Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The price war between supermarkets is raging as products at knockdown price are thrust in front of our face at every store.

The amazing value on offer is unavoidable – top-branded products cello taped together, vying for our attention, half-priced, three for two, four for three, extra free. It's all brilliant, particularly for those who are still earning big bucks but also for those having to adjust their spending habits.

When I began shopping for my own groceries, I didn't know the price of a pint of milk, or any household item. I knew approximately how much they cost but, because they were necessary items, I usually fired them into the basket, handing over my laser without question, tired from a long day at work.

Now that I have become accustomed to a more frugal life, I also have time to shop around and know exactly the difference on most items in all of the big supermarkets and the smaller pound shops.

“Look how many pot scrubs I got for a euro,’’ I exclaimed to my boyfriend who looked at me puzzled and replied: “We only have two pots and even when you do use a scrub you still leave marks on them.’’

Hmm … fair enough but I still inform regularly on my amazing finds, enjoying this game of bargain hunting. Where can I find the best value shower gels and not the cheap nasty ones that cause a rash? Our bathroom is overflowing with unopened beauty products cluttering up the small shower.

He, the boyfriend, is also bemused as to why I can't squeeze three extra days out of the toothpaste and why I throw the milk out with enough left for a cup of tea. These are bad habits of mine!

I remember as a child regularly going to McDonalds with my grandfather, who always discretely pocketed the ketchup and salt sachets. It was a shock to see him so committed to saving and not wasting. But he was of that generation that came through World War 11 and rationing and such.

I remembered this last week while on a mini staycation with friends. For the first time in my life I took home the soaps and shower gels from the B&B. I felt slightly ashamed but also tried to explain to my boyfriend it was only because of the recession and we had, after all, paid for our room - including the bath products.

‘‘The last thing we need right now,’’ he sighed, ‘’is another bottle of shower gel.’’

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