Friday, 9 November 2018

No Go Aisle


I try not to walk down one aisle in our local Tesco
It depresses me too much.
It's the aisle where the discounted food is piled up and it is the place that at times there seems to be a genuine scrum for food at knock down prices.
Sometimes there seems to be a genuine tension in their air as people jostle and push past each other, and I am fairly certain that it is a more recent phenomenon given the fact people seem poorer today then they did.
Money is a worry to us all.
I still haven't been paid as yet and my first shift was September 28th.
William's Meds alone are 59£ a month and Bluebell has chugged down the petrol like a cheap whore in a bar since Mary had her surgery. Surgery that has to be paid for by now rising insurance premiums
It's a worry all of us have, I guess juggling balls and paying bills.
But most of us are lucky....I thought this today when I was in Tesco buying cheap cocktail sausages ( £3 for 70!!!!!-btw the cocktail sausage is the ideal shape in which to hide painkillers antibiotics and allergy meds)
I was in the aisle of discount madness when one of the staff brought her trolley full of cheaper goods to the fridge shelf . Before she had even started to arrange the food two women started to jostle each other to the best bits, and that jostle turned to raised voices and even more pushing.
How worried, or desperate or unhappy or just skint do you have to be to start a fight over a packet of cheap beef?

Ps. You may note that my Trump post of the other day has been removed. As it can so often be, it was hijacked by different agendas and by an unwanted visitor and the ill feeling generated isn't something I need this week. 

107 comments:

  1. You seem blue lately John. I hope something nice happens to lift you up xx

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    Replies
    1. Up and down still...worked with a new volunteer in Sams last night a young man with two jobs a young baby who wanted to give something back to society. ...he made my day

      Delete
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  2. Food prices are soaring! Yet no one is saying a word...so thanks for bringing up the subject. Bread is $4 a loaf...$3. for the cheap bread! Poverty is real!

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    1. Yes.....the. Food bank donation container was full too

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  3. Nothing gets reduced to pennies in our local supermarkets so there are no bargains and no scrums.

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    1. I like that some supermarkets give directly to homeless charities and food banks

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  4. We know a couple (in their late sixties) who own 12 houses which they rent out.
    They holiday in places such as Goa, Bermuda etc, drive very expensive cars, have a house worth well over £1.5 million, but they haunt the 'yellow sticker' shelves in our local supermarket.
    They go in every weekday evening at about 4-30, then again at 7-30 as anything left over is reduced to pennies then!
    We're very lucky to be comfortably off, and live in a fairly affluent area, but, even here, I'm sure some people need the yellow stickered food far more than H&E do!
    Having said all that, I did get some lovely smoked cod loins from Waitrose in Chester a few weeks ago, reduced from £7-80 to £2-50! However, there was no scrum.....actually what would us Waitrose shoppers call it, a very slightly aggressive gathering perhaps?
    Food banks are needing more and more donations, yet fewer people can afford to donate food, so I make a point of always dropping a few items into the box on my way out. I know I'm fortunate as far as money's concerned, so while I can afford to help, I will! X

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    1. In Waitrose the customers would only tut quietly

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  5. Well that better be a nice, hefty paycheck when you do get it!

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    1. I wouldn't put money on it literally

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  6. When I was a kid, my parents were poor, but we had a home, fuel to warm it and always food. Whilst I hoped as I grew up our world would become more balanced, it seams we have not learnt many lessons on equality. Having said that, we are watching daytime TV (I know) whilst hubby is getting over surgery, and the number of loans and credit cards with huge Apr rates are staggering there is just so much debt around, everyone is bombarded with commercialism and every home has to have so much stuff these days.

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    1. It's all too easy to get hold of....

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  7. I don't think you have to be skint to like a bargain. I've even seen videos of obviously wealthy people (big flash cars) changing into scruffy clothes to visit a food bank in Edinburgh. Some people just can't resist.

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    1. I'm not sure of the rules in Scotland, but in England people can only access a food bank with a voucher from a care professional, social worker, school nurse, health visitor etc. The voucher entitles them to up to three days worth of nutritionally balanced, non perishable food.

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    2. Anonymous3:25 pm

      Same rules in Scotland.

