I AM no economics guru.

I still have to think carefully about the difference between net and gross.

I thought fungible grew on old bread rather than being an economic term.

But my dad, who knows a thing or two about economics (and everything else for that matter), likes a dabble in the stock market.

“Only use money you can afford to lose” is motto one, and motto two is “invest with your eyes open”.

With this he means there is no better investor research than evidence you personally accrue.

For example, if you get great customer service from a company it is probably a better investment than one which is poor.

Simple and obvious, but probably as good as any high-fallutin’ advice you will get from some banking smoothie called Tristan who got his job more through his accent and old school tie than from any economic expertise.

So a recent trip to one Colchester store worried me.

I was buying some ready-made mash – always goes well with sausages from Procters.

I know I should buy potatoes and cook them, but if working 50-plus hours a week gives me one luxury, it is pre-prepared mash.

The mash was for sale – alongside other portions of veg etc – at £2 a pot, or three for £5.

Annoyingly, they only had three options I wanted, and one of them was reduced to £1.20 because it was near its sell-by date.

I therefore ventured to the automatic till, fully expecting to pay my £5.

But no, the price came up as £5.20.

Now I don’t care about the 20p but the overriding priniciple is important.

Because the terms and conditions of the reduced goods said the reduction could not be used with any other offer, I was going to pay more for the three items than I would have done if one of them had not had its price reduced.

Completly loco.

I explained this madness to the attendant who just looked at me blankly and said “computer says no”.

When I respectfully said “let’s forget what the computer says and use some common sense”, he looked at me again and said “computer says no” again.

Again, forget the money, but remember the principle.

This national chain, which has had its share of financial issues, has a pricing policy which makes no sense whatsoever and actually discourages people from buying its soon to be out-of-date stock.

Complete and utter madness.

Using my dad’s argument, this is one store I won’t be investing in.