, HavantGuard. Grrrr. And grrrr again.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Wed 23-Oct-13 19:05:52

What Wallison said so succinctly.

And - I also compare how much more complicated and expensive the energy tariffs have become to give us the illusion of choice to the simple, straightforward situation that existed when the energy industry was nationalised.

smokinaces Wed 23-Oct-13 20:05:10

I feel like im forever comparing everything. Does one child do things before the other, is one better academically than the other, one better at manners and social skills, how do they compare with their friends? How do I compare to my friends with parenting?

And then the price comparisons of course. Compare petrol prices, insurance quotes, energy use etc

No wonder im constantly shattered, I work in a job which means I am constantly comparing data too!

Happiestinwellybobs Wed 23-Oct-13 20:08:58

I do "sensible" comparisons, so do use price comparison websites for energy suppliers, insurance etc. I also compare prices in the supermarket, often using the calculator on my phone to check smile

Day to day, I will compare whether someone is thinner, taller, prettier than me... Sad but can't help it.

I also compare how my daughter is doing against her peers, although I really try not to be competitive or let it worry me at all. I just like to know how she is doing.

CheeryCherry Wed 23-Oct-13 21:21:49

I suppose I compare my situation/lifestyle/every day life to others rather a lot! Sometimes I use this info to improve things, sometimes it makes me feel happy/glad and helps me appreciate my life more. I work with special needs children, it keeps me grounded and thankful. If I compare my own dcs life and future with theirs...it helps me do my job to the best of my ability. And reminds me to have fun, and be fun, every day.

RedBushedT Thu 24-Oct-13 00:26:12

I compare purchased frequently in order to get the best value. I compare my monthly household energy bills with family & friends to see whether I'm paying a lot more. If so, why? And can I cut back to try to match their savings grin

Preciousbane Thu 24-Oct-13 01:21:47

Food costs always compared and noted.

I have a weakness for scotch eggs. Aldi are the cheapest at 64p for two and Co-op are 1.39 for two. With all other local shops inbetween.

I try not to compare myself to others, I can't help it sometimes but can lead to misery.

dahville Thu 24-Oct-13 09:42:31

I should compare and I mean to compare but I am lazy blush. I am afraid that I probably don't get the best deals that I could.

I do compare my child to the other children at daycare and I am happy to report that he is the nicest, smartest, happiest, most handsome boy there!

Snog Fri 25-Oct-13 07:53:25

if you dont compare, how do you know what is good?
the secret of happiness is to compare to people who have less wink wink

nerysw Fri 25-Oct-13 09:46:40

I compare everything and am always on the look out for anything useful (it's better to steal one good idea than have ten crap ideas of your own..). I compare prices of most big purchases before I buy and like the sense of smug fulfilment I get from knowing I got a good deal. I like to know which supermarket has the cheapest of any particular item and am only brand loyal for toilet paper - anything else will be swapped after comparing prices!

cather Fri 25-Oct-13 16:28:25

I compare prices of things I am planning to buy, compare my children to other children, compare petrol prices, food prices and clothes

janeyh31 Fri 25-Oct-13 17:26:03

I will compare most things on line before I buy to make sure i get the best deals around. This can be anything from kids toys for christmas to holidays and larger products such as washing machine.

PatoBanton Fri 25-Oct-13 17:33:34

God this is worse than the weekend Guardian photo competition.

This week, the topic is comparing.

This week, I have been mostly comparing:

Both of my FEET.

Thanking you.

DoubleJ Fri 25-Oct-13 19:18:51

I'm really concerned that the web site diverts you without warning to a server in the US. It is also repopulated with your email address.
This just shouldn't happen with out us knowing.
Not good
/emo/te/9.gif

ladygoingGaga Fri 25-Oct-13 19:20:28

I compare everything, mostly what I am about to buy whether its goods or a service, I want to be as satisfied as I can be that what i am buying is the best value for money.
I use comparison websites for insurance and services to help me do this. However with utilities I find very little difference in price, I usually end up going for the one with the biggest cash back.
For goods I generally read reviews for most things I buy, as i don't just buy the cheapest, but want the best product for my budget.