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    3. I watched the "soup van" that used to pole up just off Princes Street, Edibnburgh. I was staying in the Balmoral Hotel above Waverley Station and would watch from my window the "soup van" arrive every night. It handed out food to a queue of people who would appear from nowhere. It became quite entertaining. Some people would arrive in BMWs and hide their cars in a side street, and cross to the van on foot and join the queue of those with dogs on a piece of string, down-and-outs and junkies. This was in the mid 1980s.

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    4. Why would anyone think it was ok to do that? Mind boggles

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  8. what's really sad is that this world produces enough food to feed everyone but so much is just discarded. there is a small mountain of soybeans that farmers can't sell because of Trump's trade war that will just rot on the ground. I saw an article not long ago about banana producers. banana clusters where the bananas were either too short or too long were tossed on the garbage heap as is other fruit that has blemishes but is perfectly edible just to name a few examples. I hope your paycheck comes soon.

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    1. Praise be, it now has!!!!

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  9. Thank you for removing the post John, we are being horribly divided, civility and kindness must be restored to our societies. Please remove this if you wish, the response to your blog was very disheartening.

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    1. No, it's always good to debate stuff Marilyn, as long as we are friends afterwards x

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  10. I went to County Hall the other evening. The opulence of the room I saw was astounding. All I could think of was 'this is just one room. What about the Houses of Parliament? The royal palaces? the palaces of Westminster?' Such wealth and yet the population of the UK are sinking into poverty. It's unjust.

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    1. We must always have these special places.....I think

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    2. I remember a foreign visitor once criticising our parliament house for being too grand and my dad said we need to give due importance to the physical home of the political process.
      It was the first time i'd heard such an idea and he was right.
      An opulent room is built just once , we could feed everyone and still have nice public buildings

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    3. I'm on my second to last night of being in the UK and my observation is that it has not been these buildings that are the cause of economic woes at all. Seems to me an enormous amount of money is generated through tourism, based upon the amazing homes, castles, cathedrals and civic buildings of the UK.

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  11. Anonymous2:24 pm

    I buy yellow sticker food!. Have never ever seen a scrum. I account for every penny. Has allowed me to pay off the mortgage 14 years early and have healthy savings. Funny about perceptions assuming people who shop in waitrose or dress well are are better of ha they may well be skint or in debt keeping up with the joneses. Jacq.

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    1. I shop in Waitrose because I like their food! There would be very little point in anyone really 'skint' even walking into Waitrose, as their prices are on the high side, even their Essentials range.
      However, I'm sure many people do shop there just to 'keep up'!
      I personally couldn't care less where people shop, but I do think it is incredibly selfish to stuff ones trolley with lots of yellow stickered items when financially it's not necessary. I would hope that people who buy reduced food through choice, not necessity always drop an item or two in the food bank collection, but somehow I doubt it!

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    2. Anonymous3:37 pm

      I too buy food from, what my mother called, the “bent” section. I don’t, however, form a scrum and work on the principle if there are two red used chickens and someone else is hanging around as well, they should get one of them. I did, however, luck out at Lidl on the weekend as they were marking things down to 20p.

      I also shop at charity stores. A few years ago we had a wedding to go to. My partner did not own a suit, we checked out the local thrift shops and found him a Versarce suit for $150. I have several Burberry trench coats which were on average $20 each.

      Traveller

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    3. Anonymous3:44 pm

      You do know waitrose does yellow stickers. I will repeat i have never seen a scrum , Food is on shelves not on boxes on the floor. Its actuslly responsible buying yellow stickers as so much food goes to landfill.

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    4. Anonymous4:01 pm

      Waitrose does, indeed, do yellow stickers but, unless you get stuff that has gone through multiple mark downs, it is still more expensive than full price at Aldi!
      Traveller

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    5. I love Waitrose ..it's so gay

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  12. I worked with a stockbroker who bought his suits and ties which he wore for work from charity shops. He also shopped late at night in Tescos because any bread remaining had been reduced after 9pm.

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    1. Perhaps it was a kind of game andchallenge to him

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    2. No, he was very frugal. It was the way they lived. Happy and his way.

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    3. He was frugal without being brutal. I love a bargain, but I'd never fight for one. I have worn thrift store suits to Court, and felt just fine for a fraction of the price. I'd sooner save it or spend it on travel.

