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Thursday, 21 July 2011

#12 Hitting our pockets

So for the last five years this recession has been hitting us hard. Ever since the ball started rolling with Northern Rock we have been constantly told our lives are going to get harder and our finances tighter. Well it seems as that may possibly be now happening with the the survey released today taken out by Which the consumer watchdog that 84% of people are worried about the cost of food in line with their income and that third of people asked had said they had reduced their spend on food. One thing that worries me a little though is that apparently 1 in 3 families are giving up there fruit and vegetables off their shopping lists to save money.
All this and on top we have the news that food is expected to rise above 5% inflation this year it doesnt seem to look like its going to improve anytime soon. An example of an average price hike is Sainsburys cornflakes rising 37% in one year and TESCO own vegetable oil rising by a huge 43%
Obviously every part of life has taken a battering in this recession the public and business. However surely prices going up are not going to help anyone are they?
For example the supermarkets put their prices up, what will the customer do to counteract that? They will reduce their shopping as i mentioned earlier or the other thing they will look at doing is to look to save money in other ways. Cheaper and own brand items. One thing this recession has taught us is to become cleverer shoppers. We no longer let the big shops bully us into buying what they want us to buy. We have all become a lot more savvy and just buy what we need to buy.

We now go where the best value is it seems after it was announced that budget supermarkets such as ALDI have increased their sales by 20.2% and LIDLs are up by 15.6% Which between them is a 6.1% share of the market. Compare that to the big ones and they only increase by small numbers such as 0.1%
However its not just those discount supermarkets which appear to be increasing sales. Waitrose also increased its share of the market from 4.1% to 4.3%

They say we are £9 a week less better off than we were a year ago. With increase in bills. So how can we save that money?????

Well it looks like we should try these low budget supermarkets either that or the own brand labels that the supermarkets offer. However as I mentioned earlier even going down that route may not save money

Aldi gets a bad name as a cheap supermarket however i have heard some reviews saying some of their products are actually as good, if not better, than the better known supermarkets

With the economic future unknown. Take your future in your own hands. That extra money you save from your food shopping by being savvy. Save it and treat yourself. We all deserve a treat.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

#11 Fast Food Britain

So for the past few years there seems to be of been a large attempted crack down on fast food. By fast food i mean the type thats not good for you. Ever since the film Super size me was released there has really been an effort to get people eating healthier. Yet you look at the high street fast food outlets. And what are there best sellers, the same as what they were before the crackdown, your big macs, your whoppers, your buckets of greasy chicken.

All of these fast food outlets have tried cracking down on healthy eating yet they still promote there unhealthy food primarily as at the end of the day they know thats what sells. These established brands though really should start coming under increasing pressure. From places such as your high street sandwich shop, you know the ones, the ones where you have a large salad counter and a wide varied choice of sandwich fillings. Yet even these places which pride themselves on healthier eating always try to push you for those extra pennies by always offering you the foot long. Now is it me or is a foot long surely going to be the equivalent to a burger and chips in these other outlets? I am not a nutritionist but surely doubling the size of a sandwich makes it doubly unhealthy? 

So this brings me on to what i saw this week on the apprentice. They had to make a fast food outlet in two days and one decided to do fresh pies. 
This is a brilliant piece of thinking for fast food, pies are so easy to make and can be kept on a heat thus giving you that fast service. So why are all food out lets offering the same type of foods why do we not have more individual food outlets offering a wide varied choice of foods. We all have moments where our lifes are running crazily fast and all need to eat, so not for one second am i slating fast food, what i am doing is asking why there are not individual fast food outlets offering food we would normally make at home.  Like MyPy on the apprentice. Its a good filling dinner which is not going to break the bank on calories or on the finances, and in these hectic lifes we live if we had the choice of a greasy burger or a fresh home made meal i know what i would choose, how about you?

Thursday, 7 July 2011

#10 Britain Vs the world

So i see once again a Brit had the talk but did not have the walk at the weekend. I'm talking of course about Mr David Haye losing his heavyweight fight to Wladimir Klitschko. It was such a non contest from the first bell. And once again we see a Brit crumbling on the big stage due to the fact they just turn up and expect everything to fall for them just like the England football team, especially last summer in South Africa. What gives our small country this feeling of invincibility and right to success. No one has the right to expect success. It takes work.

As a contrast to this the night of the fight we were at the cinema watching a fantastic documentary, Senna. A guy that came into the sport and gave his everything and was always prepared to push himself to the limit, unfortunately for him he did just that that fateful day back in 1994. One thing that came across in the film though and could never be argued was what a nice man he was with it. Senna is proof that to succeed you need to give your all and be a nice guy at the same time. Haye, take note!!!

Anyway i know what your thinking. Why blog about this on a food blog. Well it does link in trust me.

After seeing the Senna movie we needed to get something to eat. Only ten minutes past ten and what a nightmare we had trying to find somewhere to eat as most places stop at 10. Eventually we did find a large chain italian restaurant that served us, but still, what gives the Brits the right to stop serving food so early on a Saturday night?
Seriously, Think about it. When your abroad, be it on the Costas in Spain or on some derelict Greek island. What time do they stop serving food? how many times do you get turned away from these little restaurants if you arrive after ten pm?
The answer is simple. none. Thats what makes it such an experience as you know you can sit in the sun till late evening, get ready, get a drink and then find a restaurant and order your food eventually after a couple of carafes of wine. A couple of years ago we visited Greece. 

We arrived at Lefkas town late one night walked through the town and stopped for a drink in the market square, By time we remembered we needed to eat the time had passed a normal British eating time. After 11pm we walked down a little back street and found a family run restaurant which was packed. But still they didn't turn us away, No, What they did was find us a table from out the back and put it down the narrow pedestrian lane along with the other tables, that were already sitting, Not once were we rushed that night, Just felt so nice.And the food was the best Greek meal i have ever had. To prove they really didn't mind us there at about midnight some of the neighbours came down and start playing some local music. It was such an experience.

So why oh why cant we have those experiences when in England? Why does everything have to be so formal and rigid on rules. With all these chain restaurants basing themselves on foreign countries meals, Such as Italian,French and Mexican ect. Why don't they give the full experience you would get if there in the country. Relaxed atmosphere and great food. I would say the weather but that's pushing it a little.