Sunday, 20 May 2012

It pays to dress down

It was a nice morning so I went off to the local car boot sale at the football ground. I go to these places in my scruffs to create the impression that I am a bit skint, so that people feel sorry for me and knock a bit off the price :o) There wasn't a lot of sellers, but enough, and it was nice to bump into some friends I hadn't seen for ages. I looked for a milk jug but didn't find anything suitable. I had it in mind to look for a tent, I want one smaller and lighter than the one I already have, because I want to be able to carry it around in a shopping trolley. I have an idea to go camping on a bus, and a shopping trolley would be ideal for transporting my gear.

Anyway, it was my lucky day, there was a man selling amongst other things, several tents. I picked up a two man double skinned dome tent in a smallish carrybag. Size and weight seemed ok. It had the price of £20 on it, so I unzipped the bag to have a closer look inside. He said it was a new tent, never been used. He was telling porkies because it had some grass stuck to the ground sheet. I pointed this out to him. He said he buys stuff in pallet loads from Argos and he never knows what he is getting. Obviously this is a return from a dissatisfied customer. I pondered a bit, and said there could be something wrong with it. Then he said he would take £10 for it. I pondered some more and decided to take a chance, if there is some damage I might be able to repair it.

I asked him if he had any shopping trolleys, he said he did, but hadn't brought any with him. I said I would come back next week if he wants to bring one for me to look at. Then if the tent is rubbish I can take it back.

Anyway, unpacked the tent on the back garden. It's a Regatta Hydrafort, selling for £30 at Argos.

One of the loops on one of the corners had come adrift from the groundsheet. Easily repaired with a needle and cotton. The inner goes up first, so far so good.

Yes, everything is there, poles ok, the zips work. There are signs that the tent has been erected, possibly only in someones garden to check it out.

Next put on the outer skin. The guy ropes were all still as they were when it came out of the factory, they haven't been pegged down. Again all the zips worked.

Looks good to me.

So there you have it, a perfectly good tent for £10. All the reviews on the Argos web site are positive, it doesn't leak, and will stand up to wind. Everyone said they would recommend it. I am a bit chuffed with it. I'll go back next week and see how much his shopping trolley is.

As I was in the area I popped into the Pound Shop, and bought the three bags of cat litter they had on the shelf. Next, while I was there, I had a quick look in Poundstretcher. They sometimes have reduced price out of date foodstuffs in a basket near the till. Oooh look, packets of mini biscuits reduced from 39p to 10p. I'll have six of those. I know it's junk, but at that price I have some for a treat. I would never pay full price for it. I also picked up two packets of crisps and a packet of biscuits, marked at 5p each. Total 75p.

When I got to the checkout the girl called the supervisor to put it through, because all the codes had to be keyed in manually due to the reduction. I had to move to the other till while she did this. I think the supervisor couldn't be bothered, she pressed a few buttons, then stuffed it all in a carrier bag and said she had put it all through at 5p per item. Ha ha, obviously felt sorry for me as I looked so poor. I paid 45p.

Good days shopping. I'm chuffed. Toodle pip. 


  1. Looks like a very successful shopping trip Ilona :0)

  2. I shall have to remember your tip Ilona and ditch the tiara when bargain hunting :-D

  3. Excellent haul!

    If you see a cheap puncture repair kit on your bargain-hunting travels, they make fantastic emergency repair kits for those one-piece tent groundsheets: good to have if a hole or tear develops or you get a little leak in a seam.

  4. Well done you lucky lady!
    I have a shopping trolley , got it from my local online freegle site, it is very light and has been a godsend since my mobility has been affected and no longer haveing a car.
    Try Freegle (Freecycle0 first Ilona, you might just get one for 'nowt!
    Have a great week,

    Sandie xx

  5. You are definitely gifted. That tent looks like a steal!

  6. I take off my diamonds when shopping, too. I imagine some duct tape would work in a pinch for a leak. That tent should keep you cozy. I am not a camper! I read a hint--if your house is cold from not heat, pitch a tent in the living room, and your body heat would stay inside the tent and keep you warm. Ha! I can barely get off a bed, much less the floor.

    Shopping trolley? I thought that was what you push around the store when you shop. (I try to figure out UK words!) Now, I am thinking it might me the tall cart that women, mostly, push from home to store and back,holding all their purchases when they don't have a car. Right?

  7. That tent is a great deal.....when will you be using it?
    Jane x

  8. great deal on the tent - what will you sleep on - do you have a blow-up bed. I cant sleep on the ground anymore so was wondering what you used.
    I fancy one of those thin inflatables. Write with your recommendations. I also love your oral hygiene plan - rock bottom cost and as good as anything.
    Kudos to you Ilona !


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