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  13. When you've been brought up with Make do and Mend, Don't Waste, and all those phrases...you can't see good food going to waste. Especially when finances are tight.
    Too many people think you can just turn up at a food bank...you have to be referred,and then that only can happen a limited number of times.

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    1. So many many people are being referred

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  14. Barbara Anne3:22 pm

    How on earth can your employers get away with not paying you for more than a month?

    We live credit card-free and live frugally without making pennies scream before they are spent. My Dad's mother used to say "Money only spends once" and it's a lesson well learned.

    Hope Mary and Winnie are still on the mend and the rest of the crew are doing well.

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    1. It's all sorted now....my knickers are no longer in a twist

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  15. I literally laughed out loud at that clip. Why on earth is the food in boxes on the floor anyway? It's a shame when things get this bad.

    I always check for YS bargains when I'm out and about but recently I'm never in the right place at the right time to get the 10p and 20p deals. I wouldn't like to be in the middle of a scrum to do so anyway :-)

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    1. There was a bit of hysteria in that clip I thought mob mentality

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  16. We all love a bargain when we can get one.
    Happy my life doesn't depend solely on them.
    But a lot of people do.

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    1. I wouldn't fight for a piece of bacon

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  17. I like a good deal and bargain. That kind of fighting over deeply discounted merchandise is a time honored American tradition, most evident on Black Friday, after we celebrate family and friends on Thanksgiving Thursday.

    Now we have people standing in line days before Black Friday, just so they'd be first in line to get those limited items on stock at low, low prices. It's fun if you go with a group of friends, with a plan of which items to get and a layout of where those items are after scouting the store the day before.

    When I was younger, I stood in line for five hours before the store opened, and was able to buy a $400 stereo system for 100 bucks. A few years ago, I was able to buy three Nintendo Gameboys for $50 each (regular price was $150 for one).

    I grabbed four, but then I saw a little boy with a disappointed look on his face that he and his mom had gotten there a few minutes too late and all the Gameboys were gone. So I gave them one from my haul, and the look of joy on that kid's face made me happy. His mom thanked me profusely, but I was just glad to see that little boy smile and hear him say thank you.

    I only needed three to give as presents to a niece, a nephew, and a friend's kid. That fourth one was for me as a reward for getting in line at 8 pm for a store that was opening at 6 am the next day. Seeing that small boy happy on a hectic shopping day was the best reward I experienced. Besides, I have a gaming addiction. I really don't need to be isolated from the real world again and lose myself obsessively trying to beat the game or set a hgh score record.

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    1. Ahhhh we have a professional here!

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  18. I'm sorry I didn't see the Trump post! The way to look at the "bright side" of the bargain food aisle, I suppose, is to appreciate that the food is being eaten and not wasted. I hate the thought of all that food being thrown in the trash just because it's hit its expiration date.

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  19. I am not entirely convinced that everyone who jostles for the cheap food or the two for one business is really interested in getting it to eat - it is just getting something for nothing. It does sadden me that the box for food donations in our Co-op fills up almost every day thank goodness and has to be emptied and taken to a drop off point. As a civilised nation we should be ashamed that there are still citizens below the poverty line.

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    1. Many of them will be feeding a drug habit before they get on to nutritional food and so they get referrals to food banks.

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    2. Anonymous4:22 pm

      Pay day loans and credit cards are the biggest problems just now. People max out cards to keep up with the joneses. Don,t have cash to tide them over if they lose their job or an emergency happens Don,t see it as Money they will need to repay. Debt poverty cycle. Jacq

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    3. Yes abit of truth in every comment!

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  20. Kindness, I hope it is contagious, the world needs more of it. Keep doing the right things, and good things will happen.

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    1. I wholeheartedly agree with you. There is Never enough Kindness in the world.

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  21. I sure hope your pay comes through very soon. Vet bills are very expensive here and I guess everywhere. All the best, John.
    Maybe, talk to Albert about getting a part time job?

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    1. He's a full time cat and rabbit killer

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. But a very handsome boy.

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  22. I hope your paycheque gets sorted out soon. That's a long time. Hope Mary is feeling better soon.

