Monday, 30 May 2011

Shopping Local

This has been the first month of a little experiment. We have taken our monthly food budget and split it into two. One half is limited to use in supermarkets whilst the rest is to be used to shop locally.

It was prompted by a trip to a Musselburgh - Transition Town meeting where there were discussions about how to shop locally and retain some of the shopper pound in the vicinity.

Well we tried - and it took some work to do it. We have discovered the delights of our local butcher - particularly for his bacon but the most difficult thing has been access to fresh fruit and vegetables. There is one greengrocer here in Musselburgh and in some aspects it is fine - though it has meant we have to shop more frequently. There are some small greengrocers in Leith which I can visit on the way home from work.

With regard to the supermarket - we have had to be very careful about what to buy - looking for the things which are on a deal - bogof deals etc - and things which are reduced.

The only supermarket that we are using on the local side is the Co-Op - though we don't have a local one and have to use the one in Portobello.

Though we did manage it - and will see how we get on over the next few months.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Straiton no chaser

Am not a regular visitor to Straiton Retail Park. Though the Park is on the bus route 141 from East Lothian - it takes for ever as it meanders through the highways and byways of East and Mid Lothian. It has the usual range of retail park type of shops which only have a limited appeal to me generally.

But a colleague excitedly told me about the delights of Home Bargains - indeed she was going back there to collect some bits and bobs for her mum. I recognised it from the hometown of my bargain hunter chums from Morley in West Yorkshire.

So, the opportunity came for a quick troll round last Friday when I cadged a lift from her. I wouldn't go out there specifically to pick up the range of household and food products that it sells. But if you are out there it's worth a trip round - but a shame that the shop at Straiton doesn't sell booze.

Sunday, 15 May 2011


Not much happened this week - very quiet on the value front.

Nearest got to was a call to a friend in San Francisco on skype - which cost nothing - so that's a result.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Art for Art's Sake

There can only be one real post this week.

For the princely sum of zilch - the Guardian is offering a three month trial of the National Art Pass - obtainable from the link below.

And I've checked - and there are approximately 18 or so galleries in Scotland that are part of the scheme.

So get in there quick to avoid disappointment.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

You know - I think I should get out more

I was round at my mums the other day and while she was chomping on a kitkat, I noticed that there were 233 calories in the 4-finger variety. This isn't world shattering news I grant you - but I had used the 2-finger version as my calorie offsetting benchmark - and that is only 107 calories - so where did the other 19 come from in the 4-finger version???

There is a VFM reason for this - honest!!

It seems that two of the 2-finger variety are smaller than one of the 4-finger type - and to complicate matters they are both smaller than the chunky version.....jings!!!

With multipacks generally coming in at the same price - you are getting more bangs for your kitkat buck with the chunky one.

So - when there is a choice of kitkat multipacks - the chunky one is the choice for the value conscious.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Currying favour

Saturday was a grim day in Edinburgh - light rain almost constantly until late in the afternoon.

There were two positives from the day. A trip to the Bethany charity shop on Duke Street, Leith led to the purchase of some Prestonpans pottery and a lunchtime curry at Punjab'n de Rasoi on Leith Walk.

We went for fish pakora between us followed by a thali - a dish of two curries, rice, salad, yogurt, poppadom and chapati. The dish also comes with a free drink - we went for salt lassis. The thali was £6.95 and despite being a little on the cool side - it was very tasty and filling.

As a social enterprise company and a training cafe you can give them some latitude - and I'll hopefully get back there again.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Mr Mojo returning

Apologies dear reader - yes, I am aware that someone reads this - as I have not posted recently.

I was having moments of self doubt as I was concerned that my value mojo was on the wane. This wasn't helped by two things - a purchase of tickets to see Morrissey in Dunfermline and a trip to a shop in Record Store Day - they may have been exclusive discs - but they weren't aimed at a value conscious market.

So now I am trying to get back on the wagon - which isn't easy to do. Though a trip to my local Tescos was a help.

Brewdog - Beer for Punks - has opened up a bar on the Cowgate in Edinburgh. It has a post-industrial / Centre Pompidou feel about it. Now, Brewdog isn't really session beer - the flavours are too gig - but that they have an excellent range of other beers such as Sierra Nevada's Anchor Steam - and what has this to do with Tesco.??

Well at 4 for a fiver, they are offering three of the Brewdog beers but also an excellent selection of other Scottish beer - brewed by the Williams Bros in Alloa and Harviestoun's Bitter and Twisted.

So on the wagon in one sense - but not the other.