Thursday, 26 June 2008

Mineral vs tap water

I know anyone frugally-minded would opt for tap over mineral water but I do have 'issues', as they say, with tap water. Common sense tells you that however much you process and filter it it must have picked up a fair amount of baggage on the way to your glass, most worryingly traces of prescription drugs.

But the cynicism of British retailers and restaurants when it comes to exploiting this unease is just breathtaking. Today we stopped twice en route to France, once at an English service station, once at a French one. At the English one they were selling 75cl sports bottles of Evian for £1.99 or £2.65 a litre. At the French one equivalent sized bottles were €1.20 (95p) which works out at £1.27 a litre, less than half the price. And you could buy Evian by the litre for €1.30 or £1.03.

What justifies this rip-off? And why do we put up with it? You can buy perfectly cheap mineral water in supermarkets so how come service stations get away with charging so much? I reckon you should buy your own small bottles, fill them with chilled mineral water and keep them in a cool bag. Which is what we should have done if we hadn't been in quite such a rush setting off.

Away now till the week beginning July 14th. My elderly mother-in-law has had a bad fall so we're off to try and work out what happens next - whether she can stay in her house or will have to go to a home. (It's not a lot of fun getting old . . .) Posting is likely to be a bit more spasmodic but will pass on any great finds.


Hippolyra said...

Its crazily exepensive to buy bottled water when on the move. I refill my bottles until they start to leak, it is also far greener to reuse bottles and to drink tap water.

Fiona Beckett said...

I agree, hippolyra, it's mad but what gets me is how much more water costs in British service stations than French ones. After I wrote this post we found a 1.5 litre bottle for just 0.90€ which is only 71p. (I say 'only' - still quite a lot for water but much less than you'd pay in the UK) Why are we always charged over the odds for practically everything?