A roll-call of my favourite supernarket offers
- Credit: Getty Images/Big Cheese Photo RF
Neil Haverson is addicted to supermarket special offers. Even if it does mean 'Fortress H' is overflowing with loo rolls...
Many of us have had the sad task of clearing out the house of a dear departed loved one. You expect to find old photos and papers but often you discover they've hoarded all manner of things.
'I knew she liked Ribena but just look how many bottles she stashed away!'
As you get older you do accumulate baggage over the years. Spare rooms gradually fill up and the joists creak under the weight of what's in the loft.
Perhaps you come from the era of make-do-and-mend so you keep bits and pieces because you never know when they might come in useful; buttons, cotton and random screws.
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As she put the shopping away the other day Mrs H commented: 'I don't know what the kids would think if something happened to us and they had to clear the house.'
She has a point. When we do the weekly shop, we do buy things we don't need immediately because they're on offer.
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Indeed, Brats M and M could be excused for thinking we were stocking up in readiness for an outbreak of dysentery. For example, we can't resist investing some of the pension when the nine-pack toilet rolls are discounted if you buy two - even though there are sufficient in the cupboard.
Then a few days later we'll go into a different supermarket and guess what; toilet rolls are on offer. Into the trolley they go; best get some more while they're cheap.
Our children could also be forgiven if they arrived at the conclusion that we live largely on peanut butter. While it is a staple element of the Fortress breakfast, it's been 'buy one get one half price' so the chink of glass jars could be heard coming from the Fortress shopping bag over the past couple of weeks.
Mrs H has always had an eye for a bargain. When we shop, she has the trolley while I'm dispatched with a basket to get the regular stuff that I can be trusted to buy – with the proviso to get certain things 'Only if they're on offer'.
On my way round I'll spot something and rush back to Mrs H. She won't have got far - still searching for a firm courgette. I'm like a child who has found a must-have toy.
'Guess what!' I hiss excitedly in a loud whisper that every other shopper can hear. 'They've got buy one get one free on low-salt soy sauce.'
We've probably got some but, hey, can't turn down an offer like that.
Mrs H has got a bit canny however. She studies the hieroglyphics on the shelf labels and works out how long the offer will last.
'It's okay, mayonnaise is on offer for another couple of weeks. We'll get some next time.'
On occasions we've had enough washing up liquid in stock to supply a hotel. And as for that squirty hand soap, at times they're lined up on the shelf like a row of meerkats.
Having said all that, we aren't wasteful; none of the things we squirrel away is perishable. They'll all get used and we are saving money in the long term. But when we're shopping in that great supermarket in the sky I have this image of our two children sitting round a table dividing up the spoils.
'That's three bottles of bleach and four packets of kitchen towels each.'
Anyway, if that does happen, we won't be around to be embarrassed so we'll carry on saving money by spending it.
Like the last time we shopped and I spotted Chocolate Hobnobs on a buy-one-get-one-free. They're on the Fortress rationed list so I didn't rush to Mrs H to share my exciting discovery. I just slipped them in the trolley. She wouldn't spot them till we reached the checkout - not while they're hidden under all those loo rolls...