The UK is tentatively sticking its head out from under the recession, so they tell us. The figures show a miniscule growth in the economy during the last three months of 2009. But then, as my 18 year old son pointed out, those are not really reliable data, since we're looking at the period around Christmas, after all.
Some news reports have spoken of slowing down of the increase in the unemployment levels. I haven't found any online articles to confirm this, yet. It is some comfort if it's true, but we are all looking for a decrease in the unemployment levels.
So, most of us are some way from optimistic.
This is reflected by the fact that TV advertising at the moment includes several items aimed at saving money. And, of course, all the major supermarkets are out there proving to us that they have our best interests at heart.
Here is just a random selection of the things that have made a blip on my radar in the last week:
- Asda is offering blankets with sleeves to reduce heating bills. So you can snuggle up on the couch instead of turning up the heating. I'm not sure why you can't just wear a sweater or use a normal blanket. We do... always have done. My husband, my snuggly blanket and the rugby on a Saturday afternoon. Bliss.
- Tesco has changed their BOGOF (buy one, get one free) offer to BOGOL (buy one, get one later) in an attempt to reduce waste. Let's face it, if you only need one cabbage but take an extra one, because it's free, the second one is likely to go off before you come to use it. So now, instead of a free cabbage, you get a voucher entitling you to a free cabbage when you need it.
- Sainsbury is trying to encourage us to keep and use our leftovers, by handing out little plastic lunch box thingies at the cash points with every purchase.
I have to say that, as gestures go, Tesco's impresses me the most. But then, perhaps the others have other ideas that haven't made it onto my radar, yet.
Let's hope that we have turned the corner and that things start to improve soon.