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[Travel] Grocery Shopping

A selection of food and drink souvenirs from Austria.

One of the things I love to do when we travel is to hit up the local grocery store even if we’re not self-catering. On our recent day trip to Rotterdam, I went into a grocery store and purchased a bunch of foods to try, but my pic of everything turned out too blurry to use for anything (sorry!)

Going to a local grocery store first of all can cut down on food costs while travelling. Even if you’re not self-catered, you can pick up snacks for your visit or in your room – a box of cereal bars that will last for 5 days is going to be cheaper than buying them in singles from the corner shop. Same with a bag of apples. Buying beer or other alcohol to drink in your room can cut down on your bar bills tremendously, and if your room has a kettle, you can stock up on tea, cups of soup, etc. And if you packed a spork and a set of nesting plastic boxes, you can even pack up your own lunches to take with you when you’re on the go.

Second, you get a better feel for the language if you’re in a foreign country and don’t have knowledge of the native language. Everything in a grocery store is labelled and sometimes there are even pictures of the item. For example, with a pile of lemons in Germany, you will see the word “Zitrone”. Now you know when you go out to a restaurant and see the word “Zitrone” on a menu the dish contains lemon.

I bought zitrone wafer cookies in Austria, and other flavours.

Third, it can help to get a flavour for local food. Check out the bakery section to see what breads and pastries the locals buy. Head to the deli section and see what meat (if you’re a meat eater) is popular. Look at the local beer options if you’re a drinker. And check out the chocolate aisle! Don’t forget buying chocolate at the grocery store will be a lot cheaper than buying it at a convenience store.

Our chocolate haul from Austria

Fourth, as you can see from my photos, bringing back food as souvenirs is fun! Feeling glum in the middle of Winter knowing your next holiday is months away? Break into some chocolate or make a bowl of soup. Giving food to friends and family is great too – everyone loves cookies and chocolate! Need a gift for a beer drinker? How about a few bottles of a local brew (space permitting, of course!)?

Fifth, if you’re really feeling homesick, or are travelling with children who might need a dose of “home”, you can always head to the grocery store and look to see if they stock a similar product or if they have an import aisle. Imported items will be expensive, but sometimes, you just need it. As an American now living in the UK, I can vouch for sometimes just needing a dose of “home” and yes, I have paid £2 for a single can of Root Beer.

And lastly, shopping in a grocery store can be fun! Check out this short video I made while Tim and I were shopping in a Billa store in Gmünd and at a MPREIS in Werfen.

Follow along on our Austria trip: http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/2016/08/travel-austrian-road-trip-summer-2016/

Watch the rest of the videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDUaor7uXZQfPu6Un77YGHRkLMlPgKFp-

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Disclaimer: I received no compensation from products pictured in my photos or video, nor did I receive compensation from the shops visited.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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BLATANT SELF PROMOTION!

I’m hosting a Scentsy ONE DAY ONLY sale! Save up to 75%!! Use my link and I can earn free stuff too! https://wicklesskaren.scentsy.co.uk/?partyId=265221728

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Fashion Plate


[image from: http://www.janejohnsonphotography.com/]

Sometimes I like to imagine what a magazine spread on my outfit would look like. Today, mine would look something like this:

Shirt by Monsoon, on clearance £10
Vest (Camisole), Bra, Knickers, and Socks by M&S £8/2, £22/2, £1.50, and £6/2
Jeans by Dorothy Perkins. eBay £7
Jumper (Sweater) by Per Una (M&S). Cancer Research UK Charity Shop £5
Boots by Clarks. eBay £5.

So the most expensive item I’m wearing today? My bra. LOL But the shirt would have been £40, the jeans £30, the jumper £60 and the shoes £50 if I had bought everything at full retail price. I <3 charity shops, clearance sales, and eBay. With my on-going weight loss I have been shopping charity shops, jumble sales, eBay, and online swapping/shopping groups (on facebook and livejournal). They have been a godsend. I purchased four pairs of jeans (2 are Dorothy Perkins, 2 are Marks & Sparks) for less than the cost of one pair (though I did need to shorten them), countless tops from Dorothy Perkins, M&Co, Monsoon, Miss Selfridge, Per Una, etc. etc. for again, the cost of one top (maybe one and half), and I even managed to score an amazing M&Co silver sparkle dress I wore to a friend’s wedding for probably 10% of the cost of it brand new.

If I’m shopping at a charity shop or jumble sale, I always go for branded items and stay away from items sold by Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys, and Primark (because the quality isn’t very good, and usually it’s just as cheap to buy new from those places). I always look over the items carefully, checking to make sure there are no pulls, rips, or holes in the item, making sure zippers work and all buttons are attached. If there is a problem, I look to see if it’s fixable. One time, the person on the till noticed a cardigan I wanted had a (fixable) hole in it and knocked it down to £2. I rarely try thing on in the shop because the prices are so low I don’t mind passing the items on to other people, but most shops do have an area to try something on if you are so inclined and also offer a return policy.

Purchasing items off eBay or other online communities gets trickier. I tend to read the descriptions well and examine all the photos. I trust that the sellers will indicate if something has a rip or stain simply because they do not want negative feedback. I also base if something will fit me off of what size I already own of that brand. I’ve only had two instances where that hasn’t worked, and it was due to the fabric of the item. Fortunately, many eBay sellers are willing to let you return items that do not fit.

And when I shrink down further and need smaller sizes I can re-donate the clothing to a charity shop, jumble sale, or I can try to re-sell the items myself. Win-win.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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Tesco Online Ordering: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Yesterday, my tesco picker forgot the difference between white bread and malt bread and where I had ordered “Seeded Malt Roll”, I was sent something made with white flour, which I refused and had sent back. I don’t understand how someone doesn’t know the difference, given that the ONLY search result on Tesco.com for “Seeded Malt Roll” is this:

A further search on Tesco.com by clicking on “view rest of shelf” on the Malt Rolls shows this item listed directly under the Malt Rolls:

This is called a “Seeded Spelt Roll” and appears to be what I had been sent. Now, in the picker’s defense, I could understand not knowing what Malt or Spelt meant. However, if I did not know, I would look it up or ask the people in the bakery department. It’s not a huge problem, I just refused the item and had it sent back. It did mea I was out some rolls for my Lunch, though.

But the biggest problem from yesterday was the driver forgetting an entire tray of chilled foods, including milk. The total amount missing was £14.62, which is a pretty decent chunk of our weekly groceries, considering this was all of our dairy products (milk, butter, yoghurt, cheese) and salad items (lettuce, tomato, spinach, mushrooms).

The driver couldn’t bring me the items but he was going to see if an afternoon van had space. Unfortunately, the afternoon and evening vans didn’t, and my only option was if his supervisor was *willing* to bring me my missing items in the afternoon. Like I said on Facebook, we live nearly an hour away from the grocery depot, so I couldn’t imagine the supervisor being willing to take over two hours out of his day to do this. When I received no call back, I rang up customer service and got a lovely woman named Tammy (wish I knew her last name!) who rang the store while I was on hold and unfortunately came back to tell me I wasn’t getting the items yesterday and was going to get a refund for those items. BUT, Tammy would put in an order for the missing items with a delivery for today, refund the delivery charge, and send me a voucher for the trouble it caused me. When I spoke with Tesco on Facebook, they also decided to give me a voucher as an apology for all the confusion this has caused.

You’d think that would be the end, right? Items would arrive, all would be well….you’d think wrong.

Tesco driver, Ashley, rang to tell me he was running late and would not be delivering my groceries until 10:30. I immediately contacted Tesco through facebook again to tell them, and I was offered another voucher for the problem.

When my order arrived…guess what? THEY SENT THE WRONG ROLLS AGAIN!! I was annoyed, but what puzzled me more was the grocery total. £25.32 when it should have been at the most £19.46. What happened? OH, apparently several of the items I had ordered were on a special offer that had expired yesterday. Fortunately, another phone call, this time speaking to a man named Alister, fixed the problem and got the delivery charge refunded.

In the end, Tesco sent me £30 in vouchers, plus refunded delivery charges. I think this is above and beyond anything I expected and I truly thank Tesco…because honestly? It’s the £30 in vouchers that is going to keep me a customer. Knowing that Tesco cares about their customers enough to go the extra mile is what will keep me coming back.

Thank you, Tesco. Thank you Jamie, Tammy, and Alister. But could you teach the pickers in Cleethorpes what Malt rolls look like?

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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The Return of the Face of Obamacare

This is MissM:

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Once again, her photo is in the media. My guess is because of the upcoming election in the US.

Most recently it’s been on the “We Survived Bush, you Will Survive Obama” page on Facebook and then re-shared on the “Democrats Abroad” page as well as 4,500 other facebook users. nearly 30k have “liked” the photo (as of the time I’m writing this) and it has over 3,500 comments.

…and yet….out of that 30k, has anyone looked at the watermark on that image and gone to the URL? http://giveneyestosee.com/blog. It’s not even that hard to remember while you open up a new tab on facebook. I’ve also re-posted the links in the comments MULTIPLE times, as well as links to M’s interview with CNN and my previous posts about Miss M (each word is a separate link).

If EACH of those 30k….hell, if Half of the 30k donated a dollar to M’s fund, she would be able to completely pay off her medical bill debt.

Has anyone donated anything? Nope. Has anyone bothered to look at her online shop to purchase ANY of the gorgeous items she has there?

Nope.

And really, how sad is that? How sad is it that we as a modern society can feel the need to look at an image of a person in need, share it with our friends, and not bother to look into the full story? Or those who decide to JUDGE Miss M based on…nothing. I mean, I’m not going to quote comments on here, but some were downright hateful and made reference to things that simply were not true…some even called this image a lie or photoshopped and had claimed they had seen “this girl holding up other signs” (in which case, those must have been photoshopped).

I’ve been trying to comment every page or so with a link back to M’s blog, facebook page, or shop. Will anyone click on it? Will people get off their high horses long enough to actually do something to help out a fellow American in need? Hell, I bet my British friends have contributed more to M’s cause than ALL those people liking this photo put together.

Ways to Help
I am NOT asking you to donate money to aid Miss M, but if you’re in the market for some jewellery, please visit her site or Etsy shop. Christmas is coming, and I can vouch that her pieces are stunning. I myself own two trees of life and snowman earrings, my mom has a custom bracelet, and my mother-in-law received a nestlace (bird’s nest pendant) that Miss M personalized with an un-heard of SEVEN birthstone pearls for her children and children-in-laws. I also have many one of a kind pieces Miss M has gifted to me over the years, including some lovely purple earrings I wear all the time and a red and gold beaded bookmark.

If you do want to donate, you can do so via both PayPal and GoFundMe.

Other links you might find useful:

Her Blog: http://giveneyestosee.com/blog

PhoenixFunds: http://PhoenixFunds.etsy.com

PhoenixFireDesigns on Etsy: http://PhoenixFireDesigns.etsy.com

PhoenixFire Designs: http://www.phoenixfiredesigns.com

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog.]

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Grocery Tracker: January

I created an Excel spreadsheet to track our grocery store spending throughout the year, and my first month is complete. We have spent £173.18 this month on groceries ONLY. I filter out of the total delivery charges (£17.50 for the month), toiletries (nothing, bought everything at Boots or Wilkos), household goods (laundry soap, etc. £15.21 this month), pet supplies (£2.29 this month as all Prudence needed was a box of wet food), alcohol (£0), and misc (like if we pick up a DVD at the grocery store. £0 this month)

I’m debating about adding onto the sheet all times we go shopping for toiletries (boots/wilkos/etc), as I am interested in knowing what we spend on those things. I might still have my receipts from this month, or I can price things out individually and work out the total. It was less than £25, but more than usual because we ran out of everything this month including Tim’s aftershave.

Still, £173 isn’t bad. We’ve always aimed to spend less than £200. And yesterday was the most expensive delivery because we defrosted the freezer and needed to restock it.

Paying for delivery annoys me sometimes, but I can justify it, easily. If Tim isn’t available to drive me to the shop, I’d have to take a bus at £4.80 Return. Delivery fees hover between £3.50 and £4.50, depending on how fast I book it. Petrol would be negligible, since we live fairly close to most of the shops (though I bet Asda would be more in petrol than the delivery fee), but when you think about how much time you spend in the grocery stores…..the delivery fee is well worth it!

Here’s hoping I can do better in February, though. Ideally, I’d rather groceries be down in the £125-150 range for the month, especially since we will have houseguests in April and May that will add extras! (Dear houseguests: No, I am not asking you to buy groceries while you are here! Stop thinking that!!). We also are going on holiday in June, so groceries become a little iffy then, too. Even with camping, we still wind up doing a daily shop and it can add up since you never have a stocked pantry to work with.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog.]

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The Face of ObamaCare

This is MissM:

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Lately, Miss M has been gaining attention all over the internet for this photo (even though she posted it months back). And every time I read some of the comments, I can’t help but jump in and talk about Miss M, because she is my friend.

When I call her my friend, I mean it. She is my friend. She is not an “internet friend” (though we did meet via a community on LiveJournal years ago!). Miss M and I have met-up on several occasions. I have been to her house, I have met her fiancé, and I have fussed at her kitties. My husband, mother, and one of my cousins have also met her. We call each other on the phone (thank you Skype!), we text (when it’s working), and we keep in touch via email, facebook, and twitter when we’re not commenting on each other’s blogs. I helped her start up PhoenixFunds, and I continue to support her and search for help for her. Therefore, when I comment and say “Miss M is a friend of mine”, I really do mean friend. And yes, I know what the M stands for. No, I’m not going to tell you. While Miss M appreciates all the support she is given, she does not want her full legal name out there on the internet, and I respect that.

As a long-time friend of Miss M, I know what she’s been through. She’s not kidding when she said she tried all other avenues for assistance.

But here’s the sucky part for her. It’s not over. Sure, she had her surgery in October, but the thing with major surgery is it takes ages to get over. Heck, I only had minor surgery on my armpit and it knocked me down for months afterwards. Miss M had major surgery and is looking at at least a year to a full recovery. On top of the months she already was ill. So by the time next October rolls around, she will have been out of work for a year and a half. And while she’s in recovery, she needs to see her doctors. Her insurance costs $250/month. This is on top of having to pay for the part of her surgery that wasn’t covered by the insurance. She owes around $10,000 for the surgery, and for her ER visit before she was able to gain insurance. She’s in a bit of a catch-22 — if she doesn’t pay $250/mo for her insurance, she has to start paying out of pocket to see the doctors. If she doesn’t pay back on the $10k, it goes into collections and puts her farther into debt making it impossible to afford the $250, and if she pays out of pocket to see the doctors, that adds even more to the $10k, never mind the fact that the doctor will want some of that money up front. And if she misses a month of paying $250, she goes right back to the beginning in terms of her deductible, which means shelling out $1000 up front before it starts to cover things.

And then you hear the “advice” – cut out Starbucks, drive a less expensive car, get rid of satellite TV, get rid of your iPhone, etc etc….but the thing is….Miss M doesn’t have or do any of those. She’s not a Starbucks junkie, her car is an older model (which means it needs to be repaired more frequently, which costs money…see? Catch-22), she doesn’t have satellite TV, and she doesn’t have an iPhone. She has an iPod touch that her fiancé gave to her several years ago because it was given to him at work as a Christmas gift, and he knew she wanted one. Her mobile phone is not snazzy, but she can’t get rid of it because since she drives an older car that is prone to breaking down, she needs to be able to call for help when she needs it (catch-22 again). And honestly? Cutting out a $30 bill isn’t going to magic $10,000.

I also know for a fact that Miss M participates in as many points sites as possible and earns points she can cash in for other things, like meals out, Amazon gift cards, her Disney pass, etc. Nothing that this woman does is done for the hell of it, and if she has any “disposable income”, well, I know it goes towards supplies for her business, food for her cats, or other necessities (you know, clothing, toiletries, food…).

It hurts me when people on other websites that have picked up her photo and story make nasty comments about her. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, because if you’re reading this entry, you are probably a friend and have probably read my other posts about Miss M, but if you’ve googled for more information about her, I hope you’ve stumbled upon this.

Ways to Help
I am NOT asking you to donate money to aid Miss M, but if you’re in the market for some jewellery, please visit her site or Etsy shop. Valentine’s Day is coming, and I can vouch that her pieces are stunning. I myself own a tree of life and snowman earrings, my mom has a custom bracelet, and my mother-in-law received a nestlace (bird’s nest pendant) that Miss M personalized with an un-heard of SEVEN birthstone pearls for her children and children-in-laws. I also have many one of a kind pieces Miss M has gifted to me over the years, including some lovely purple earrings I wear all the time and a red and gold beaded bookmark.

If you do want to donate, you can do so via both PayPal and GoFundMe.

Other links you might find useful:

Her Blog: http://giveneyestosee.com/blog

PhoenixFunds: http://PhoenixFunds.etsy.com

PhoenixFireDesigns on Etsy: http://PhoenixFireDesigns.etsy.com

PhoenixFire Designs: http://www.phoenixfiredesigns.com

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog.]

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Where’s the Penn State Merch?

My mom lives in Penn State country. University Park is about an hour and a half away, and then there’s also at least a half dozen satellite campuses within an hour’s drive, some as close as 20 minutes away. I was always well-supplied with Penn State merchandise growing up, once I expressed an interest in Penn State to my family. I think I declared I was going to Penn State right around the time my cousin Tim was attending, and the same time my German teacher’s son was attending, but that’s another story.

I grew up with my aunt getting me small Penn State items at her local shops – pencils, notepads, napkins, etc. And when I finally was accepted to Penn State my senior year of high school, she went all out and bought me a stadium blanket, paper plates, napkins, plastic cups, everything imaginable with the Penn State logo on it.

Living in the UK you can imagine I don’t see a whole lot of PSU merchandise unless it’s something I brought with me or I get sent, so while I was back in PA I thought I would stock myself up on some Penn State merch. The regular football season has ended, but we still have a bowl game to play, so I was expecting to see merchandise all over the place.

I have been in 2 of the local grocery stores as well as Wal-Mart, Target, and K-mart and have barely seen a whisper of PSU merch.

What’s going on? Have all the shops decided to quit selling Penn State merchandise based on the actions of one man? It’s ridiculous. I am and will always be proud to be a Penn Stater.

If I have to order my merchandise directly from State College, I will.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this via the email subscription, please click on the link to go directly to the entry on my site to comment as the email address used to send the posts does not accept replies.]

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Christmas Gift Idea – Personalized Calendars

It’s that time of year again. Fortunately, I did a lot of our Christmas shopping in October and Tim and I are just buying each other Kindles, but we were totally stumped on something to give his mum this year.

I ordered our Christmas cards (super early) from VistaPrint and inside the box with the order was an offer for a FREE wall calendar…our problems were solved, as his mum has been really concentrating on decorating her house with family photos.

If you’d like your free calendar, just go to http://www.vistaprint.biz/special2011. VistaPrint has tons of other inexpensive and free deals, such as 10 free Christmas cards, 250 free business cards, and even free photo mugs and mousemats.

Order early though. If you want to opt for the inexpensive shipping, it can take up to 21 working days for your items to get to you, but when I ordered my stuff, it only took about 2 weeks.

[I am not being compensated by VistaPrint for this post.]

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

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Extreme Couponing, Again

I watched Extreme Couponing a few nights ago via my friend’s Slingbox. And I just had to share the moment that made me laugh.

The first woman was shopping at a store that “prices matches” with fliers from other stores. A lot of places do this, and even the shops here in the UK will do it, too. But this woman truly went to the extreme. She had a flier that marked down cereal to less than $2, when her store charges over $5 for the boxes. That’s awesome. But what really made me laugh is the woman drove over 30 miles to get the flier. Uhm, hello? That 30 miles of driving probably cost you more than you’ll save on that box of cereal!

Tim and I worked out that we can go approximately 4 miles for each pound (£) of diesel we put in the car. A 30-mile trip would cost us about £7.50. £1 = around $1.50 currently, so if she could go 4 miles for every $1.50, that means she would have spent over $11 on fuel to pick up this flier. With the price difference being around $4, she had to buy 3 boxes before she even began to break even on the deal. Of course, she probably bought something like 10 or more boxes, I really didn’t pay attention to the number of boxes. BUT, she also didn’t include the $11 in petrol in her savings.

I still think the extreme way of couponing isn’t as glamorous as it looks. Looking at some of the stockpiling you have to wonder how much money do these people spend maintaining their stock? If they have multiple freezers, surely the cost of running them has to be calculated into their total savings? Or the shelving units they purchase to store it all on, the extra rooms they have built onto their homes. What about the wear and tear on their $30k vehicle because it has to sit in the driveway through all weather since the garage is full of their shopping? Or the sheer amount of TIME it takes for them to go through the coupons? Some people on the show boast that they spend 40+ hours/week clipping coupons and looking for deals. Do they calculate into their savings when they purchase coupons on eBay? How about the paper, ink, and electricity they use to print off on-line coupons? What about the time lost with their family because they are too busy searching for coupons and deals? Several episodes back there was someone who drove 100+ miles for something cheap, yet they didn’t calculate their travelling into their savings. One woman boasted that she couponed while on a family vacation because there were different stores than the ones she shopped at at home!

I know that pre-packaged food tends to have long expiration dates, but I also worry that the food will go bad before they use it – Sometimes when my mom or I would clean out the kitchen cabinet (our “stockpile”), we often found things way at the back that had expired without us realizing it. I couldn’t imagine keeping track of expiration dates on some of the huge stockpiles we see on that show. I have a hard enough time keeping track of the food in my small fridge, let alone if I had three refrigerators full of food.

And I’ll say it again… a lot of what they buy is JUNK. Candy, sugar cereals, soda, ramen noodles (sodium), etc. Even tinned vegetables still aren’t as healthy as fresh. And tinned fruit tends to be in sugary syrup. How can you stay healthy and eat that stuff? What do you need 200 bottles of laundry soap for? A bottle probably lasts at least a month or two, so you have enough detergent for how many YEARS of laundry? What happens if you move? Will you pay a moving company to shift your stockpile? What about insurance on it in case your basement floods, your house catches fire, or someone breaks in and steals things? would you even know if someone had stolen something from your stockpile? If you don’t own pets, why do you have 100 packets of cat treats? You’re past the age of having babies, and your own children are in primary school, so why do you have all those jars of baby food, diapers, and wipes? What’s the use in having a 20 years supply of feminine products if you are male and don’t have a female partner or family member to use it? Sometimes, I even wonder if the people actually eat and use the things they buy or if they just like looking at their “collection”, because they seem to do these huge shops weekly!

