Recently I told Mr M that we need to cut back on spending by that I mean we need to cut back on our weekly food bill which appears to have got out of control.
Business is tough so we need to set a weekly budget and as Mr M happens to have a rather large credit card bill, phew, I had to lay down the law.
Certain ‘luxuries’ are going to have to go by the wayside.
We have our own separate bank accounts and have done since we’ve been together, as Mr M said ‘I can’t trust you with my bank account and your compulsion to handbags’ still rings in my ears’, sorry, what was that you said?
Given that it is YOU that has the credit card bill not I?
Examining our suitcases at the weekend made me realise that not only do we need a new set, more expense and up in smoke goes the weekly budget but the amount of freebies Mr M collects.
In his case I found lotions and potions representing seven years of holiday travel.
There was the trip to Paris, just the two of us and a load of free Bulgari creams and soaps that he took from a very nice hotel we had the good fortune to stay in.
Then the free slippers that came with the short break we had in Germany at christmas time.
There was a shower hat, not sure when he might use that but you never know, toothpaste, combs, shoe polishes, mini grooming kits, mini sewing kits, plastic bags that you put your dirty laundry into when you stay in a hotel.
There were hotel flannels, mini towels, biscuits, coffee and tea sachets line them all up and it looked like a who’s who of european destinations.
Mr M is a freebie junkie, he can’t help himself, if it isn’t nailed down it’s free, which means it’s fair game.
A supermarket trip that we rarely do together is fraught with deception, having spotted the lady giving our free cheese testers at the cheese counter.
Mr M excuses himself to go and have a look at ‘stuff’ as an excuse to hover next to the cheese lady and sample bits of cheese until he has devoured the lot.
Wondering why my beloved is taking so long I spot him sheepishly heading toward the next aisle in search of cover from the now rather angry cheese lady.
He then heads toward the free wine tasting, the supermarket are doing the ‘supermarket special wine offer of the month’ and he wants to see if it’s any good.
Then I stop myself, who am I kidding? I have never paid full price for anything in my life, bar holiday flights but even then I’ve been known to stalk a well known flight company daily to check prices because guess what they change between morning and night I can testify to that.
From bargain handbags, shoes, dresses, food, wine, Pizza Express vouchers, six months for the price of three, I’m there.
Why are there ‘outlet stores’?
For people like me who have a complete and anal fear of paying full price for anything.
If I purchase a handbag, boots or shoes, my response is ‘I got it in the sale, or, it was 30% off a bargain, they were practically giving them away, it was too much of a good thing not to buy.
I want it cheap and if possible I want it free or pay the minimum I can get away with.
I find myself asking ‘do you take the student NUS card?’ for any purchase I make even if I shave 10% off the bill.
It must be in the blood because older generations of my family do the same.
My father is the worst he will collect hemp made bags full of leaflets, brochures, any old junk because ‘it might come in useful one day’.
Discounting is all well and good until you find yourself having to pay full price for a meal or an article of clothing.
How much did you say that was, I shout, aghast, you’re kidding, for that!
The best things in life are free – well almost!