Saturday, November 18, 2006

Shopping and services - online information

I started a price book a week or two ago. A price book, for those who don't know, is a little comparison sheet you make up to compare prices of items in different shops and to help remind you/figure out when certain things go regularly on sale. It's really good to show you how much money you can save by shopping at a cheaper grocery store, even if you are buying exactly the same brand name products.

But now I don't think I need one. I stumbled across a brilliant website that basically does it for me. It's called mySupermarket, and it compares the 4 biggest supermarkets in UK for you. Asda (Wallmart to everyone outside of the UK), Tesco, Sainsbury's and Ocado, which is the online shopping service for Waitrose. You choose the store where you would normally shop, find the items you want to purchase and at the end, it shows you where it might be cheaper to go shopping. It even shows the weekly specials for each shop, so if Waitrose is having a deal of 2 for 1 on packs of cheddar, it will let you know that. The newspaper The Guardian reviewed it and has a good write-up of it here, so no point me repeating it all. The website is even free, so all the better. It doesn't have the super cheap Aldi and Lidl options, both of which I have a soft spot for from my time in Germany; but most shopping for us wouldn't get done there anyways as they are pretty far from us.

Another online shopping option I've found is Abel & Cole. It's a company that does organic home delivery, mainly of produce, but also meats and other things. I haven't actually used them yet, but they look very similar to the service we used in Germany for a while, the ├ľkokiste. I wonder if they can compete with the big supermarkets on price, as the supermarkets also have a range of organics. I hope so, for their sake.

So these are the two good things I've found. One thing that I've been a lot less successful doing though, is finding information about nappy (aka diaper) services. Both G and I are willing to give reuseable nappies a go, but I'm not keen on spending all my time washing them, nor having them hung all over the house to dry. So we think a service would be our best option, and is apparently the most enviromentally-friendly option out of disposables, washing yourself or a service. Basically they come and collect the dirty ones once a week, leaving you a load of freshly washed and folded ones at the same time.
I've been asking around on several online sites for anyone who has used a nappy service, just to get an idea of what others think. I know there are nappy services, I've found their websites. But I can't find anyone who's used them. I asked a local online parent group (139 members), a cloth nappy online group (327 members) and on the message boards of iVillage(loads and loads of people). Not one single person seems to have used a nappy service.

So now I'm asking the great wide world - have you used a diaper or nappy service? What's your thoughts on it? Please leave a comment!


Anonymous said...

Nappy Service versus disposables!
How many times has this come up with mothers who thought they'd do the right thing...
Cloth nappies leak...they don't work and hang around waiting for collection or see your machine in constant use cos most little English houses have no laundry where you can leave buckets of the things. Get modern...go for disposables that don't leak!
Good luck

ZeeBride said...

Well, thanks for your opinion. You won't be surprised that I don't agree with it.
Cloth diapers have come a fair way since they were a piece of muslin and two safety pins.