'Living on a farm I don't have ready access to an ATM'


Margaret JeffaresFounder and managing director, Good Food Ireland

Are you a saver or a spender?

I would like to think I am a bit of both, but to be honest on a personal level I am more of a spender.

Do you shop around for better value?

I always like to get good value for money no matter how much I spend. Quality is important and not always the most expensive. I like to know about what I buy. I would be loyal to local Irish businesses and would prefer to spend my money at home knowing the benefit it gives to our economy.

What has been your most extravagant purchase ever and how much did it cost?

When I got married and moved onto my husband’s farm, we bought our first mare to start a breeding line and she cost £8,000. At 26 it was huge money to us but a worthy investment.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?

My mobile hen house and two hens who produce two nourishing eggs every day that I share with my family and friends. I smile every time I collect those eggs.

Have you ever crossed the Border to shop?

I don’t specifically go the North to shop; however, with my business I spend a lot of time in the North and if I need something I am happy to shop there.

Do you haggle over prices?

Absolutely, but I do believe in paying a fair price and not breaking people’s hearts where they have to sell more or less below cost. I think this takes the good out of a purchase – life must be a win-win.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

I suppose it has made me more conscious of where I spend my money. I am committed to buying Irish and am conscious of supporting my local businesses in Wexford wherever possible. I also have got more conscious of businesses appreciation of my money.

Do you invest in shares?

No, I’m not that organised. However, I did – now that I remember – buy shares in Waterford Airport. Back in the late 1980s/early 1990s I was involved in a fundraiser for the airport and bought £100 worth of shares to support the fundraising.

Cash or card?

Oh, definitely card. I very rarely carry cash. Living and working on a farm I don’t have ready access to an ATM, so I tend to use Laser when purchasing.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?

A pair of high-heeled boots in Shoestyle in Wexford that I wore for the first time for 18 hours and still had comfy feet. Definitely a value for money purchase!

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?

Yes, my first car. It was a new Citroen AX. I had to save up the down payment for the bank and money for tax and insurance. This was tough at the time, but it gave me the freedom and independence every 20-year old looks for.

Have you ever lost money?

Yes, unfortunately. In business. I made one bad judgment, but it was a huge lesson and one that I hope will never happen to me again.

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?

I love to put on a bet when racing but it’s always only small money. I am a careful gambler if there is such a thing. I was on business at the Breeders Cup in Kentucky last month and won $156 on St Nicholas’s Abbey with Aidan and Joseph O’Brien. My biggest win yet.

Is money important to you?

It’s not what drives me. I feel if you firmly believe in what you do and do it to the best of your ability, and with good management, money will follow.

For further information and Good Food Ireland Gift Vouchers visit goodfoodireland.ie

– In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea