Archive for January, 2009

Savvy Shopping

Along with most of the population we’ve been trying to cut down our spending and have so far been quite successful in our new thrifty ways.

Like Robyn says in her Blog carefully planning where to spend your hard earned cash – especially when it comes to regular shopping like food – can easily be controlled with a plan and buying in the right place and at the right time.

It must almost be about 6 months ago now that I swapped the Saturday morning chore of fighting my way round Morrison’s to breezing round the more local Aldi store on a Thursday night on the way home from work. I have not only saved time (the shop takes about 20mins rather than the hour+ we used to spend browsing through Morrisons many aisles) I save petrol as the shop is on my way home, and we save on average around £30 a week on the cost of food.

But, it’s not like I buy less stuff, the great thing about Aldi and other discount supermarkets is the range of products – because they don’t have, for example, a whole aisle dedicated to cans of Tuna,15 different types from 5 different brands, that decision making time is dramatically reduced – I’m not spending ages working out which offer works out better value or if I want lemon and pepper flavoured Tuna, I just need a couple of cans for sandwiches and my only choice is if I have Tuna in Brine or Sunflower oil. Simple.

And whilst not all produce is great, or in stock, our food is supplemented by the local butcher who I visit one lunchtime a week, not only does he do a fantastic range of home made sausages, it works out cheaper, I get out of the office for a walk and I feel good about helping a local business.

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Not quite a final countdown, but the first of many…

cursive1Back to college last night and only 2 lessons left now on the Marketing Essentials module, and that also means only 6 weeks to the dreaded exam. Not only is the thought of trying to memorise all the information and then remember it during the exam starting to worry me, the thought of actually trying to write for 3 hours solid is a real issue. Its been a long time since I last took an exam, and even trying to do past papers, after 20mins my writing is more like a drunk spider walking ink across the page than legible English. I wonder though, perhaps this could work to my advantage? If the jist of the phasing is there, the examiner could interpret my scrawls as very insightful and in depth knowledge of Marketing theory… or not.

Another issue is that this module overlaps with the Marketing Environment module, whilst I’m sure all the information I take in (if any) is useful, begining to learn a new subject and balance revision for the first one is going to be tricky throughout January and February. So, anyway I better get on with it. Next chapter to read: Distribution Channels and Pricing Strategies…

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It’s freezing cold, the snow is turning icey and my car told me it was a chilly -6 this morning so I’m reminiscing over my top festive highlights to warm myself up. Memories of lazy brunches, stodgey food, a lot of puddings and comedy games have really cheered me up! Here’s my run down of Christmas activities:

  • Going to play Quasar at the work Christmas party – apprehension that it was going to be a let down was truly way off – it was brilliant fun! Even the quiet ones in the office showed their competitive edge!
  • Our friends cocktail party – some very creative concoctions were knocked up and playing ‘Lips‘ was great fun – the drunk boys rendition of Tina Turner will definitely be remembered for a long while (and viewed on facebook a lot!)
  • Seeing Stonehenge whilst driving to Wiltshire for boxing day with the Hardwicks
  • Wrapping up like ‘Michelin Man‘ to take the dog on long walks around the various lakes and woods of Milton Keynes
  • Watching loads of DVD’s and films – including my all time classic favourite – Swiss Family Robinson

But my top top highlight (and what I will never forget 2008 for) the best Christmas present ever (yes, even better when I got my first bike aged 9…) a new Yamaha Arius 140 electric piano! The boy really did good! I’ve already spent many hours trying to listen for the digital sound but it really is a clever piece of kit!arius140

The touch sensitive keys and ‘hammer action’ are uncannily realist and so I’ve spent the best part of my week off happy thuding away with headphones on…

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