My top five panic buys

A cash machine with the words "my top five panic buys" displayed on the screen.

I’m generally very good at spending money wisely. That said, I end up buying something truly random every now and then. A certain purchase last night is a case in point.

There was some leftover roast chicken in the fridge after lunch with Kate’s side of the family.¬†We fancied some sandwiches with a couple of nibbly side things. Spring rolls, samosas. Something like that. I strode down to our local supermarket with purpose and what turned out to be misplaced confidence.

You see, everyone else in our town must have had similar ideas. The shelves were sparsely populated. I’ll readily admit that I panicked. I came home with a reduced asparagus and pea risotto.

This got me thinking. Transfer deadline day is looming and, as a Spurs fan, I’ve witnessed plenty of comical last-minute panic buys over the years. While there have been more van der Vaarts than Sissokos in my personal spending history, there have been a few embarrassing panic buys – here are a few of them.


We didn’t have a car until after Dylan was born as I don’t drive and Kate passed her test only a month beforehand. Deciding that we must have one, we did some research before settling on a popular make and model from a second-hand garage that came recommended. I think its previous owners must have been circus clowns – bits fell off left, right and centre.

It’s curtains for me

If you’re ever tempted to buy something to fit a certain space without measuring up first, don’t. After the cat had done a number on our curtains and I happened across a pair that looked a bargain, I bought them without a second thought. They were too short, of course. And not only that. They were designed to go straight onto a pole rather than on hooks. Pull yourself together, man!

Bilbo barbecue

Desperate to impress my friends by throwing a housewarming barbecue but short on funds having bought said house, I ventured down to our local catalogue shop. All of the barbecues looked the same size on the pictures so I went for the cheapest one. I was impressed at how lightweight it was until I opened the box and realised it had been designed for a Hobbit.

Frodo frying pans

Some seven years later, it proved that I don’t learn from my previous mistakes. After one of the worst family shopping trips on record, I unpacked a box of saucepans only to discover that they too had clearly been designed for Bilbo, Frodo et al. Fool of a Took!

Game over

I had heard good things about a certain video game but couldn’t justify the price tag. Then, however, I stumbled across an appealing offer. For around half the price, I could subscribe to a lad mag and get said game for free. When the game eventually arrived, I just couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. It was soon gathering dust on the shelf while I was left with a year’s worth of magazines I didn’t want. Well played, Tom!

What are your worst panic buys?


  1. Gareth Torrance

    I think the worst panic buy for us was the first car seat we got… It was a nightmare to put in and take out of the car. It would take a good 10 minutes to get the seatbelt wrapped around it and pushed through all of the connectors…

    And my daughter outgrew it in about 4 months… Haha

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