I also compare behaviours in me/kids/friends, achievements in fact there is not much I don't compare, even if I don't admit it in RL grin

majjsu Fri 25-Oct-13 20:38:50

I compare a lot of items I buy, to make sure am getting the best deal. It is amazing what you can save. I hate feeling ripped off. Plus I love a bargain!

telsa Fri 25-Oct-13 20:59:55

I compare prices of books I want to buy on ebay, Amazon, pother sites. tend to spend a lot of time comparing before biting.

I also compare prices of appliances on various websites.

peronel Fri 25-Oct-13 21:39:30

I compare lifestyles now with those of, say, 50 years ago and I wonder if we are happier as a result of change or if things were better in 'the good old days'.

Meanderer Sat 26-Oct-13 00:02:42

yes i use price comparison websites often - we have just switched energy provider to save £££s.

LentilAsAnyFUCKERthing Sat 26-Oct-13 00:37:51

Price comparison, sure, I compare regularly to ensure we are being financially sensible.
Comparing myself with others, no - there will always be people better off, and always people worse off. I don't see any point in comparing in this regard.

PatoBanton Sat 26-Oct-13 08:42:00

I forgot about penis size.

Not that I have got one myself. But it is crucial.

gretagrape Sat 26-Oct-13 08:51:59

I compare energy prices before switching to a fixed deal.
Recipes - I'm not a great cook so it's always good to see how other people make the same meal.
Prices - before buying anything I compare prices on online comparison sites.
Clothes - asking people what they think of the quality of stuff if I haven't bought from that shop before.

AndHarry Sat 26-Oct-13 10:21:02

Non-EON customer.

I often see people doing things really well that I find difficult and try to figure out how they did it so I can improve. That ranges from dealing with a small child who's misbehaving through to giving an engaging, thought-provoking speech at a conference. I think that positive kind of comparison where I learn is very helpful. Sometimes I negatively compare myself to others but that is more a reflection of the kind of day I'm having!

Scitteryscattery Sat 26-Oct-13 13:06:03

I compare the prices of larger things I'm buying and do use comparison websites for things like energy prices.
I also compare the state of my house with other people and use it as a prompt to get tidying!

sarahj68 Sat 26-Oct-13 14:19:40

I'm with E-on and I used the comparison tool. I think we are a fairly economical household and my kids are quite well trained in switching lights and electrical equipment off. I was surprised to see we were in the middle of the chart, better than some houses, but not as good as most at reducing our energy consumption. I read about ways in which we could save money and ticked off the ones that we do already. I'd like to get our use of fuel, and bills, lower so I will be trying out some of their ideas (not so long showers for a start). I've signed up for an energy monitor when they are available in my area, as I think a device in the home showing where the biggest amounts of energy are used will be helpful.

my children

many people don't admit it.

here i am saying it

startupDad Sat 26-Oct-13 14:39:15

I compare to inspire myself to do better - if a peer of mine can do something (get a job, fix a toilet cheaply, buy a great suit, toilet train their child by 6 months), then I become inspired to think I can do the same, and just need to follow their path.

Orange01 Sat 26-Oct-13 16:52:00

I compare most things, I check websites to review before I buy anything. I always check e bay or quidco to see if I can get it cheaper or get cash back. With Christmas coming up its a no brainer!!smile

Tyranasaurus Sat 26-Oct-13 18:40:40

I don't really compare much. I find things like this energy comparison rally boring- I would much rather over pay for my electricity than have to wade through something like that.

I don't really compare anything except prices of things I need to buy. I used to compare myself to unrealistic ideals all the time; it's a very stressful way to live.

I never quite know how to react when other parents start a comparing conversation. As long as I think DS is doing his best, I genuinely don't care.

sabretiggr Sat 26-Oct-13 23:24:11

Comparing kids progress always seems to happen amongst parents whether it is first steps, first words or how they are getting on with their times tables and spelling tests at schools!

Can make me feel worried initially - but then i remember that all kids are different and are at different stages and abilities and that there is little point comparing like this when it comes to child development!

We recently compared our credit card with another we spotted and have switched and are getting a much better 'cash back' type deal. So sometimes it is good to compare.

OPeaches Sun 27-Oct-13 10:48:40

I compare myself against other runners. I've recently started joining Parkruns - non-competitive but timed 5k weekly run. My competitive spirit means I've shaved almost two minutes off my 5k PB. Comparing is good!

On a negative side, I compare myself against colleagues and always feel I'm lacking. Comparing is bad!

