Thrifty Christmas #thrifty
It’s Christmas Eve and all my Christmas shopping is done! This is a good time to think about those New Year resolutions and if affording Christmas has been a struggle then you need to make some thrifty and frugal resolutions.
This week I shopped at Aldi and Asda. The car park at Aldi was full and in the store it was really busy, but they had more staff on the checkouts than usual. The staff are trained to be nice to customers but hurry them through the checkouts. I got through the checkout even quicker than usual. They don’t have a large car park and so when it full, they try to make sure no one has to wait at the checkout. The reason it was busy is mainly down to prices, but the staff are also pleasant and although they work hard they earn more than the staff at the big supermarkets.
My experience at Asda was different. They have more staff and more variety, but when I looked for beer the stock was mostly imported and the British beer I wanted was out of stock. The free-from aisle turned out to be one section of the aisle. At the checkout I didn’t have to wait long, there was only one customer in front of me, but the attitude of the checkout person was, take your time, and she did. At Aldi they can serve at least three customers while Asda staff are serving one.
So at the discount stores, you not only find bargains, you get better service, but less choice.
How about shopping for clothing? I like the discount stores too, like Matalan but always take advantage of 20% off offers and have a Matalan card and the app on my phone. I also buy Asda George and I think in my local Asda they should expand the clothing and homeware section.
Running a car is expensive, but they are made better than ever now and are really reliable if you choose wisely and look after them. I bought my car in 2004 and it passed it’s MOT last month. I had to spend more than usual on maintenance because a suspension part needed replacing, but depreciation and maintenance costs have been less than £300 a year. Even though it’s a 2 litre engine, petrol costs are reasonable because I rarely accelerate hard, I brake gently and use the highest gear I can.
The biggest waste of money of all?
What do you think is the biggest waste of money of all is? It is those aspirations that the media keep telling us about, it’s not only keeping up with the Joneses, it’s aspiring to be better than them. If you want to be a better person and earn the respect of others, be different, don’t follow everyone else like a dumb sheep. You can stamp your individuality on life without spending a fortune, in fact, you might even make some money. I don’t own a pair of trainers, I don’t have any tattoos and I don’t wear any jewellery. I don’t care what the registration letter is on the number plate of my car and I don’t wear a cap on backwards! Does this mean I’m cheap? No, because I can tell real champagne from Asti Spumante, I am an award-winning writer and photographer and I quite like my individuality. I would rather buy an expensive camera outfit than a lot of tattoos and jewellery, simply because it’s far more useful.
So a good New Year resolution is to be yourself, don’t aspire to be anything other than older and wiser. Learn from your mistakes and be a better and more generous person. Don’t wish for people to envy you, wish for them to like you.
Have a great Christmas and please check out my posts over Christmas when I’ll be sharing lots of photos from the past. You can see some recent photos on my Facebook page. You can follow me on Twitter too.