Friday 14 June 2013

Asda - Saving Money Every Day (Theirs, not ours!)

*blows dust off blog*

Everyone knows my attitude to my blog is pretty hit and miss at the moment.  But this evening while shopping an incident happened that inspired me to crank up the ol' Blogger again.

We shop at Asda very regularly as we live within a stone's throw of it.  In fact, we're very lucky because we live quite close to Tesco too, but I abhor shopping there.  So Friday is pizza night and while myself and the lads are happy with a frozen offering, Paul is partial to a Create Your Own at Asda's Deli counter.  As he's quite a fussy eater, he always gets the same:
10" Thin and Crispy
Because the choice of the CYO is four toppings, he also gets an extra portion of bacon and extra cheese.  It's pricey, but for all the time he's been ordering it, he's always got a generously topped pizza, freshly made so we figured it was worth splashing out on.

Tonight though, it seems Asda had decided it was no longer feeling magnanimous. In fact, they have been cutting corners across the board.  When Paul went to pick up his pizza, firstly we noticed that it didn't have the regular cardboard base. Instead, it was on a (Smartprice) paper plate. 

(Tick - saving money every day)

It was the other side that infuriated me.  The topping was very skimpy, leaving large swathes of pizza base naked!  It was lightweight and floppy and NOTHING like we'd previously had. 
(Tick - saving money every day)

On my insistence (yup, I can be pushy like that), Paul brought it back to the counter. As we waited to speak to the staff, we noticed that many of the other pizzas were as badly structured.  Paul handed back the pizza and asked for it to be redone, stating that it was inferior.  The girl said that she wouldn't be changing it and insisted that was the way they were told to do it.  She asked if I (yup, I took over... complaining doesn't sit well with Paul) wanted to speak to a manager which I did.  When I explained our complaint, that previously we'd be very happy with the CYO we received and this was below par, we were told that on Asda's instruction, they were to reduce the amount of topping they usually allowed.  He apologised for the paper plate base which he said was "unacceptable" - surely not, given that's was he was instructing his staff to use?.  My reply was "So we're paying the same amount of money for less product?".  His politician-style reply was a roundabout way of saying yes.  He didn't offer us a replacement, though he did say the staff member could have "spread the topping around a bit".

In the last couple of months, our local Asda has had many changes.  They've installed even more self-service checkouts, including five larger ones with conveyer belts for shoppers with trolleys.  Although they may not have laid off staff, I do know that they have cut down on their hours. (Tick - saving money every day).  Despite the number of regular checkouts they have, they are very rarely all manned and if you don't want to serve yourself, you invariably have a hefty wait.

Last year, Asda had a 6% increase in profit, a whopping £857 MILLION in total!  And in my opinion, they've done this by saving (themselves) money every day, in every little way possible, taking customers hard-earned cash and giving them less product and less service for it.  And it's not just me that thinks that.  Recently I seen a spate of complaints against Asda.  Sounds like someone is getting too big for their boots.

Thursday 25 October 2012

Healthy Lunches With Soreen

Thankfully, as many of you know, I don't have much time left with school going children, but it would seem that, despite the transition into Sixth Form, I still have to make four lunches everyday, including one for myself.

It's a nightmare trying to appease everyone.  Joe is so bloody fussy, doesn't eat veg or cheese. OH is almost as fussy, doesn't eat veg or any kind of sandwich "mix" save for egg mayonnaise. Andy is a mother's dream, though.  Even more than me, he has a proper, varied diet.  The challenge is not to bore Andy, while dumbing down for OH and Joe.  And the answer to this complex problem?  Well, I hate to be the barer of bad news, but there isn't one.  Generally, Andy has to put up with the same "ordinary" stuff the other two get. 

Except, of course, for those rare times when he decides to do for himself.  Then he can be as adventurous as he likes.  And one of his favourites, the perfect lunchtime food, full of fresh ingredients and all the good stuff you could possibly need, is sushi.

Sushi has been a huge favourite of his since he was really young.  The oft turned-up noses of his school friends has never succeeded in turning him off it.  He's even tooled himself up and managed to make his own! 

As for me, I'll have anything so long as someone else makes it.  But I will be popping some Soreen on my shopping list, because in the run up the Christmas, those shoppers are lethal and I'll need something to keep my pecker up!!

