Free Books… But Don’t Take The P#ss

Well we are getting on towards the end of the first month of 2012 and my aim to try and write here a little more frequently has not exactly gone to plan. I’ve got two draft entries that I just can’t seem to finish off.

Let hope this does not become the third!

After thinking about volunteering last year and speaking to someone at a local charity about helping out I have made a commitment to help out every Saturday – when I say commitment it is likely to be until I get board or something better come along.

Hate to say it but it is true, so far I have done three weeks and have to say generally I am enjoying it – however I do find some of the people who come in to get free books rather irritating.

The rule is simple each person can take three books for free but it is very tiresome when you get traders or others who come into the store and want to take advantage!

I was on my own for most of the day yesterday sorting out books and dealing with people coming in with donations and people taking books, found a very nice book “The Complete Chronicles of Narnia” in hardback it looked like it had never been opened and I thought it was too good to be put out so put it on behind the counter so that the people in charge could make the decision on Monday.

Anyway one of the last people who looked around the store came up to the counter so that I could check the books she had – she had her quota but noticed the book and asked if she could have it…WTF

Healthy Planet

Harveys Sales

I have noticed that a lot of people are coming to the site after doing a search for Harveys, or the Lima wardrobes – unfortunately a lot of what I had written about these for them to be picked up by search engines were lost when the site had some work done in a few months ago.

Basically I spent a year comparing the prices of two of Harveys Boxing Day offers to see how the prices changed over the 12 months and found that the price did indeed increase at points during the 12 month period but they charged exactly the same for the products on Boxing Day 2007 that they did on Boxing Day 2008.

The point I was trying to make back then is that Sales are pretty much pointless, if you see something that you like and you want to pay the price listed then just buy it – I would of course recommend looking online to see if you could get the same item cheaper elsewhere!!

Caught Short

Got to my car this morning to find yet another parking fine, (Have gone a good few months without having one so still cheaper than actually having to buy a permit or daily ticket) I had a feeling when I parked up last night that I would get one but always wanting to push my luck I did not “hide” the car.

Of course yesterday the local council changed some of the parking spaces from long stay to short stay, I did notice last night but thought I would chance it – I did get to my car earlier than I normally would and got to the car park just before 9am. As I had guessed because the area I had parked in was now designated short stay my car was all alone and stood out like a sore thumb as all the other cars were parked in the long stay.

What aggrieves me the most is that this was an easy hit for the council enforcement officer, they saw the car and zoomed in on it (knowing that it would have been left overnight) and I know from past experience that they would not have checked any other car to see if it had a valid parking ticket. Looking at the paperwork I was caught at 8.20am which is fair enough as the car park is monitored from 8am but any other day I have safely left my car until at least 10am sometimes longer when it is “hidden” in with the other long stay cars.

My policy of hiding the car will not change as mentioned before it is not worth me buying a ticket or permit as the only day the car is in the car park after 8am is when I work a late shift.

If I pay within 14 days I will only need to pay £25, this month was already a tight squeeze on my finances with me already cutting back so looks like I will be using food from my cupboards and freezer for the rest of the month.

Vultures Circling

Focus the DIY store has recently gone into administration, I had heard online that they had been unable to sell the business as a going concern so all the stock was to be sold off.


Since they announced the start of the sale the car park at my local store has been jam packed, I noticed the car park at the Focus branch in Pembroke Dock was also full. Out of interest and to see what sorts of bargains they had I called into the local Focus store a few days ago and the store was just as busy as the car park.

The reductions were from 10% to about 30% and having a quick look around the shelves even with the level of discount the items were still available elsewhere cheaper.

Yet the checkouts were busier than I had seen in a long time and it is a shame that those bargain hunters had not supported the firm prior to them going into administration – it reminds me of the days when Woolworths vanished from our high streets and everyone picking at the bones.

When is a bargain not a bargain?

When you buy two apparently!

I saw an offer for the 500ml bottles of Pepsi for £0.39 at my local B&M over the weekend and being such a good price I called into the store to buy a couple of bottles before heading down to the beach. On the shelve I notice that they have an offer on for two bottles for £0.80 or £0.39 each – this happens with special offers all the time in most of the major supermarkets, there would not have been a problem if I was only buying one bottle but as I was purchasing two they charged me £0.80. I was half expecting this and when I queried this price I was told that the computer systems recognised that two bottles had been scanned would have over ridden the price and in this case added an extra £0.02 on to the cost.

Surely the store could sort out this problem, how easy would it be to have the till software run a query to check which offers the customer the best deal. Or at the very least switch off the multi-buy offer for the duration of the promotion.

£0.02 does not seem a lot but if you consider the number of people who go into the shop on a daily basis and potential buy more than one bottle you can imagine the extra money being made.

In my case they cancelled the sale and had to put each bottle in separately, so that I could pay the £0.39 each. I did enquire how often this happened and was told that most people don’t notice or don’t want to cause a fuss or delay others who are queuing.

So my advice always check you are paying what you should for goods.