Monday, 4 January 2016

Free?............maybe not

For the first time for more years than I can remember I won't be scanning through these, which arrived today, working out what we need and the best value, filling in the order forms and sending off a cheque.
Although we will have enough room to grow a few things in Ipswich as long as we don't want a lawn and I'm sure when we move in March one of the first things we will do will be to make some veg beds but I've probably got enough seeds saved for what we will need.

Do you see what it says on the front of the Marshalls Catalogue
Free Seeds
5 Free strawberry plants
Free Trial Probiotic Booster 
BUT does that mean what it says? Oh no.
To get the free seeds you have to buy 10 packets of seeds and pay for 9, getting the cheapest free
To get the free strawberry plants you have to spend over £20 on soft fruit plants, bushes or canes
The free pack of Foundation Trial Probiotic soil treatment is sent with any seed order, it's worth............ 65p. Marshalls are not really giving much away.

I try not to be tempted with offers like these although in the past  I have been known to buy a cross stitch magazine because of the free gift on the front. Not any more - I've enough cross stitch designs to last me a lifetime. There are also so called free offers on most of the garden magazines, perhaps seeds attached to the front cover or an offer of vegetable or strawberry plants for the price of postage. Sometimes these are worth spending out the £5 for the magazine but I don't really think this allows you to say you've got them free.
 No such thing as free when you have to spend first! 

Just seen a trailer for a new series of Shetland starting next week on TV. I'll look forward to that. The first 2 series were based on 4  books by Ann Cleeves. She has done 2 more books so I guess this series will be based on those. I spend the whole time muttering when I'm watching because the books are different to the TV series so I remember bits but not the whole story.

Welcome to Fiona and Val, new followers in the google pictures. Numbers creeping back after that weird blip a few weeks ago when Google had a spring clean and everyone lost people.

Thank you everyone for all the lovely comments. It helps to know people are out there.

Back tomorrow
Sue



39 comments:

  1. I find that there's usually a catch when "free" is offered. I'm going through my loyaly/reward cards at present - I never seem to gain much from them and they clutter up my purse.

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    1. I'm always disappointed at how few vouchers we get from Tesco, I guess I need to spend more!

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  2. No such thing as a free lunch, or indeed packet of seeds!!

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    1. I have a sneaky feeling they put less seeds in the free packets

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  3. A pet peeve. I hate the emails that arrive with a subject line "Free Delivery" and inside if you spend £50. That's not free delivery,that's a con.

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  4. No, it's not free if you had to pay for it! Although charity shops are not able to sell items that were originally given free, which is why you see baskets of freebie CDs etc asking for a donation rather than being priced up for sale.
    So glad you are back blogging, I'm catching up after a Xmas /New Year break, but usually yours is one of the first blogs I turn to. I don't think you ever have to justify yourself, it's your blog, and your life so you can write just what ever you like. Those who don't like it should find something else to read. I do like to read about your daily life, and I enjoy reading about your books, sometimes prompting me to read one of the books myself. I'll look forward to the Shetland series, like you I've read some of the books and the TV version is never quite the same, or not how I remember it anyway. Here's hoping 2016 goes well for you and all the problems with health and moving get sorted out. All best wishes, keep blogging please, Vee xx :))

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  5. It's never free it's always inclusive

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  6. You know the say, there's no such things as a free lunch ... mind you, I have had some lovely free gifts when subscribing to some mags. Years ago when I subscribed for a time to Country Homes & Interiors I received a beautiful Bilston enamel box, a really pretty one. And for another magazine (it might've been Period Ideas, for which I now write a monthly column) it was a lovely apron - indeed, I'm wearing it as I write this!
    I don't know how one becomes a 'follower', but I certainly read your blog regularly. I don't, however, 'do' any of the social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and so forth. Life's too short ... I'd never get my own writing done if I started that lark.
    Margaret P

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    1. Wow, if you write for a magazine you could start your own blog to tell us about it!

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    2. I've been writing (for publication, I mean) for 20 years. Many people have suggested I have a blog of my own - instead of boring your readers witless with my long-winded comments, har, har! - but I'd never get any of my own work done if I felt I must write a blog either daily or weekly or whatever.
      Before the financial crash of 2008 I used to write for several magazines, but since the crash a lot of them have folded (or write their own copy in-house) and the internet has also made a big impact on the print media world, so now I write for just one national regularly (a monthly antiques/collectables column), and now and again for a family history magazines, although I've not a family historian (I write social history pieces) and also I write short pieces for the local paper for their Property Section. That is quite easy because after 20 years of writing about all kinds of things, but mainly to do with historic houses/gardens/literature/art/antiques, etc, I have file upon file of my work so that I can usually find something to trigger my imagination for a 500 word piece to do with buying and selling property. I do it because it's a fun thing to do. There's little remunation these days, the days of loads-a-money for a 1000 or 1500 word feature are long gone, but I still enjoy being published and sharing what little knowledge I have with others.
      Margaret P

