Strayed temporarily from the path of righteousness by visiting Waitrose this afternoon, not a store I would normally look for bargains but my neighbour had told me they were selling packs of frozen mackerel fillets for £4.99 which sounded a good deal. Needless to say it wasn't the only thing I bought . . .
On the credit side I picked up a couple of pork chops for tonight's supper for just £2.12 and a fresh fruit salad reduced from £3.36 to £1.39, enough for two meals.
On the debit side I couldn't resist two gorgeous cheeses including an interesting Cornish Brie I hadn't seen before which came to £5.77 (ouch!) and a special offer on Fudge's flatbreads on the slender pretext that they would be 'useful research' for my next book which is on cheese.
The total bill with various other bits and pieces (mostly justified) was £39.20 which is EIGHT times the price of the mackerel 'bargain'. In Waitrose terms I suppose that's not bad - there are so many utterly tempting foods in there that it would be easy to spend at least twice that amount but I can't say I feel particularly proud of myself.
Except for this. It would have been £8 more expensive if I hadn't put back on the shelf a bunch of asparagus, two packs of rhubarb (on special offer but overpriced) and a large pot of parsley which we almost certainly wouldn't have used before we go away next week.
So a 'eureka moment'. Even if the goods are in your basket you haven't spent that money until you've passed through the checkout. You can put stuff back . . .