Mamafratelli Mon 28-Oct-13 09:18:08

I do compare lots of areas of spending to get the best deal. Supermarket comparisons, search for offers online, search for the lowest energy tariff etc etc. I have never thought to compare my actual energy usage with others in similar houses. I think it is genius! I wish we were with E-on do that I could use the toolkit. We are looking for a new provider so will be doing comparisons soon.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 28-Oct-13 09:26:13

I amuse myself in the supermaarket queue by comparing shopping. see ho has the healthiest, who has a party planned, whose is themost/least expensive etc. it is a novelty to be ble to stand in the queue without wrestling a small boy approaching/in meltdown.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 28-Oct-13 10:16:32

I always use comparison websites for all insurance, energy suppliers.

I compare how I look against other women, how I'm dressed, size of my house, quality of my cakes, etc. Can't help it. grin Wish I didn't care.

newtothenet Mon 28-Oct-13 10:45:46

I compare shop bought things with my own home made things! I love crafting and am always seeing ideas in shops that I try to make myself at home - particularly Christmas gift ideas.

BoysWillGrow Mon 28-Oct-13 12:06:35

I compare things like broadband and phone packages online, the only other things i kind of compare are toys at our local playgroup. If theres something they really enjoy playing with I'll compare prices and keep them in mind for christmas or birthdays.

foolssilver Mon 28-Oct-13 12:56:25

I definitely use comparison sites for big purchases, bills, financial products etc.

Currently 30 weeks pregnant so I'm also comparing my bump to other women!

magentastardust Mon 28-Oct-13 14:03:57

I compare food prices when shopping ,and will be comparing the price of toys/gadgets etc before I do all the Christmas shopping.
This is a positive comparison experience !

I also however compare how I look , what I am wearing, what other people can buy their dc's to other friends and people around me which is just nonsense really and is a really negative thing to do. Recently I have been a lot more confident and been doing this a lot less and not caring about anyone else and it is sooooo much better!

OrangeJuiceSandwich Mon 28-Oct-13 16:07:08

My husband is in the army so I find myself comparing a lot with my 'settled' friends and family. I recently had a baby and felt very low afterwards because we just didnt have the support that we might have had if we'd been anywhere near our home towns. I find myself a bit tearful at the school gates when I see the Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, cousins etc picking up the other children in DS's class, whereas its always me. I didn't even have someone to put as an emergency contact for the school as we just don't know anyone and our families are 6 and 8 hours away. I long to actually be part of somewhere.

TerrorTremor Mon 28-Oct-13 16:47:13

I compare all the females in our families personalities.

Sometimes, it's like looking into a mirror.

Others, we are miles apart. smile

I compare the things I buy online, but I wonder whether I spend too long comparing little things and forget to compare the big ones.

Letitsnow9 Mon 28-Oct-13 17:37:37

I do compare but try not to as the quickest way to unhappiness is to constantly compare

I compare prices in supermarkets.

I also compare how other people have decorated their homes. I like seeing what wallpaper or colour schemes they have (I feel as if I don't know how to express myself within the home & am happy to keep the decor as it was when moved in!)

SuzySuzSuz Mon 28-Oct-13 17:57:10

I think we all compare on certain levels, it's human nature to see if we're all doing the same or different / worse / better, the main difference is that some people get judgy when doing these comparisons.

Most work places will use bench marking as a tool so it's not unnatural to do the same outside with aspects of our personal lives!

Some things I compare;

Grocery shop prices to get best deal
Our own year on year energy & water consumption
Mobile phone cost & usage
Petrol prices
Cooking recipes
Different lifestyles (some friends & neighbours have very different lifestyles, compared but not judged)
Gardens (as in who's mowed their lawn used as an indicator when we need to do ours!)
Candy crush progress!

I don't think comparisons are a bad thing, we can learn new things and better ways of doing things smile

neffi Mon 28-Oct-13 19:30:56

Not an E-on customer.

