Wednesday 22 May 2013

Posh Shopping, Pineapples and Friendship

I used to shop at good old M&S a lot for my foods back in the day. 
 Now with no store nearby thankfully I have no temptation to carry on with this.  But when my M&S vouchers arrived last week and knowing that we were going into Reading for Lovely Hubby's eye check up appointment and realising that the reason I had soooo much to spend in vouchers was because we paid for his eye laser treatment on our M&S card purely to get a huge chunk of points and thus vouchers to spend, it all fell into place so sweetly.
(By the way the card was paid off in full at the end of the month, this is the only way we use credit cards now.)
And this is what we bought, the fresh stuff we needed for the week ahead and a few treats for the weekend.  The total came to £20.46p, so I used £20 of my vouchers and 46p from the £2 House Keeping fund.  So I still have £11 in vouchers left, a good result.  And who remembered that good old M&S did such good offers, two boxes of two cream cakes for £2 and they were larger and more filled than anything we have had for a while ..... yes they have all gone!!
So house keeping money spent from the tin 46p, which means 54p for the Sealed Pot if I haven't spent it by the end of the week.
Not a bad weeks spending then :-)
Looking at my 'posh shopping' reminded me that I had a post lined up to do last week and somehow didn't fit it in, it was all about Pineapples.  When my lovely Mum sent me this bunch of flowers and a fruit hamper from M&S for my birthday in amongst all the luscious fruits was a Pineapple.

Now it sat on the worktop looking magnificent until it was lovely and ripe and then I cut it into chunks ....
... being the canny shopper that I am I decided to weigh it to see how much edible pineapple I had got. 
 Usually at this time of year they are on special offer in the supermarkets, and yes, I just checked on and you can get one for £1 at either Sain*bury's or T*sco, in fact at T*sco you can get a 'Value' one for 80p, an average sized one for 95p and on special offer a large one for £1.
As you can see I got 476g of pineapple chunks for what would have cost me £1, if I had cut a little more accurately I think I could have got this up to 500g, because it was so ripe it was extremely easy to cut as well.
Which goes to prove that unless you are buying whilst out and about and needing to eat it immediately these packs of ready cut chunks are a total waste of money,  Currently priced at £1.40 for 200g.
Time and convenience or money in your pocket - you choose.
Don't you just love it when you can see so clearly where money can be saved and how easily too, and all this as a result of me getting a lovely gift.  And talking of gifts I had a lovely visit off a new Blogging Buddy yesterday who also came bearing gifts ... two gorgeous Rosemary plants to add to my collection, they smell divine and are currently sat with the other herbs in the old Belfast sink while I think where they will live to remind me of sunshine, food and friendship, all we really need in this world really.
Many thanks to Karan and it was lovely to meet you, see you again soon.
Sue xx


  1. Hi Sue
    Do you mind if I ask a question about LH's laser eye surgery? I'm considering having it done and I'm always keen to hear from/of people who have already been 'zapped.' If you/LH don't mind, could you tell me where he had it done, whether he would recommend the optician and how he has got on with his 'new' eyes?
    Many thanks!

    1. We've both had our eyes lasered.

      Me just over 5 years ago and LH last December. Both at Optimax in Manchester.

      I had absolutely no problems with mine, although I actually miss wearing my glasses sometimes, especially when some people tell me I look tired, happens more now than it ever used to, I guess my glasses used to hide some of the dark circles under my eyes!! But it's brilliant not wearing glasses really.

      LH has had trouble with his left eye ever since it was done with his vision being poorer in that one and it is still changing, hence the monthly check ups, until it settles down he cannot have it re-lasered to match his other good eye. The only saving grace was that even before the surgery they told him he had really good thick corneas that were ideal for laser surgery.

      We both wear reading glasses as we decided to have our shortsightedness corrected only. You can get each eye done seperately so that you don't need glasses for distance or reading, but it takes longer for your brain to adjust too.

      Any more questions feel free to ask :-)

    2. Thank you, Sue. Although you went to Manchester, I assume you can visit any Optimax branch for follow-ups, since you were in Reading (which, coincidentally, is where I lived until two years ago.)
      Did you choose LASIK or LASEK? And why did you go with Optimax over any other laser surgery provider?
      I hope you don't mind me asking these questions!

    3. We both had Lasik treatment, as recommeded by the Opthamologist at the time for our specific cases.

      Yes, you can visit any Optimax branch for aftercare and follow ups which are free for the rest of your life if there are any problems. Alan has been going to Reading which is closer for us, but at the time I had mine done we were living in Cumbria and there were no Optimax branches nearer to us than Manchester so I had all my follow up care at our own opticians, although I had to pay for this it was obviously cheaper and quicker than driving to Manchester every couple of months, I was working full time for someone else then and couldn't have had the time off needed for the visits.

      I chose Optimax for it's excellent reputation and the professionalism and competence of the person I spoke to when I was researching it all for my treatment, LH obviously saw the care I received and decided it was the only one for him. (An added bonus was that I got a £50 cheque as a thank you for recommending him for treatment.)

      I don't mind you asking at all, your eyes are a very valuable asset and you really should think long and hard before you do anything with them.

    4. Thank you so much, Sue, for taking the time to answer my questions. It's so useful to have information from someone who's had the surgery. And if I do go to Optimax (once I've saved up those pennies), perhaps I can say you referred me, and then you'll get another cheque?

  2. We love M&S food too, its usually a special treat while on holiday, I can't resist the dips and the fruit compote its delicious on a meringue nest with thick cream or yogurt.

    Love pineapple especially when its sweet and juicy. I read somewhere on the web if you blitz some pineapple and add lemonade you can pour into ice lolly moulds and freeze, sound refreshing for those nice hot summer days.... if we ever get any!

    1. Now that sounds delicious, pineapple ice lollies yum yum!!

  3. One of the few historical facts that have stuck with me:-
    back in Georgian times, pineapples were signs of great wealth (hence pineapple finials on ornate decoration) and they used to hold Pineapple Parties where guests would come and admire your pineapple- although if you weren't quite as wealthy as you were pretending to be, you could hire your pineaple- and if you were REALLY not wealthy, you got it at the end of its life when it was quite mushy and rather brown!
    I just love the thought of this- we'd probably have had it when it was totally withered!

    1. We'd be lucky to get the withered leaves on top in that case :-)

  4. My favourite Pineapple Trivia is the bit in "3 men in a boat" when he cannot open the tin of pineapple chunks. It never fails to make me laugh out loud.

  5. Hi Sue,

    I love your blog! We are saving for a wedding at the moment so your money saving tips are most helpful! :-) I just noticed you live in Berkshire. I'm kind of local. I would love to email you and have a chat. I couldn't see an email address on your blog.

    Love Sarah x

  6. I love fresh pineapples and they are really good for aching joints as they have anti-inflammatory agents in them

    1. I thought I had heard that fact a few years ago, but could not verify it. I love pineapples, but like Sue, it takes ages to get round to actually cutting it up. Will buy one more regularly now, for health reasons you know!! Sue, I am glad you enjoyed your treats; hubby and I do treat ourselves to a cake from the excellent local(ish) bakery now and again.

  7. OK, now ive caught up. M&S is Marks & Spencer. DOH. Im trying to think of an Aussie equivalent. Maybe Myer or David Jones Food Halls.


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