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    1. She's just had a vet check this afternoon , everything looks ok

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  23. Our outside dog was killed a year ago and we live on a farm so I thought we'd really miss her, but aside from missing her because we loved her, we don't miss the presence of an outside dog (to scare off coyotes, fox, etc.).

    Inside we have a darling deerhead chihuahua coming up to 14 years old. Vet bills for an unsolved itching problem are up well over $1000. After he goes, we'll not get another pet because, frankly, we can't afford those vet bills. It's a hard call, though, because there are so many lost/abandoned dogs that NEED good homes and we CAN offer one ... but common pocketbook sense tells me it's foolish to do so. Will our heads win this tug-o-war? Only time will tell.

    -Kate

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    1. I don't begrudge anything kate..the money doesn't matter, it's the juggling that irritates

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  24. Rachel's reply - I am sure she is probably right = makes depressing reading.
    Went down to your previous post John - loved the bit about the policeman and the Walking Dead T shirt.

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  25. Yes, a scrum. So sorry about the no pay. Can you get on their case? Yes, after that last batch of vet bills, we made the hard decision not to get another pet. I miss the company.

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  26. I find that if I am wearing my American football kit (Cleveland Browns) complete with helmet and shoulder pads then I have no problems at the discounted food section in our local Co-op.

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    1. I used to be good friends with Jim Brown. lol

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    2. You'd be better off wearing a saucepan on your head

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  27. The ones I really feel bad for are the store's staff. I've done retail and I've put bait fish into the shark tank at the city aquarium. The sharks weren't nearly as aggressive as a housewife after a deal.

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  28. Sorry you have to edit your posts due to mean spirits. As for that visitor, I'm glad you now automatically delete those comments (I see them in my email notifications), but I wish you wouldn't even read them. See the name, delete! I know it's not easy, but it's so much healthier. I don't read them except for that recent Trump conversation. And i will now go back to not reading them again! Who needs that?!? Sending you gratitude for all you share!

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    1. I never read her comments, I have not for a good while , they are and will be deleted as soon as I see them

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  29. "Entertaining "? I own my car .. it is not a BMW but if it were, it would be the only way I could get around. And if I had no money and got Food Stamps ( what they get in the US) I guess I would have to drive whatever car I have, to get food to put on the table. It breaks my heart to think of people lining up for food in this day and age ..

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    1. It was obvious they hid the car because they could have parked by the "soup van". plenty of parking, but they didn't. Those jumping out, scruffing up their hair, before being seen were entertaining. I had a birds eye view from the upper floor of the hotel.

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  30. But line up they do......

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  31. Oh this is just a small social gathering compared to Tesco and Asda where I live.From 6 pm onwards,they stand there,waiting to pounce,glaring if anyone happens to walk in front of them trying to get by,sweating ready to get in position,pushing,shoving and digging anyone in the ribs if they try to get a look in!.I seen it and Im afraid that I would get myself arrested,if I tried to join in!.I must also add,that they all seem very agile..maybe due to gym membership?.Why cant they just join an orderly line,have say 3 items each and then alot more people could get a bargain.Or is that to much to ask?xx

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    1. Perhaps , as you describe, it's a new social gathering

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  32. Anonymous7:04 pm

    I have just purchased a piece of braising steak for 57 pence in Morrisons. My dog will be grateful.

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    1. Did you smash an old lady in the face to get it..?

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  33. A trip to our local M and S Simply after the Doctors, I fancied a treat.Saw a trolley of yellow labelled goods and just about to reach for some reduced raspberries when a woman pushes up to the trolley and grabs the handle. Only then did I realise this was her trolley of reductions fiiled to the brim ! I moved away and after we got our one or two items , the woman and hubby were hogging the space next to the lad doing the reductions. To be perfectly honest I found this carry on utterly vile and greedy when so many other shoppers could have also had a bargain.

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  34. We've a small chain of markets here that sell an assortment of overstocked product from other suppliers. It's super CHEAP. Everyone seems to shop there, and, fortunately, all is calm in the aisles.

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  35. I do hope you get paid soon.
    And sadly, too many people really need those cheap items. And sometimes they get them.

