Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Tag Archives: shopping

I’ve Been Spending

With the summer just ahead and a lot of plans for walking along with a few short camping trips, I’ve recently been depleting my bank account in anticipation of the good times and adventures to come.

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Bathroom Improvements

Having met landlord for the first time and almost by chance just over a week ago now, I was given the green light to go ahead and fit a wall mirror above the bathroom sink. This is actually something I bought several weeks ago from a well-known Swedish furniture emporium… But hey, if it balances out my morals then I ended up spending a greater value of money on Pic’N’Mix sweets that day!! 😉

Wide eyes welcome! :-S

After fitting the mirror, I decided that I wanted to make one other alteration and that was to increase my sense of privacy within this ground-floor flat. I naturally have to lower the blind when I’m taking a shower and with the toilet sat in front of the window, well, you can imagine how uncomfortable I sometimes feel with the window at head height!

So, I’m now going to show you how I went about fitting some self-adhesive privacy film.

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Week 2 at Lidl

It’s time to briefly look back at what I purchased during my second weekly food shop at Lidl, only a few days ago.

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Every Lidl Helps

This weekend, I can proudly say that I have completed my first ever shop in a local Lidl store! The prospect of ‘budget grocery shopping‘ is something I debated only a couple of weeks ago and, at a new age (personally) and with the summer months ahead, I decided that this was a good time to go.

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Budget Supermarkets?

This evening’s post is dead simple and comes with a question. Largely aimed at people living in the UK but I’m also aware these ‘budget’ supermarkets originate from Europe.

So, have you shopped at Lidl or Aldi? What is your opinion of their products and service compared to the larger supermarkets?

You see, I try to stick to my budget and I’m aware that preparing your own meals can be expensive initially (investing in vegetables) but then I begin to think about the rest of my shopping, with all the brand-name items and sweet things I can’t seem to do without.

I’m wondering how, say, a pack of chocolate bars from one of the other two supermarkets might compare with a similar item from the ‘value’ range of one of the others. Generally speaking, is there less to choose from when you’re paying less?

I’ve stuck with a large, well-known supermarket (who I try not to name on this blog) simply because there’s one almost across the road from where I’ve worked for nearly 3-years now. It’s most convenient. There are other large supermarkets in the same town but I’m also aware that there’s a Lidl a little further on and around the corner.

Someone recently suggested to me that their meat is much cheaper, after I bulked at the prospect of paying £4 for chicken and instead went with Quorn at £2.50.

Where do you get your groceries from?

Thanks for reading.

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Back in a Flash!

As hinted in yesterday evening’s walk review, I acquired a brand-new digital camera yesterday – the Nikon Coolpix S9400.

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This will replace the Nikon COOLPIX S8200 (a slight upgrade, then) that I tried to repair a month ago, before conceding defeat and handing it over to the professionals at Nikon… To keep that story brief; their technician determined that there was too much damage already done and that the camera was beyond economical repair.

In all the time that I was waiting for a response, I could’ve just purchased a new camera but they did eventually come up with a pair of Exchange Offers – one being an A-grade refurbished S8200 (admittedly, it would’ve been dearer than buying one new from Amazon); the other was a ‘bridge’ camera (which I understand to lie somewhere between a compact camera and a digital SLR, but also refurbished).

I quite liked the look of this Nikon Coolpix P520, especially considering that it would’ve only been a fraction dearer than the £150 I’ve just payed for my new camera and that it would’ve been unattainable brand-new, given its RRP. It was only when I began to read the reviews that I realised it had issues that would’ve irritated me – most notable, concerns over the camera’s inability to focus with clarity with the extensive zoom lens. But along with that, several comments suggested that there may be a delay or pause between simple functions such as taking one photo and preparing for the next.

Before my water bill arrived this week, I was thinking of going for a low-end DSLR, which might have cost between £300-400, at a guess. But I then began to consider what I would most like to use it for (walking) and I made a strong decision to stick with a compact that’s cheaper to replace and, I’m sure, a lot easier to carry over long distances and hills.

Speaking of which, I plan on buying a waterproof carry case for this camera; preferably with pockets for SD cards and storage. I won’t be preparing a full review of this model because I don’t consider myself to be ‘all-that-technical‘ when it comes to photography… I doubt I’ll even use half the features of this one, as with every other camera I’ve owned. I was a bit disappointed that the S9400 uses different batteries to my old S8200 (so, I’ve already ordered a spare) and while I’ve found the Coolpix range to be great at shooting in levels of low light, this one seems to compensate automatically by upping the white balance. It may not sound like a bad feature to have but my previous one didn’t do this. Having taken some sample shots of my flat (which has pretty poor lighting and a minimal allowance for daylight), I can see it giving a false representation of what my home truly looks like. I also found that a couple of features (which I would deem to be optional) were set to ‘On’ as default and so I had to work through the menus to disable them (not much of a challenge, given that I’m already familiar with the Nikon Coolpix interface).

I’m hoping to take this one out for a debut run walk this weekend. I’ve never owned a white camera before and only went for this because it was significantly cheaper than the other colours. It’ll be interesting to note the colour changes throughout the rest of 2014. Hopefully, I’ll have fewer grubby smart phone shots to share from here on! 😉

Thanks for reading and happy snapping!

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I’ll Be Bake

I’ll try to keep this one brief, as you’ve already seen how I was supposed to have created a pasta bake only a few weeks ago. That didn’t turn out very well at all but I’m pleased to report that on my second attempt, with the halogen oven in situ, I was able to make a meal that was entirely edible.

So, one reason for writing this post is to commemorate myself on a successful achievement following an early-learning failure. But I’d also, I think it could be useful to document that it is entirely possible to cook a pasta bake in a halogen oven.

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All About Food

A brand-new topic for this blog and for which, I think I’m going to add an additional category to the already-long list of titles that attempt to define my sporadic range of content.

My first Bible… Maybe.

Inspired by a recent book purchase and with the intention of basically learning to cook (at least a bit), I thought it might be good to start by taking a long old look at what I currently eat. Beginning with a review of the contents from last week’s grocery shop.

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