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  7. Unless you are handed something and nothing is asked in return, it is never free is it! I have also learned to beware of some free things that then need you to spend a lot of money to make them work or make them useful! xx

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  8. That's an expensive freebie!
    I will have to investigate that new series it sounds very interesting.
    Lisa x

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    1. Ann Cleeves also write the books made into the TV series Vera

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  9. Glad to hear about the return of Shetland, we love it.

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    1. There are 6 programmes in the new series which is good

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  10. The only time something is free is when you get a BOGOF, but then it is only free to the purchaser, the supermarkets drive a very hard bargain with suppliers and it is them who bear the cost. The freebies on magazines do not tempt me at all, they put me off even looking at the mag. I look forward to seeing how your new garden develops.

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    1. One of my hobbies is looking to see what's free on magazines and then not buying them! Joke!

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  11. I don't think anything in life is really free these days do you Sue?

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  12. 25 years ago I got a small slo-cooker free when I made an order from a Catalogue [Littlewoods or one of those that were popular then] I had planned to order some stretch terry towelling sheets for the girls bunk beds from my friends catalogue- but she said if I ordered on her recommendation, we BOTH got free gifts. The sheets lasted about 3 years- the slo-cooker is still going. But that has been a rarity among 'free gifts' Thanks for the heads-up about Shetland - I missed that trailer. I shall look out for the programme now!!

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    1. Now That was a good free gift, I seem to remember sending for things from those catalogues to get the free gift! Catalogue shopping was the only way to get childrens clothes when we lived out in a village

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  13. Excited to read that Shetland is coming back. I have yet to read any of Ann Cleeve's books, as when I was watching Shetland and Vera, I didn't realise that they had been books first. I told myself that I would read the entire Game of Thrones series in the books before I let myself be tempted to watch it, but I got stumped by the last book that has been published - supposed to be another in the pipeline - I lost the plot and couldn't remember who was who and who was against who!! Not sure if I shall ever watch it now. Always frustrated by film versions which differ from the book as I am usually of the opinion that the makers should not deviate from the book - although they pretty much always do! Freebies? Only when someone I know genuinely gives me something these days does it seem that there is no catch involved. I've given away a water butt to bless another family this week, so I am doing my bit. Happy 2016 to you and Col xxx

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    1. The Shetland books are more complicated than the TV programme - i guess they have to shorten them quite a lot

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  14. I used to buy a lot....and I mean a lot....of crafting magazines. Most of them were £4.99 and the 'free' gifts almost always ended up in the bin. I stopped buying them when the cover price on all of them snuck up to £5.99. All I buy now is the Christmas editions of Radio Times and Derbyshire Life (even though I live in Staffordshire).
    I'm sure you will find some corners where you can grow yourself some veg-x-

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    1. Yes, we would rather have veg than lawn!

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  15. The best things in life are free! Smiles are free, bloggy love is free.

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  16. The flower seeds I go came with the magazine that I had on subscription not re-newing this year other seeds I got were with orders I put in for things I wanted, one company sent me 20 packs of seeds and several packs of spring bulbs last year, I dont buy the magazines with free seeds as they always seem to be overpriced and the seeds are F1 hybrids also the germination is never really good as the seeds have not been kept in the best of places, I am choosy about the seeds I buy.

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  17. Glad to hear you'll still have space to grow some veg when you move, even without the 'free' seeds offer!

    I picked up a comic for Thomas' stocking and put it straight back down. It was £4.99 and had some plastic tat attached to the front. I've no idea if comics are still issued on a weekly basis, but if so, that would be £20 every month. What a rip off. xx

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  18. Yes, I have learned to read the small print too!

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  19. The word 'Free' has two meanings; free and not free, usually the latter!

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  20. Nothing is ever free!
    Julie xxxxxxx

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  21. they are rotten though, saying free when it's anything but.
    Bill announced yesterday that he was growing us 'baked potatoes' this year. He just meant spuds, but was scoffing a baked one at the time. I was rolling about laughing, asking if they'd come up complete with melted butter and cheese?! ;o) x

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  22. It's a "bait and hook" tactic! I guess it should state, "Free with purchase", but then, they'd get fewer of us to fall for it.

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  23. I too am delighted that 'Shetland' is back. My sons girlfriend is from the Shetland Isles, I really hope to visit there someday.

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