Tag Archives: saving money

Scone Chronicles XXVIII

Cafe Nero, Springfields Outlet Centre, Lincolnshire. A scone-free report.

We hadn’t expected much from the day as we had an electrician coming round to give us a quote and British Gas would only tell us it was between 8.00 and 1.00. Fortunately he texted ahead and arrived just after 9.00. The news was not good – we need to declutter a lot more before they can start ripping floorboards up to rewire.

That left us at a loose end by 10.00 so we set off to look for adventure, This is “adventure” as we now define it, rather than how we used to define it. Standing on one leg to put my trousers on is dangerous enough for me, so we set off to seek lunch and relaxation.

In the car we discussed our spending. Julia is feeling guilty about the amount she spends on herself – which is basically gym membership and hair appointments. She worked it out as £3,000 a year. She really is a bear of very little brain – cute but rubbish at mental arithmetic. The true cost of this spending was, as I pointed out, just £600 a year. Having saved us £2,400 I felt quite good about things. This also diverted attention from my eBay habit, which has been getting out of hand recently.

At Springfields we had a look round The Works and confirmed that the stock situation is woeful, before deciding to have a coffee. Considering our earlier conversation, this ironic as coffee is one of the hidden costs of modern life.

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Two Coffees

Cafe Nero seemed rather empty, to say it was lunch time.

The coffee – the cheapest they had, was just under £5 for the two of us. If we do that once a week it will cost us £250 in a year, which is a lot of haircuts.

We didn’t have anything to eat. The staff were neither good nor bad. They let dogs in. The one that came in whined a lot then dog and master went to sit outside. Fair enough – better than tying it up outside. Chairs are comfortable. Snacks looked well presented but we were saving our appetites so didn’t have anything.

They now have a vegan range, which seems to be the new fashion. You may be expecting some sarcastic comment about vegans, evolutionary dead ends and modern fashions, but you will be disappointed. I like vegans.

Though I couldn’t eat a whole one.

Cafe Nero Vegan Menu

Cafe Nero Vegan Menu

The sound you hear when viewing the vegan menu is that of a bandwagon being jumped on. Once Gregg’s went for the vegan sausage roll, everyone followed.

All in all, nothing to rave about and nothing to complain about. It’s a more leisurely atmosphere than Costa Coffee further down the centre, and I enjoyed the break.

 

 

Writing, Robbery and Reinsurance

I had a go at writing my autobiography yesterday. It didn’t start off like that, but an hour later that was the result.

After receiving a quote from my car insurance provider, a number which I initially mistook for the National Debt of a medium-sized member of the UN, I decided it was time to take action. At over £800 it means I’m working for the best part of a month to cover the insurance, and that’s before tyres, fuel, car tax, MOT, servicing and all the other pleasures of car ownership.

To get a new quote I had to fill in a long and intrusive form about myself, followed by another for Julia. I noticed that not only do they seem to want more detail, but they seem to provide things as extras that used to be standard. It used to be enough, as I recall, to say you’d had a full license for 40 years – you didn’t have to search out the exact date.

It would have been quicker but I managed to wipe the form after doing three quarters of it and had to start again.

I managed to secure better cover and save nearly £400.

The moral of today’s post is that loyalty to an insurer does not pay.

It may be irritating to fill out the forms but it was worth it. I may worry a bit that the insurer is not as good as my previous one (as I did when changing breakdown cover) but insurers, when left to do their own thing, are generally not to be trusted with your money.

I used a picture of a Magpie because I was writing about insurance companies and couldn’t find a picture of a vulture.