I’m still quite satisfied to see myself saving £10 off a £50 order. Some weeks I fail at saving money (this week, I’ve only saved about £2). Other weeks, I go for gold and can save over £10. It all evens out for me and I would never purchase something purely based on the fact that it was on special offer or if I had a coupon for it. Everything I purchase gets used within a reasonable amount of time, unless it’s part of our “Winter Kit” (which I’ll explain in a later post)

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Tesco Can’t Deliver on Time

I need a new iron. The one I have been using was Tim’s from bachelordom and he no longer has the manual for it ,nor can one be located online. Plus, I wanted an iron with the ability to steam upright. After loads of looking online, I settled on a Morphy Richard’s model and ordered it from Tesco Direct (mostly for the points!). Tesco has two delivery options – The first was £5 (or was it £3?) and was for a 12-hour slot of 7am to 7pm. The second option was £6.85 and lets you pick your own 2 hour time slot for delivery. I paid the extra and set my delivery for today from 3pm to 5pm.

I’m writing this at 5:57, and there still is no sign of my iron. I rang Tesco around ten past five because I checked the online status and it says my item is going from the warehouse to the store, NOT out for delivery. The woman I spoke with was very nice. She said it should be out for delivery and she didn’t know why it hadn’t arrived yet, so could I hold on while she rang the store it was coming from (Cleethorpes). I waited, and she came back on the line to tell me that no one was answering the phone in the delivery department, but she spoke to store customer service who told her that was because they were done for the day, and the store had no way of contacting the driver.

This is a bunch of crap, as they have always been able to ring the driver if he was running late — and on several occasions, the driver has rung me to tell me he was running late.

The only thing the woman could tell me was to wait until 7PM and ring back tonight or tomorrow morning to reschedule delivery, but she would refund my $6.85. I told her I was not interested in rescheduling my delivery because I would not be available tomorrow, I was available today from 3 to 5, which was why I paid extra to book the slot. She urged me to wait until 7PM just in case the driver was running late.

In the meantime, I’ve found the exact same iron at Argos. It is £7 more than Tesco but it will even itself out because Tim can collect the item before work tomorrow and we can avoid a delivery fees. For whatever reason, Tesco Direct will not send items to Lincoln, and always insists we need to pick things up in Cleethorpes, which for those of you who don’t know, is about a half hour to 45 minute drive away from us!

Overall, I’m very disappointed with Tesco today. There is absolutely no excuse for not delivering an item on time, let alone not ringing to state it will not be on time. I seriously doubt there was ever an iron on the delivery van for me for today, given the online status of my order, too.

(I’m pressing publish on this at 6:15pm, and still no delivery. They have 45 minutes.)

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Moving Forward (An Update on Miss M)

Miss M has had some great news recently. She was approved for a pre-existing condition insurance policy which will help her pay for the bulk of her surgery, AND she has finally been given the all-clear for surgery and will be going in on October 5. She will have a long recovery after this, and so she still will be unable to work for quite some time. Miss M also still has to pay off $600 before the surgery, as well as maintain her insurance premium ($250/month), try to make some headway on her previous hospital bill (while her insurance covers the pre-existing condition, it will not cover previous medical care), and well, be able to live for the next few months.

So, we’re asking for one last big push to help her get through the next few months. Please consider purchasing an item from her – handmade, one of a kind jewellery makes great holiday gifts – or making a donation. Also, if you could please pass on the links to her sites or my site, that would really be appreciated!

Her Website: http://giveneyestosee.com/blog

Blow-by-blow: http://giveneyestosee.com/blog/hysterectomy/

Donation Storefront: http://PhoenixFunds.etsy.com

Her Storefront: http://PhoenixFireDesigns.etsy.com

Her Website: http://www.phoenixfiredesigns.com

Direction Donations: http://tiny.cc/hysterectomy

http://www.gofundme.com/hysterectomy

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Mobile Phones – Blackberry vs. Android vs. iPhone

I need a new phone. I’ve been using my Sony Ericsson w200i since I purchased it on my visit in 2008. I purchased it as a barebones basic phone for £30 just as something to use while I was in the UK, since my Verizon Wireless phone did not work outside of North America. I wound up taking the w200i back to the US with me, and since the phone was tri-band, I was able to keep it minimally topped up while I was in the US and Tim and I were able to text on it (as well as me with his other family and my friends). When I moved, I pretty much assumed I would get a different (better) phone to use on a permanent basis, but we never got around to it. I briefly tried out a LG KS360 in July 2010, and you can read all about it here. So it’s been well over a year since I tried getting a new phone, and I’ve stayed with Orange.

When I get my new phone, I’m switching to O2. O2 is the company Tim’s work phone and personal phone are on, and you can have O2 to O2 calls for free. Plus, Tim’s never had a complaint about O2. I, on the other hand, have had countless issues with Orange. It’s gotten better now that they merged with T-Mobile in terms of getting a signal, but I’ve rang Orange customer service far, far more than Tim has. I think the only time Tim’s had to even go into the O2 shop was when his phone went through the washing machine while he was visiting me Summer 2009.

So the great debate is out on what to get. My old phone from the US was a LG 9900 (sold on Verizon as an EnV). I LOVED that phone. The front of it worked as a regular mobile phone, but then you could flip it open and there was a full Qwerty keyboard and larger screen. It was perfect, because if I didn’t have both hands free to type on the full keyboard, I could tap things out the old way on the front…and I LOVED the Qwerty keyboard. A Qwerty keyboard is a MUST for my next phone. I text way more than I talk on my phone and I update twitter and facebook from my phone, too, so aps for those would be a plus.

