Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Eat out on the cheap! - Money off vouchers

As the credit crunch grips a hold on the country (and people's wallets) many are now ditching meals out to eat at home instead. But it's still possible to eat out on the cheap, and besides, who doesn't like money off! Recently, I've been searching the web for freebies but what I found were some rather nifty money off vouchers. Well, they are almost free...

Ever since I got back from Tokyo I've been craving Japanese food, so anime fans will be glad to know that Yo!Sushi are currently promoting a September Special and are knocking a third off your food bill if you spend a tenner instore. Check out their website here. A good excuse to practise your chopstick skills, watch the conveyor belt go round and round and pretend that you are really in Tokyo. Almost!...

If you are a pizza fan then head over to the Pizza Hut website where you can get a whopping 50% off your food bill. It's my brother's birthday's soon so I'm planning on taking them here. Sign up, select a restaurant and halve the cost of your meal when you eat in.

Lately, I've noticed that even fast food has gotten even more expensive. So if you like hamburgers, you will be happy to know that if you go to the Burger King website you can pick up £30 worth of vouchers.

With rising food inflation, you may also want to know how you can get food for free. A new discovery for me is the Food Freebies website which list lots of special promotions. Current offers include money off vouchers from Heinz, tea/coffee and chocolate.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Supermarkets start price wars as food inflation hits a 16 year high

Supermarket own brand goods will rival brand name products as consumers feel the credit crunch pinch instore.

Recent findings from have revealed that shoppers will face more than a £1,000 rise in their food shopping bill at supermarkets this year. On average food has gone up over 12% according to The Grocer magazine in the last year, but new figures released yesterday now show that food inflation currently stands at 14.5%.

However, all that could soon change, as two of the major supermarkets, Asda and Tesco head towards a supermarket price war.

Asda has cut the price of 5,000 everyday products whilst Tesco has announced they will be releasing a discount range of 350 products as an alternative to well known branded goods. This has been seen as a move by the big supermarkets to win back customers who have switched to discount supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi.

According to a recent Which? survey, the discount supermarkets are considerably cheaper on price, with a 15% difference in price between Lidl and Tesco on a selection of 15 products.

Sainsbury’s also introduced their own ‘feed the family for a fiver campaign’ with recipes for those on a tight budget, recognising the needs of families who need extra help during the credit crunch.

The recent move shows that competition for customers is no longer just between rival supermarkets but also instore as well.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Summer anime that you might have missed

With the autumn anime season just around the corner, I thought I would take a look back at some of this summer's shows worthy of a second look:

Shion no Ou
"Where are the ninjas?" shout people on You Tube who have mistaken this series for the similarly titled Nabari no Ou. Shion might not have sneaky ninjas but it does have a clever plot revolving around murder in competitive chess. Okay, don't roll your eye's just yet, it really is an interesting series. It follows a young girl Shion, whose parents were murdered when she was just a child, as she competes in a chess tournament. Chuck in a whole load of dubious characters, including a cross dressing boy who enters the female championship and you have a thrilling series. Shion might not make chess sexy, but your eye's will pop out of your head when the murderer's identity is revealed.

Chiko, heiress of the Phantom Thief
Part DNAngel and part Indiana Jones, Chiko is an action packed adventure if ever I've seen one. Focusing on a young girl Chiko, who is suddenly 'kidnapped' by the legendary theif, Twenty Faces, (imagine a svelte version of Phantom Thief Dark, minus the wings), and Chiko's globe trotting adventures begin as she joins Twenty Faces gang of thieves. I'm really liking this series - there is the mysterious Twenty Faces, Chiko's murderous aunt who wants Chiko's inheritance and a darn good action storyline in the background. Half way through the series, I wasn't expecting most of the characters being killed off, I've not seen that many deaths since a boy named Light went crazy with that notebook. Twists and turns, there are a plenty, even I don't know how this series will end.

Natsume Yuujinchou
Natsume has always seen spirits, or youkai, ever since he was a young boy, but everything changes when he inherits the Book of Friends, which previously belonged to his grandmother. She like Natsume could see spirits and stole their names thereby making them her lackeys. The spirits aren't pleased with this and come after Natsume to get their names back. Enter a fat cat, Nyanko, who wants the book for himself, and you have quite possibly the most amusing series I've seen this season. Natsume decides to release the spirits, and one by one, he learns about himself and the kind of person his grand mother was. This is a slow paced series, but its chilled out, laid back charm is what makes this series so special. At times poignant, it pulls at the heart strings with it's tales of friendship, abandonment and compassion. The strange relationship between Nyanko and Natsume, as Natsume puts it, of "master and pet" has kept me laughing for a number of weeks now. Not your average anime, but if you want something that isn't going at 100mph, check this anime out.

Itazura na Kiss
Young Kotoko has been in love with Naoki since the first day she saw him at school, but there's a big problem- Kotoko is in the worst class in school and frankly the aloof Naoki just doesn't date dumb girls. But when Kotoko's house collapses (yes, as unbelievable as this sounds, this is an anime after all, so let's put reality on hold) she and her father move into Naoki's house as it transpires that their fathers are old friends. A light romantic comedy, along the lines of Lovely Complex but even more funny. It follows their relationship as they grow up, through high school, university and onwards, looking beyond the conventional high school drama. Itazara plays on the awkwardness of relationships and even after you've got the guy, there are scheming women (and men) to worry about.