Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How to survive in Tonbridge on a £53 a week budget....

So is it possible to survive on the £53 a week, which Iain Duncan Smith has suggested is possible, in Tonbridge? Well let's think what you could do. Here's a few tips:

Firstly: Do not be tempted to go to Tunbridge Wells or Bluewater. Too many shops and tempting, expensive junk food places.

Do go and buy a book from Mr. Books or a charity shop. This will provide your entertainment, if you choose wisely, for the whole week. You can then sell it back and get 50p towards next week's book.

Do shop at Lidl. They're not only cheap but often just as good as the other supermarkets in terms of quality. You just get less choice of brands.

Do feel like you can treat yourself to Fish and Chips at the Avebury Avenue Fish Bar. I can tell you that you won't get much better Haddock, Chips and mushy peas anywhere. And I've had a lot of fish and chips in my time! It's a very nutritious and filling meal and about the same price as a Mc D's.

Do shop at the fruit and veg stall at the arcade. Their produce is good quality and you're helping a small business and therefore the local economy. Same goes for the butchers.

Avoid Waitrose and Sainsbury's unless you are very disciplined. It's not so much that they are more expensive than Lidl and Co Op it's just that they're very crafty, devious even, when it comes to shop layout. It's easy to spend £53 on a visit even when you may have only gone in for a pint of milk! Beware!

Do make use of the park and Barden Lake/country park. Not wishing to be patronising but walking, running and cycling, even the out door gym on the park, are all free and very healthy at the same time.

Steer clear of gambling activities like the slot machine arcade and the bookies (excepting a small flutter on the Grand National this weekend obviously!)

Join a club at the Angel Centre. There's lots of them, from Tai Chi to Flower arranging and they're all pretty cheap to join.

Don't go swimming in the river. Although free and once a great source of enjoyment in Tonbridge, it's now seen as a dangerous activity and could lead to an earlier than expected death!

Take up photography and enter free competitions. There's lots of subject matter around Tonbridge from sports to wildlife, to river life and retail life. Great fun and most people have a decent camera these days with them all the time on their mobiles.

Make use of the library. Free books, free magazines and newspapers, free computer use. Nice and warm in there usually as well.

So there's just a few suggestions on how to survive in Tonbridge by not eating into your £53 a week budget too heavily. I'm sure they'll be more...


Paul Bailey said...

Your tips in the main TB, are about utilising one's time wisely, without spending too much money.

Whilst I agree that many of them are constructive, cheap and enjoyable, surely the most important use any recipient of tax-payer funded benefits could make of this extra time, is to spend it trying to get a job?

Harsh words to some, I know, and not always easy, especially for certain age groups, but the equally unpalatable truth is the country is broke, and we just can't afford the current bloated welfare bill politicians have saddled us with (in exchange for free votes of course).

We'd all like to go for walks around the country park, or to take up flower arranging (well, possibly not the latter), and they're very laudible suggestions, but we need to wake up to the harsh economic truth before the country goes the way of Greece or Cyprus!

Tim James said...

I don't agree with your comment on the Fish Bar in Avebury Avenue. I tried cod and chips from there once...Never been back since. You're better off going into Sainsburys or Waitrose and buying a whole fresh trout for about £2.60.
If you want really decent bought fish and chips, go to the van in Hildenborough on a Tuesday near the OneStop.

Paul Bailey said...

Have to disagree with you Tim about the Avebury Avenue Fish Bar. As a family we've been using this establishment for a quarter of a century or more, and have always found their cod and chips to be of the highest quality. Perhaps you were just unlucky, and called in on a very rare "off day"?

I do agree though, that one is better off moneywise, buying fresh fish from the supermarket, and then cooking it at home.

Tonbridge blogger said...

PB: for once we find ourselves in agreement! I too have been using the Avebury Fish Bar for a similar time and I believe that it's been run by the same family in all that time. I've always been very satisfied with their consistent quality. And this is coming from someone who grew up in Cleethorpes, which you may know is next door to Grimsby, the home of fish n chips! Tim you must have had a bad experience. Give them another chance. That said I too have been very impressed in the past with the van at Hildenborough whose owners used to run a fish and chip shop in Hastings I believe. So they know what they're doing as well.

Outraged said...

Come come Paul! We ain't broke! We manage a daily (yes daily) contribution the Europe equivalent to the cost of the new Pembry Hospital! We manage a few billion in foreign aid, including vast sums to Pakistan, to enable 95% of their population to dodge paying any tax! We also manage to dol out thousands a week to unwanted immigrants and pay bankers even more for contributifng naff all towards the economy. Broke! No way!

Tim James said...

I couldn't agree more, Outraged. Welcome to Britain, the land of sheep.

Paul Bailey said...

Outraged, Tim, it's precisely because we're handing out all this money in the form of foreign aid, benefits to unwanted immigrants and bail-outs for reckless bankers that the country's finances are in such a perilous state.

Giving aid to countries like India, so they can send rockets into space, really is helping developing countries ... NOT!!