For a long while, I wanted an iPhone. They were sleek and shiny, and a popular phone. I have an iPod Touch, so an iPhone would be very similar to it, just also having the capabilities of being a phone. iPhones are expensive, but if you want an older model they can be found on eBay for around £100. Still, that’s a lot of money for an old phone that has no guarantee of it actually working. And one of my biggest issues with my iPod Touch is the touch screen keyboard. I actually dislike it and wish it had keys!

Tim received a phone with his new job. A Blackberry Curve. Ironically, I have been looking on and off at a Blackberry Curve for several months, so I was more than a little jealous when Tim got one for work use! I love the Blackberry. It has a Qwerty Keyboard, it has Aps, and it has blackberry-to-blackberry messaging, which would help me keep in touch with my friends all over the world who also have blackberries. Tim let me play around with his to see how I liked using the keyboard on it (I sent an email to myself and played with the notepad) and I found it pretty easy to use. I really, really want one. O2 has a purple curve on offer as free with a monthly plan. The plan is £16.50/month for a 24 month contract. Not bad.

But then, there’s Android phones. Tesco mobile currently has Android phones on offer for free with £18.50/month plans (for 24 months). But I’m less-inclined to get an Android because it will have the same touchscreen keyboard as an iPhone. So I think I was only attracted to it based on it’s price and the fact that I know people who have them.

Honestly, I’m sold on the Blackberry. Plus, it means Tim and I can share travel chargers/car chargers which is always nice. I figure I’ll set up a pop email address on beccajanestclair for the blackberry and only give the address out to friends and family instead of having it linked to google mail..I don’t want to pay to receive spam/junk! And, I could always check gmail through the web if I really needed it.

Honestly, it’s just a matter of time!

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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H Samuel is A+

When Tim and I got married in 2009, Tim bought our rings at H Samuel. Mine are white gold, his was Tungsten – an indestructible metal, according to the salesman. We picked a stronger metal for Tim because of his job and hobbies and we didn’t want a white gold ring to get ruined. The ring held up well, until a few weeks ago.

I happened to look down at Tim’s hand and noticed a triangular shaped chink missing from his ring, and a resulting crack running the full length of it. Since we are coming up on our second anniversary, we were pretty sure we would either have to pay to have it repaired, or buy a replacement. Tim was upset, as he wanted to keep the ring I put on his finger when we exchanged vows, but he knew he couldn’t keep on wearing a ring that was cracked – eventually it either would have come off or possibly even cut him.

We were in town today and went into the H Samuel where Tim purchased our rings. The salesman was absolutely astonished that Tim had not only cracked his ring, but put a nick it, too. He said the only time he had ever heard of a Tungsten ring getting damaged was when a woman took a hacksaw to her husband’s ring (when she was mad at him). He also explained that they do not resize the rings, they order the size you need and we would need a replacement. We told him that was fine and went over to the case of men’s rings. He asked us to wait and took the broken ring back to the office to show the manager.

The manager was so appalled that the ring had cracked, he offered to replace it FOR FREE, even though the statute of limits had worn off.

Cue us being overjoyed! It will take about a week for a new ring to come in in Tim’s size, but it’s worth it to have the replacement.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Help Raise Money for Miss M’s Hysterectomy Fund! ** Donations Needed **

I blogged about my friend, Miss M, last week. She’s had a few updates since then, and in her own words:

You can follow the progress of visits, current health, etc on my blog with my hysterectomy tag but this is just a summary of the situation. The full details can also be found here: http://giveneyestosee.com/blog/hysterectomy/

Memorial Day Weekend [Note to UK readers: US Memorial Day weekend is the same weekend as our bank holiday -R] I went into the ER after two days of non-stop severe pain. Many tests and an overnight stay later, it turns out that my uterus is full of tumors.I have multiple softball and multiple baseball sized fibroid tumors and equally large cysts. The total mass is approximately the size of a basketball.

I was on a fast-track for a hysterectomy when my OB/GYN discovered that it was worse then initially believed and I’m too high risk for surgery. High risk is 250 grams of tumors. I’m at over 1,200 grams. I am now on a shot to induce medical menopause in order to attempt to shrink the tumors prior to surgery. The larger the tumors, the more complicated and lengthy the surgery, the more time I will be under anaesthesia, the more complications and blood transfusions I will need. So we’re trying to get them shrunk at least half.

I work a part-time job that does NOT give me insurance. I also do NOT get paid for any time off period. So I’m already out two weeks of pay with many more to come. (When I do have surgery, I’ll be out 4 weeks in unpaid recovery as well.) I have already applied for and been denied financial and medical assistance by the state. I’m asking anyone who can help for your support as a result.

I need a total of $2,600 just to pay my OB/GYN, $1,400 of which must be up front before the surgery. This does NOT include the hospital, anaesthesiologist, radiology, etc. It also does NOT include the fees for the office visits and tests pre-op. (I’ve already spend $463 on those as of June 7th)

How can you help Miss M? Several ways —

First, you can make a direct donation to Miss M via this link: http://tiny.cc/hysterectomy. Link will take you directly to PayPal, the safest way to send money online. If you’d prefer, Miss M can provide her PO Box for a physical cheque.

Alternately, Miss M could use some help with her groceries while they are down to one income, and I’m sure gift cards for Wal-Mart or Target would be well appreciated! Or to Michaels, so Miss M could get more crafting supplies to make more things to sell. Miss M lives in Tampa, FL, so please check before sending other store gift cards to make sure she has one local.

Second, you can take a look at her Etsy shop, PhoenixFireDesigns, or her Website, PhoenixFireDesigns. Miss M makes beautiful jewellery, and like I said in a previous post, I have many items made by her including a Tree of Life necklace, a personalized Bird’s Nest necklace, snowman earrings, and several custom pieces. I always look at Miss M’s site first when I need a gift for someone!

