/ Food & Drink, Money

This week in comments – fares, food and free banking

Are train penalty fares a fair penalty? What would you do to change the way we eat in Britain? And should we banish so-called ‘free’ banking? Here’s your take on our Conversations this week.

Supermarket special offers

Are supermarket special offers actually special? Maureen share her insights:

‘As long ago as 1961 when I worked at a famous cheap chain store I was very surprised to find that we had to put higher prices on most items two weeks before the sales! I learnt early to pay more attention and now I find a trip to the supermarkets very daunting with so many new tricks/gimmicks.’

Banishing ‘free’ bank accounts won’t stop mis-selling

The future head of the regulator responsible for the UK’s financial stability thinks banks need to start charging for standard accounts. William isn’t impressed:

‘Well this has made me lose what little faith I had in the future regulator. If they’re worried about banks misbehaving then they need to go after them with a vengeance to force them to clean up their acts.

‘I understand that like any company operating in the UK they need to make money and providing a service is a very poor second to that. But it’s no excuse to throw in the towel already.’

Can coffee perk up your garden?

What about putting coffee on your plants? It’s taken off around the world. Laurento comments:

‘Here in Italy it’s a good old tradition to use coffee grounds this way.

And Hilary adds:

‘In the US, branches of Starbucks offer free 5lb bags of used coffee grounds from little stands in-store marked “Grounds for your Garden”. I used them for many years on my compost pile. Worked really well. And wormery worms love coffee grounds, too.’

I was a haggling sceptic – now I’m a convert

Do you haggle in high street shops? Jollyhs does:

‘It is always worth asking, it really doesn’t hurt. I will choose my moment based on the type of shop (e.g. I wouldn’t bother trying in Tesco) – definitely worth it in trade type shops. My wife is not such a fan and gets embarrassed of me asking, but it really doesn’t phase me – why pay full price in a competitive market?’

It’s food revolution day! How would you change the world?

David Ramsay wants to see the back of excessive food packaging:

‘All food should be sold loose and fresh. I especially hate having to buy two little gem lettuce when I know one will be thrown away. I am almost tempted to open the pack and just take one to the checkout (I may well do that when I retire).’

Commenter Omi1konobi thinks supermarkets need to pick their special offers more carefully:

‘It annoys me greatly that the majority of “special offers” in supermarkets are mainly, crisps, fizzy drinks, pizzas etc. Most people do not have a lot of money and so I often see offers such as these pilled high in the shopping trolley. Thus high fat, high sugar foods and a fatter nation, it’s not rocket science!’

Are train penalty fares a fair penalty?

Ross is often afraid he’ll be caught short without a ticket, but not due to his fault:

‘As an honest commuter I live in constant fear that I’ll be penalised for not having one of my ‘i’s dotted or ‘t’s crossed. I travel around the country, to various different places, usually by rail, and there are stark differences between different policies. Quite often I’ll board a train without a ticket, because the station I’m leaving from does not have either a machine or a ticket office! It’s then up to me to find the conductor, explain this and buy the relevant ticket. If I wait until he gets to me, I’ll be given a so-called “penalty fare”.

‘I think this is pretty ridiculous, and in this day and age one should never be in the position that they cannot pay for their ticket immediately and in advance, given the technology available.’

Your tales of retro kitchen appliances

And our Comment of the Week goes to Peter Ashton, who must have the record for the oldest fridge light bulb:

‘My parents lived in Montreal Canada from 1954-1958. Furnishing their first Apartment in 1954 they bought a Roy “Trophy” 5ft Refrigerator. On their return to this Country in 1958 the Roy came with them and was set up in the kitchen of this house. The Refrigerator is still working perfectly with the original bulb to light the interior and deserves a mention I feel in the “still going strong” list.’

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read them in full on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).