Bank holiday austerity bargains

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You might want to zip down to Waitrose over the weekend, as they seem to have a lot of bargain fish in stock. I don’t know why, because usually when I pop in to inspect their wares the counter looks a bit forlorn, with lonely pieces of haddock at £24.99 a kilo trying to flaunt themselves at me, like ancient strippers, trying to tempt uninterested punters with their white, flabby flesh. Today it was a different story. I got enough plaice (my upmarket fish of choice) to feed the family for a fiver, and they put it in a fancy bag with some free herb butter, so all I have to do is put it in the oven for half an hour. I like that, as it means I don’t even have to engage in my whizzy austerity baking tray cleaning exercise which invariably involves bicarbonate of soda plastered everywhere to remove the smell of fish.

Other decent bargains this week that have caught my eye include the New Gok Wan summer clothing range at the largest branches of Sainsbury. Avoid the smaller stores and head for the biggest in your area to find well-made designer tops that don’t make your bosoms look like two melons in a sack, for the princely sum of about £25. Team them with linen separates to revitalise your summer wardrobe and avoid smelling like a medieval brothel in what is supposed to be the hottest summer since Chaucer’s time, or somesuch (presumably after the Jubilee rain has been and gone).

If your garden is looking a bit naked, it’s not too late to bung some beans in and grow them up canes tied into wigwams – later on in the season they will develop gorgeous little red flowers, and after that you still have the proceeds to eat. If you haven’t got any garden furniture to sit on to enjoy looking at them, try going down to the local tip or looking in skips to find plastic furniture that can be cleaned up fairly easily with some Cif. Find some cushions in a pound shop, sew on some ties made out of bias binding, and you have an outdoor retreat for about a fiver.


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