Here is just a small selection of items Miss M has for offer:




[all images above are © PhoenixFireDesigns and used with permission]

Third, you can take a look at the items donated by her friends over on PhoenixFunds. Currently, there are some children’s items, chocolates, and accessories listed, with more being listed as they come in. I plan on donating some 8×10 photographs and a few pieces of jewellery this weekend.

Forth — If you are a crafter and would like to donate an item for sale in PhoenixFunds, please let me know in the comments. We are looking for anything handmade, as well as craft supplies and vintage items (basically, anything that can be sold on Etsy. This also includes patterns for things). You can either send your donated item directly to Miss M for listing, or email detailed photos/description of your item. If you choose to hold onto your item, you will be responsible for shipping the item when it sells. If you sell on Etsy or on an external website, Miss M would be more than happy to link back to your site as a thank you.

Fifth….Promote this. Please re-post this post or a version of this post, post the links to the shops, post a link to my post here or to Miss M’s blog at giveneyestosee. Miss M is also on LiveJournal, and can be found as memoryanddreamover there.

I have been friends with Miss M for years, and we have met in person several times. I have been to her house and met her partner and her kitties, so I can vouch that this is 100% legitimate. Miss M prefers not to use her real name online, however I assure you I do know her real name. Out of respect for Miss M, I will not refer to her as anyone other than Miss M on my blog.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you can help in some way!

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Extreme Tesco

In the US, a new show on TLC has been raising eyebrows everywhere called Extreme Couponing. I’ll link to one of the blurbs for an episode below, but you can very easily search for Extreme Couponing on YouTube and pull up loads more clips, including personal videos by some of the people on the show where they give extensive “tours” of their stockpiles. If I linked to every single YouTube video I’ve watched, it would be a very long list. The show isn’t available in the UK (or if it is, it’s not on the channels I get), so I have to watch the segments on YouTube.


Link: http://youtu.be/FORB0P3hSiI

The show has been also raising eyebrows all over the blogosphere, too (yes, those are all separate links). Lots of legitimate couponing sites (again, google for more) have been blasting the show’s policies, including the people on the show using coupons for the wrong items in order to lower their bill.

The idea behind the show is to save as much money as you can on your grocery bill, by ANY means possible, even if it means buying coupons online for $70 or dumpster diving for discarded coupon inserts.

I love saving money as much as anyone else, but there’s a reason the show is called “extreme”!

In the UK, couponing isn’t a big deal. Every once in a while there might be a coupon for something in a magazine or through the post, but there are no Sunday inserts — most of the grocery stores don’t even put out weekly fliers. But every time you walk around one of the shops with your grocery list, you’re bound to find at least half of the items on your list on special offer, and if you are really pressed for funds, you can purchase things off of the ultra-value line, where cans of soup cost 17p. I get a little thrill when our total is shown as £58 and then the cashier scans our clubcard and the total gets reduced to £35.

A few weeks back, Tim and I went to Tesco armed with £9.50 in clubcard vouchers and whatever loose change we had in our pockets (well, and our debit cards). We set ourselves a goal of spending as close to £10 as we could.

Here’s a copy of our receipt:

As you can see, we spent £1.49 out of pocket.

I consider this an awesome shopping trip, but was it extreme? No, probably not. For one, we didn’t deliberately buy things just to get them “for free”, and in fact we added the Red Leicester cheese and the Lighter Cheese (on an offer 2/£3) just so we would definitely spend more than our vouchers.

But take a look at some of the other things we purchased:

Wholemeal Bread 47p
Tinned Pineapple 43p
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (Generic Nutella) 86p
2L Sparkling Water 16p

All of the above items came from Tesco’s “value” range. The jar of chocolate hazelnut was larger than the largest jar of Nutella and the Nutella was over £3. Fortunately, we had tried the Tesco brand before, and actually like it. I can’t tell a difference at all between it and Nutella. And it’s less than £1. Sparkling water? Sure, I could have gone for one of the brands, but in my opinion, water is water. I’m going to pour it into a glass and top it off with some fruit squash, so does it really matter? The same with the pineapple – it’s an ingredient in another recipe. The value tin came in syrup instead of juice, but I’ll rinse off the pineapple before I use it. The bread probably wasn’t the greatest. It’s really thin slices of bread, but it doesn’t taste bad.

Granted, on a regular shopping trip, we probably would have picked up Nutella, Buxton brand water, and Kingsmill bread, but we were deliberately trying to see what we could get for approximately £10 and I wanted to try out some of the Tesco value line products.

What I learned? The value products really aren’t bad. And if it means I spend only £20 on weekly groceries, I’ll take it.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Ebay ShmeBay

*sigh* I bought a buy-it-now on another one of those Soap & Glory Big Pink totes because I worked it out as being a very cheap option for getting all the S&G items I love using, and I can turn around and re-auction off the items I don’t like/can’t use.

Problem! The set is missing an item. I double checked the auction listing, and the missing item was listed as being included. What can I do other than a polite message to the seller? I can’t really dispute it with PayPal since I have most of the item, and I really don’t want to deal with trying to send this back, as it’s a large package and it looks like the seller uses drop shipping for their auctions.

They have LOADS of these sets on offer on eBay, so I’m thinking the missing item might not even be their fault – it might not have been in the original since when we bought the first big pink, I had to check through a few boxes before I found one that hadn’t had an item stolen from it as they are not sealed in the store. Either way though, they promised me that item was included, so shouldn’t they do something about it? Either send me the missing item (which I’m not overly fussed about, to be honest. It smells nice, but I don’t absolutely NEED it) or send me a partial refund?