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  36. It's refreshing to see you say "most of us are lucky", John. Far too few people know how fortunate they are, though their standard of living exceeds that of most people on earth. Still,I know your vet bills make you go without other things that you would enjoy. I'm a firm believer in " what goes around, comes around". May your generosity and kindness to so many be rewarded with provision of all that you need and want.-Mary

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  37. We don't have "donation" boxes for food at our local supermarkets here (in France) so for several years now I pick up a few items of food when I'm shopping and when I have a crateful I take it down to the local food bank. Plus all my ex' clothes when he buggered off - the food bank works with the local psychiatric hospital and tries to find warm clothes for homeless men - men inevitably make up the larger group of homeless). Anyway after several years now they know me, so last time I went the lady hauled out two large bags of books in English to donate to our (at work) charity book store, of which I am the treasurer. Now that's recycling at its best! It's nice to give and take. I may volunteer at the food bank when I retire at Christmas - well that would be after sleeping for three months' solid!

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  38. The Retired Man and I often go to Costco around lunchtime to graze on the free sample foods they are serving. The lines are usually long. We usually end up buying one or two items but I always feel a little guilty taking the food with little or no intention of purchasing what they are promoting.

    I have never witnessed anything like what happened in that video. I work at a food bank and what I have experienced is that most of our clients are very hesitant about signing up for food and assistance. It is demoralizing and humbling to seek help to feed yourself and your family. It can happen to anyone because life can change in a second. There are always some that will take advantage of free food but the majority take only what they need and make sure they leave some for others. The donations that we receive from our community are overwhelming and beautiful. I still believe that most people are good and kind and working there, my faith in my fellow man is strengthened. Living in these times in the USA, I need that.

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    1. Well said and the people using food banks are often ashamed and are very careful not to take too much. Where I volunteer, most have kids and they need the help.

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  39. Our local Tesco passes all of its out of date bakery and fruit/veg over to the local youthclub who put it out on a table for anyone in the local village to help themselves too. It's free, but most people make a donation for the youthclub. Arilx

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  40. Just back from a yellow sticker shop at Tesco. No scrum, all civilized. I usually go every three weeks, mostly see the same people there. I paid £7.52 for £37.30 worth of food, mainly fruit, veg, and salad. I could probably afford to pay full price but I can't see the point in that when I can get 75% off.

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    1. I can afford to pay full price too and that is what I do. I leave the yellow stickered goods for those who can't afford to pay full price. I don't want to be filling my stomach with food hungry children could need. That's what the point is.

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    2. Anonymous12:11 pm

      I can't vouch for what happens in the UK, but in Australia once marked down food is past its use by date, it is thrown out. I see no point in walking past discounted items if I can use them. I'd rather direct my savings to a charity of my choice than pay full price to big business, for example, Aldi, who pay their profits to shareholders in foreign countries.


      There is no shame in being frugal in a supermarket. There is shame in pretending you need charity when you don't.


      Marie in Perth Western Australia

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    3. You seem to be missing the point. The people who can afford to pay full price who are buying the yellow stickered goods (and going purposely late in the day especially to get them)are depriving the needy people who can't afford to pay full price.
      You only need to look at certain bloggers posts showing off their huge amount of yellow stickered goods to know that this is happening. Those same bloggers have posted that they have savings, have a car, treat themselves when they want, go on holidays. If that's not depriving the needy what is?

      Delete
    4. No Jill, you are missing the point, why don't you just name me as the greedy beggar that is depriving poor people of their food. Poor people can do the same as me if they can get up off their backside and get themselves down to the supermarket at the right time.

      You forgot to mention that I share some of my yellow stickers with friends and neighbours, I give it away.

      You forgot to mention that I make generous donations to charity, I send cheques and give cash when I have some spare. I donate food to our cat rescue. You didn't mention that I help my younger family members. You didn't mention that I recently put £1000 into the bank account of a nephew who is struggling to look after his three young children because his wife has gone through cancer treatment.

      I don't buy Christmas presents, but this Christmas is going to cost me £800 because I give cash to my family.

      Jill, you don't know the whole story.

