I was standing in the checkout queue in Sainsburys today, my trusty 2 pints of semi-skimmed deposited on the conveyor belt, waiting patiently as the lady in front faffed around with her purse and Nectar card. And so I started scoping out her basketful of goodies. As you do.
I noticed that her basket was stuffed exclusively with items from the clearance section. Nothing wrong with that, you might think: the frugal fox had cleaned up! But what struck me was this: many of the items weren’t freezeable (i.e. were soon to perish) and they just didn’t go together. There was wilting chard, blueberries, some quik-steam readymeal things, a couple of yoghurts and so on. What was she going to do with that lot? Perhaps she had some innovative gastronomic master plan to which I was not privy, but it seemed to me that, on balance, she’d gone wild over the parts and forgotten about the whole. That wasn’t a basket of bargains – really, it wasn’t thrifty at all.
When I’m shopping, I always make a beeline for the clearance sections – but I don’t go overboard. There’s often a lot of rubbish in there, and sometimes the discounts are really measly. I always buy freezer-friendly items, such as sausages and savoury pastries; I bung them in the freezer when I get home, and consume at my leisure. I never buy fish: if fish is about to pass its best before date, it’s going to be cotton woolly, smelly and utterly unappetising. Ugh!