We came back to NZ late in 2009 and began living in a flat. As our stuff was still on an ocean voyage needed to buy the sort of things your independent children ‘borrow’ from your long term storage unit and never replace. So I did what I understood everyone did and went to Briscoes. How my son laughed when he found out that I’d gone and purchased items that weren’t on sale. ‘No-one buys stuff at Briscoes unless it’s on sale Mum.’ And I could see his point. There was a big price difference, so from that day to this, I have followed his sage advice and only walked out of that shop with a severely discounted item. Or three. Today I went looking for a water filter which is another of the changes I’ve noticed recently. Our beautiful Christchurch water has started to taste like something out of a swimming pool. When you boil it for a cup of tea it becomes a chemistry experiment with tea leaves floating on the top. I needed the water filter. ‘And you can get some better place mats while you’re there,’ shouted the husband. I was prepared to pay full price for those because not once have I been in there and found them on special – and I’ve had my eye out ever since my favourite (Botero-like English Scenes) ones started to take on water. But imagine my joy when I discovered the water filter jug was on special. I stood in front of the shelf and checked the product with the sign and decided, yes, the filter jug that was $69.95 was now $14.99. Happy Days! On the way to the desk I skipped down the frypan aisle and checked out the non-sticks. 60% off! I did have a relatively new one but when I bought it I’d obviously been thinking of my knickers and gone for a large. It’s far too big (which isn’t something I can say about the pants). I went for a 24cm diam and yes, again I checked the price and was happy. Not so at the till where she told me my total was $200+. But isn’t the pan on sale? I said, knowing I’d checked. She frowned and went through her computer. I stood on the other side virtuously waiting. ‘Ha. I see what’s happened,’ she said. ‘The 24cm aluminium pans are on sale but you’ve got stainless steel here. Do you still want it?’ No, I did not. So the amount I had to pay reduced but even so it seemed a lot. Sitting in the car I found out the water filter wasn’t on special either. I guess I could’ve gone back but by then it was starting to rain and hadn’t I been prepared to pay the full price when I’d gone in? It didn’t stop me feeling ripped off. Not that long ago you could be sure about what item was on special. Now it’s more a game to see if you can work it out. Thats about all I need to move online or off to the Big Red Shed which I understand is moving a lot more upmarket and eco conscious these days. But at least I can now have a decent cup of tea.