Saturday 25 August 2012

Little Acorns, Big Know-It-All Oaks

Last Thursday, I waited anxiously, along with so many other parents, for my eldest son's GCSE results.  Obviously, it got me thinking.. how quickly time flies?  I remember when he was born - the feel of his skin, how he smelt, the grasp of his hand around my finger. 

He started school, in Dublin, when he was four.  So confident, eager to start.  He loved his teacher - she replaced me as the centre of his world, if only for five hours a day.  He relished homework. 

Then when we moved to the UK, he made a seamless transition to his new school, loving how new and different it all was, immediately falling in love, yet again, with his teacher.

And as he passed through, year after year, he always did well.  Always tried his best. Always was pleasant and polite.  Always was the best that he could be.  And I've always been proud of him.

He's no angel, don't get me wrong.  What kid is?  He can be impossible to live with.  He is an impossible know-it-all.  And incredibly cocky.  But it turns out he had reason to be.  

When he finally decided to text me and put me out of my misery, it turns out he had done as well as he said he would.  He did very well indeed.  

Next is his A levels.  Watch this space!

Thursday 16 August 2012

Twitter Policing Big Brother

I'm no longer a fan of Big Brother.  I think since they moved it to Channel 5, they're appealing to a younger audience than me.  But also, because of work and that, I really don't have the time to commit.  

However, I found myself watching the launch of Celebrity Big Brother last night - partly because there was nowt else on and party because of all the chatter on Twitter.  And I chattered along, giving my tuppence worth.  It was an interesting mix of people, some more famous than I was expecting.  Alas this post isn't about the TV, it's about what transpired on Twitter that night.  It left me fuming.

Now I know it's horses for courses.  I know while some eagerly await that latest reality TV, some abhor it.  But the acid bitchiness that poured forth towards those who chose to indulge left me speechless!  The superior attitude, looking down and deriding everyone else.  These were grown women, mothers, established bloggers and yet the derision, the blanket assumptions, the snide comments passed from one to another perplexed me.  

I don't watch much reality TV, I don't watch talent-type shows, I don't watch much sport nor am I bothered with current affairs programmes.  Yet I choose not to block any hashtags - the only thing I've ever blocked is Alan Sugar, 'cause he gets on my tits and he keeps appearing anyhow!  Sometimes, I avoid Twitter while X Factor is on but only because no-one is talking about anything else.  I don't, however, think that gives me a license to lecture people I follow about their viewing habits, what they tweet.  I CHOSE to follow them and continue to follow them because we converse, because they interest me, because so many of them have become friends.  When I pop round to my friend's and see what's on her telly, I don't take this as an opportunity to tell her where she's going wrong.

I totally understand when people block hashtags, especially when they follow a lot of people.  I LOVE some of my grumpier followees, who have a right moan about reality TV and some of the more inexplicably popular TV programmes.  I do like to make a sarcastic comment every now and then too.  However, just because I don't watch them, I don't think it makes me any better than those who do.  I don't think what I watch is any more intellectual (says she watching Peter Kay).

So, I exercised my Twitter right and unfollowed.  I rarely follow new people or unfollow old - again I consider them my circle of friends so why would I?  I don't engage in either passive/aggressive tweets or twarguments - life's too short.  I didn't challenge any of these tweets directly because I don't do "virtual" confrontation.  I had my usual moan by DM with those who are always there to listen.

Okay, I'm done now.  If you feel I am being unfair, feel free to comment.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion... I think that's the whole point of this post.

Monday 6 August 2012

I DON'T Need A Kindle

So, since staying with my sister, despite the wonderful hospitality (she may be reading this, y'know..) the lack of a bedside lamp has meant that I've not been keeping up with my nighttime reading. Then I realise, sure I have the iPad, with a perfect Kindle app, which conveniently is backlit. I'm off now to remove a certain video from YouTube as I no longer need a Kindle!

Sunday 5 August 2012

Post Party Politics

So last night, my son had his 16th birthday party over here in Dublin. We left around 3:30am and came back to my sister's for a nightcap. And while we drank, partygoers had already started posting photos to Facebook. Not an hour previous had those photos been taken and already Andy's friends could see the celebrations. Isn't technology amazing?
(Also, my niece, who is living in Canada at the moment, was able to join in while in a pub with friends via Skype... just blows me away!)

Tuesday 31 July 2012

Well holy God, there's an app for that!

Saw this in the Dublin Herald about a priest who's been using an iPad to help him out at giving mass. Apparently there's a four gospels app, a sermon app and a prayer app! I've seen it all now!