How long should I wait before doing anything other than emailing the seller and what are my options other than leaving negative feedback? This seller also NEVER once contacted me, even to say “your item has been shipped”, so I’m not super impressed either way, and was planning on noting the lack of communication on the feedback.

For my own record keeping: Seller contacted through eBay’s “contact the seller” on Sunday, 8 May.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.
For my own records: First message sent via ebay’s “contact the seller” on Sunday 8 May 5PMish.

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Charity Shops

I volunteer once a week for Cancer Research UK in their charity shop on the high street in Lincoln (if anyone wants to visit, I’m there on a Thursday and we are located near the base of Steep Hill across from the Slug & Lettuce). My job is mostly downstairs in the shop – running the till, putting clothing and other items out on the racks/shelves, and general tidying up. Sometimes I also help W, the other volunteer with picking items for the window display, make price labels for B, our manager, and set up displays. I love volunteering and helping out…but the biggest benefit of working in a charity shop? Shopping in a charity shop.

Charity shops in the UK are different from shops in the US. In the US, the two big shops are Salvation Army and Goodwill. At SA you can get t-shirts for $0.50, jeans for $2, and even prom dresses for less than $10. You really have to comb through the racks of clothing to try your luck at finding something branded. I remember one time I found an Express skirt for $2, but most of the time it was combing through lots of discount chain brands and promotional items.

Charity shops in the UK are different. First of all, most big charities (Cancer Research UK, British Red Cross, British Heart Foundation, OxFam, etc.) have their own shops where they sell commercial goods for fundraising, branded items, and donated items. Some charities have multiple shops, such as the OxFam bookshop or the Heart Foundation furniture & appliance shop. Signs in the window at the British Heart Foundation shop advertise used televisions starting at £15 and other used appliances for under £100. I wish I had known of their existence when we had to buy a new washing machine in February!

Since I started volunteering in March, I think I’ve spent around £30 total in different charity shops (though most in the one I volunteer at!). But if I had purchased those same things on the high street? I bet I would have easily spent £300. I shop for high street branded items – I’ve scored per una (Marks & Spencers) blouses and tops for £3-£5, a dress from Evans for £7, a dress from Monsoon for £4, and assorted practically new books for £1-£3. And a quick glance at M&S shows a shirt similar to the one I purchased for £3 selling in their shop for £22, a new-with-tags shirt I paid £5 for selling at £25, and another new-with-tags shirt I paid £4 for selling at £19. And the dress from Evans would have set me back at least £25, and the Monsoon dress at least £55!

And I can’t forget about books. If I forget a book when I go into town, I usually stop in at the OxFam shop and pick out a book and spend £1-2, less than the cost of a magazine. I’ve even picked up the latest Phillipa Gregory book at the charity shop for £2. Buying books used is a great way to expand your collection if you don’t have much to spend. I also decided to purchase cookbooks at charity shops and used book shops instead of £25-30 at Waterstones.

So please, if you’re looking for some new clothing, consider checking in a charity shop first. Not only will you save some money, you’re money will go to a good cause. Or even better, donate some time to your local charity shop!

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Update on Shopping at Weis….

Today, I received this in my inbox:

Dear Ms. S,

I apologize for our vector security guard asking you to check in empty plastic bags at the customer service desk. I talked to the security guards supervisor, and made sure he covers with all of his guards, the necessary policies Weis Markets has, which doesn’t include empty bags.The next time you visit our store ask for me, Carl Zartman. I would like to meet you, and apologize in person. Thank you for your continued patronage.

Carl Zartman
Store Manager Weis #41
Phone [717] 392-6511

Good to know that barring reusable bags is NOT Weis policy and was just the security guard being a moron. I haven’t gone over to that Weis since the incident happened, but I suppose I’ll go over there next time and ask for Carl since he wants to apologize to me.

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Groceries US vs. UK

Tonight, my mom and I went over to the Weis Market in the Manor Shopping Center (Lancaster, PA). We usually grab one of the mini-carts and put our reusable bags on the bottom half while we shop. As we walked in the door, the security guard stationed by the door tried to tell us that we needed to leave our bag(s) with the customer service desk while we shopped. We explained to him that they were our grocery bags, and his comment back to us was “people still could use them to steal stuff”. The overall impression I got off this security guard was that he somehow thought Mom and I were going to steal groceries and that’s why we were bringing in bags. I’ve never felt so offended before going grocery shopping. If this is going to be a trend with that store, we simply won’t shop at it anymore!

And then when we were checking out…it seems to me that if you bring in your own bags, the cashier doesn’t make any moves to assist you with packing up your purchases. Even if they have finished ringing you up and you have paid and the remaining items are out of your reach. No, you must stretch yourself to try to push them down to where you can reach them.

I compare this type of service to the service I regularly received at Tesco in the UK. Never once were we stopped by anyone for bringing in reusable bags, in fact, they encourage reusable over plastic and offer you 3p off your order for every bag you bring in. If you need plastic bags, you need to ask the cashier to give you some. Also, as soon as you start packing your groceries, the cashier always asks if you need help packing and will do their best to ensure that you can reach all your purchases.

I could be looking at grocery shopping in the UK through rose coloured glasses, but I never came across a rude cashier or stocker in any of our trips to Tesco. Matter of fact, I even received help finding an item in the store from an employee who was off-duty doing her own shopping when she heard me tell Tim I couldn’t find an item off our list!

I wish Weis was more like Tesco (and I wish they didn’t charge over $7 for the tiniest bottle of Ribena you can get for under £1 in the UK!). I’ve also sent in a complaint via the Weis Market’s website. I had wanted to speak with the store manager, but there was a long line at customer service and only one woman behind the counter. I didn’t want to cause a huge fuss asking for a manager to complain to when clearly, they needed help dealing with all the customers.

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