      Delete
    5. Meanqueen I'm not sure why you've replied in such a defensive way, attacking me in such a manner unless you feel guilty of being a "greedy beggar" (your words not mine). As I've not visited your blog previously until a few moments ago (to see what on earth you're referring to) of course I "didn't mention" all those points you made, how could I have possibly known about them? You are not the only blogger revelling in their yellow sticker hauls. (I didn't need to visit your blog to know you also did that, you stated it yourself in your comment here.) It seems that my comment has touched a nerve. If you choose to shop by buying yellow stickered goods that's up to you, my original comment was that I can afford to not do this and therefore I am not depriving needy people. I'll make no further comments on this, you are free to be indignant regarding my comments if you wish but I've replied and that's an end to it as far as I'm concerned. Besides which, this is John's blog, not yours.

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    6. Come on, don't play the indignant innocent with me. You know this describes me to a tee.

      You only need to look at certain bloggers posts showing off their huge amount of yellow stickered goods to know that this is happening. Those same bloggers have posted that they have savings, have a car, treat themselves when they want, go on holidays.

      I can post on Johns blog, he has the option of deleting it if he chooses.

      Delete
  41. when i started work a few months back i had borrowed money to spend in anticipation of getting paid and then it took three weeks to get paid. The longest three weeks of my life!

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  42. Appalling how the discounted food is placed on the floor, where people have to grovel and fight over it. Very Dickensian. Sale items here are put out in the am and throughout the day in their regular area with a yellow 50% off sticker. Very much like a treasure hunt!!!

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  43. I was never in the scrum for second helpings at the school canteen. Too undignified. Just think of the current areas of genuine want and you will loose those extra pounds in weight without trying.

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  44. We have a different food bank here, for people who can't afford food for their animals and face having to give them up. Mostly dry food which is easier to make it last and I'm ashamed to say I never gave pets a thought when putting something in the food bins at the supermarket.

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  45. Sad to see everyone scrambling on the floor for a bargain shame on the store for putting it on the floor. I feel lucky to have a roof over my head and food on the table but with our income we do have to be frugal we buy what we need and don't waste any our local grocery store advertises their sales weekly and we take advantage of that. I grew up where my parents tithed 10 percent of their income I felt obliged to follow that tradition but can't anymore now we donate to a few local charities when we can and I don't feel guilty anymore.

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  46. I find it strange the practice of paying you so far behind when you have worked (I got paid monthly in my first job), and find it much more manageable with a fortnightly pay check.

    Our grocery prices are expensive here, almost double what you pay in the UK, and there are never such knock down discounts, as supermarkets would rather throw things out then take the prices so low.

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  47. Wendy T11:48 am

    I'm a yellow sticker reduced food shopper aged 63, house paid for so I decided to retire at 60. I draw my private pension but my oh my how bills have shot up in that time. I will not get my state pension until 66 years old, I only have a set amount of savings which 3 years ago would have lasted the 6 years. So we've increased the amount of reduced food we eat. I have never seen reduced food on the floor or seen a scrum..... I have been told it does happen which is sad. I don't over take as I hate waste no matter how cheap the food is. Glad you've got your overdue pay sorted and your little furry family are with you xx

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  48. I have been a lurker for some years now, I think you are such a funny bloke so this more serious post woke me up - I have been thinking today how angry the whole country seems to be, desperate, skint and unhappy (I work in a call centre so get a good cross section of Joe Public. Is it Brexit fuelling peoples anxiety? I was shocked to read today that some massive warehouses are being set up to stock piled food for suppliers ref Brexit again - can you imagine the desperate scrum if 'consumer choice' is limited? what they haven't acknowledged is the most expensive items could be on the shelves and nobody could afford them - I am trying to resist the temptation to stockpile rice and flour by the way.

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  49. Welcome..lovely to have another fairy here xx

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  50. What a sad and upsetting The image of shoppers squabbling over food because they cannot afford to pay full price is sad and upsetting.
    I've never seen a designated area for discounted food in the supermarkets here. I often see discounted prices on fresh meat that is nearing its sell-by date, but packaged and canned food that is beyond its shelf life is removed. It is possible that I've not seen it because of the neighborhoods I've lived and shopped in.

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  51. Anonymous9:20 am

    Our vet bills are huge, Bindi has kidney disease and needs scripts that are $120 a month but the vet does scans every 3 months to check her kidneys along with blood tests and won’t write the scripts unless we do the $300 scans. Jo

    ReplyDelete
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I love all comments Except abusive ones from arseholes