I do compare prices, I look online before buying etc but customer service is always an important part of the equation. I will always pay more if I know the customer service is better than that given by the cheapest provider. Good customer service counts A LOT.

jojane Mon 28-Oct-13 19:43:47

I compare anything I am buying whether instore or online. I compare my life to others, my children etc etc

LauraTrashley Mon 28-Oct-13 19:44:45

I compare just about everything I buy to try and make sure I am getting the best deal possible, but I dislike the trend for people to 'try things out' in bricks and mortar shops and then promptly go online to buy the same item cheaper elsewhere.
Recently I spent a lot of time getting advice in a specialist shop, I know I could have gone home and compared online prices, then saved maybe ten pounds, but the advice was so valuable it was worth that bit extra to me.

Dancealot Mon 28-Oct-13 21:02:51

I compare clothes and make-up with friends. It's always good to find out where they are shopping and if they have picked up any bargains recently. I also look for bargains online using comparison sites to find cheapest prices.

RealAleandOpenFires Tue 29-Oct-13 06:20:47

To the (micro dick) head of eon.

Comparing energy prices...why bother? as you're exactly the same as the others. Aren't you? Of course you are!. [Sarcasm mode on] you all match your prices in the early Spring with a "so-called discount of 2-3%" in the very early Spring & then raise prices by "at least 10%" with by the end of Summer" [Sarcasm mode off] The only people to benefit is YOU the boss & shareholders!.

So eon are you still trying to rip off big businesses or was that an "DISHONEST MISTAKE"?

~~~~~~

An open message to all energy suppliers (and not just the spokesman of eon) cut your "standing charge by at least 75%):-

Who ever cuts their costs by 3/4s, I could guarrentee that everyone would join the cheapest supplier possible.

Lent1l Tue 29-Oct-13 10:36:33

I compare a lot of things. Every year I use price comparison sites to help me get insurance for house, buildings and car cheaper than my renewal quotes. I keep checking my current energy usage to see if the fixed price deal I am on is still saving me money (it is). When out shopping I now know (roughly) the price of certain items in certain stores and unless I have to have something there and then due to an emergency shortage then I will wait and go to another shop for an item to save money. Most of us these days are in the position where with a family to feed and clothe we need to save money wherever we can and this is just my way of doing that.

WhyIRayLiotta Tue 29-Oct-13 10:49:45

I compare everything. Clothes / cars / homes / careers etc. I don't mention it ever... but I will spruce up my home if my friend with the pristine palace is coming and I won't bother if it's my slovenly cousin.

I also price compare almost everything to try and get the best deals. especially on things like holidays. DP and I can spend several weeks comparing and contrasting hotels!

I compare lots of things, my figure, my feral children, my sex life (sob), my college work etc etc. A little bit of healthy comparison is good but it's best to be happy with your lot, what other people have May look all very good but you don't know what goes on behind closed doors.

weaseleyes Tue 29-Oct-13 11:43:53

I compare everything to check if I'm normal, as I never feel I have a very good sense of what this is. After a bit, I decide I am not normal, but somehow superior. (Ah, delusion, you are my best friend.)

YoucancallmeQueenBee Tue 29-Oct-13 12:42:13

I compare my entire life constantly with everyone else. I feel vaguely comforted by those who are worse off or in a worse situation to me & vaguely aspirational about those whose lives are in some way better.
I also compare prices on pretty much everything I buy - isn't that the whole point of the internet?! hmm

tootssweet Tue 29-Oct-13 17:18:52

A comparison I often make that I'm not proud of is comparing dc2's progress against dc1. It's not fair as they are two different personalities but I suppose it is human nature & those are the 2 children I know most about.
I do like comparing houses on rightmove which is probably one of my favourite apps (along with MN of course!)

Hopezibah Tue 29-Oct-13 23:30:10

I compare my hubby to others (thankfully he compares well - especially when it comes to helping with household and kids compared to some of my friends).

I compare diets and what meals other are eating just to see if what we eat is 'average' or different.

I compare how often others clean their house, do the hoovering, change the bedsheets - I tend to not do so well on this!!! I remember hearing one friend say how she mopped the floors every week - i'm lucky if it is once a month in my house!

AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 31-Oct-13 11:50:57

Thanks for all your comments! The winner of the prize draw is Happiestinwellybobs - congratulations smile I'll PM you for your details shortly.

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 31-Oct-13 12:07:24

I am so chuffed - thank you so much! YIPPEE grin

Happiestinwellybobs Sun 10-Nov-13 20:03:01

Just wanted to say thank you again. My vouchers arrived and I've spent some on my nephews Christmas presents which they will be thrilled with smile

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