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Thrifty | Comparing Prices


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Aldi

I went to Aldi in search of bargains again this week. I usually go there first but went on the way home forgetting they closed early. You really need plenty of time to search for bargains and 10 minutes wasn’t enough. I still got chicken and eggs at a better price than the larger supermarkets.

The eggs in Asda went up in price this week, but they are still 1.25 for 15 medium eggs in Aldi, so I bought eggs. I also bought a stew pack that was reduced in price but didn’t check my bill at the time, the 30% reduction didn’t get deducted! You have to check things at the time.

There is a now a lovely smell of chicken stew cooking in my kitchen. Stew is a natural comfort food and relatively cheap because it uses ingredients that are in season. The stew pack was 99p, I meant to get carrots that were only 38p a kilo but in the rush I missed those. I’ll cook the stew slowly and then leave it overnight, it tastes so much better the next day.

Sales

There appears to be sales all through the year now and so it’s worth checking which stores have a sale. In the UK, Matalan started a sale on Monday and is a good place for reasonable clothes and household items. Watch out for the Easy brand, it’s quite good quality and the prices are good; only £4.00 for a tee shirt. The price of cotton has gone up and so tee shirts and jeans are getting more expensive. This makes it even more sensible to look for bargains.

Glass

I once started to collect things made from glass, anything unusual. While I was looking at an item on a market stall, someone bought an old Chianti bottle. It wasn’t valuable, restaurants throw them out all the time but it was to that collector. If you want an unusual and free collection, why not collect unusual bottles and jars. I thought about this and my spice and herb jars are unusual and so too is the bottle for soya sauce. The olive oil bottle is square; really unusual. You can keep then as original, complete with labels or soak the labels off and just keep the jars and bottles. How long before we no longer have glass jars and bottles and these become really valuable collectors items? Jams, pickles and sauces have already been consigned to squeezy bottles.  How long before olive oil and soya sauce comes in a plastic  bottle? The humble jam jar could be a collectors item of the future!

Car Boot Sales

Besides interesting collectibles there tends to be all sorts of interesting bargains on car boot sales. Furniture years ago was built to last and can be restored. Things like a varnished chest of drawers can easily be restored. Remove the old varnish with a wallpaper scraper, pull it across the varnish; don’t push it. Then use sandpaper for a smooth finish before applying a new coat of varnish. You can also restore things like fridges and freezers. Rub them down with wet and dry abrasive paper and then paint either with Plastikote, a coach paint or egg shell paint. When you are restoring anything use good quality varnish and paint; you get a much better finish.

Economics

From the way the economy is going in the UK, I expect higher food  and petrol prices. I can stock up a little on food, filling the food cupboard and freezer. There isn’t much we can do about petrol except shop around. Where I am, the supermarkets are the cheapest, closely followed by a local Esso garage.  The government is printing more money, but not raising taxes and so we can expect higher prices but inflation shouldn’t be as bad as last year; we hope! The government will pump around 10 billion pounds into the economy a week from now until May and so I expect the stock market to do better as that money goes into the market.

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13 responses

  1. I liked your thoughts on collecting interesting glass jars, Mike. It’s funny that I never really thought of it, yet I have a few very old (100 plus years) glass bottles that I’ve either picked up at a thrift store or kept from a grandmother. Never thought of my own collection. The price of gasoline (petrol) in the U.S. is climbing and causing some real budgetary concern, and we travel some distance to and from work, to and from family…the only defense I have is to cut back on groceries, so I need to pay attention to our own bargain stores. Great ideas, even if I have to translate the specifics to another location :-) Debra

    24, February 2012 at 12:30 pm

    • Hi Debra,

      I stopped collecting glass mainly because it took up space. I have an old trunk full of collectables, mostly paper like postcards and stamps. I have a coin collection too, small and easy to store. I must look at the postcards and scan then for my blogs.

      You have a way to go to catch up with us on gasoline. I paid £1.44 a litre yesterday (about $10 a gallon) but our roads are still congested. I am trying to make my blogs more appealing internationally. I have readers in 15 countries!

      24, February 2012 at 12:55 pm

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