Mobile Shopping Savvy

Some have an innate gift for shopping. The clothing size for each family member is memorised alongside favourite colours and specific taboos for each. Jenny hates sleeveless, John only accepts brand names, Jess will wear it all. Yes there are some incredible power shoppers out there; you may know one or be one yourself. But then there’s the rest of the world. And those mere mortals wonder how they ever got by before mobile phones. How did it work, was it with paper list in hand? Or did it take coordinating a group outing and keeping loved ones distracted whilst your sister gave not-so-subtle looks toward a cashmere sweater? Do you even remember? If not you’ve probably blocked the memories. Yet these days shopping is made easy thanks to that magnificent invention, the smartphone.

Why mobile phones are one of the best shopping companions, ever.

Texting. Nieces and nephews are not the same size they were just yesterday. Not to mention tastes can be fickle. Texting is a handy (and quiet) way to get information quickly without disturbing fellow shoppers. This form of communication often helps keep conversations short and to the point. Just remember if children are involved to be careful not to let them see any messages that could give surprises away.

Photographs. A picture’s worth… well you know—particularly when trying to verbally describe a coat that might be sage or could be chartreuse. Anyone who is colour-challenged or shopping for someone who is very particular should greatly value the ability to send a photo to the lifeline of their choosing. Photos are also very handy when choosing an item to add to an existing collection of similar things. Though if you enjoy the awkwardness of giving a duplicate gift, then feel free to leave the mobile at home.

Price Comparisons. If your mobile doesn’t have a barcode scanner install one now. This feature is absolutely brilliant for comparing prices, seeking out the item’s nearest location, and even seeing if those antique candlesticks are worth the exalted price. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for locally you can keep shopping online whilst fortifying yourself at the pub.

Discount Apps. Many shoppers are hopping on this trend by offering discounts and coupons through their own sites as well as through group discount programmes. Have a particular interest? Don’t forget to search app subjects like “shoes” and “clothing accessories” in order to find software specifically geared to you. And note with discounts that many are time-sensitive and some have specific hoops to jump through, but terrific deals can be found.

Store lookups. In addition to the costs of getting from here to there, time also equals money. And few things are more frustrating than spending excessive amounts of time on a fruitless search. Mobile access not only makes sure you’ll get to the store before closing, your GPS can help offer even closer alternatives at hand.

Mobile Banking. Might not have thought of this one but what if your shopping expedition is so successful that you run out of cash or find your bank account is tapped out? Thanks to modern technology, transferring funds can be done easily, quickly, and securely. Online banking is also handy when going in on gifts as a group. Remember though to never share banking information unless it’s someone implicitly trusted.

Some consumers are more than happy to shop ’til they drop. Yet many also want to make the most of limited time and funds by becoming savvier shoppers. With today’s communication and Web-browsing capabilities it’s a wonder how any shoppers hit the sales successfully before mobiles and actually enjoyed it. Now the up-and-comers need not wonder how challenging the “old days” were—most sought information, no matter how detailed, can be found with just a few clicks.

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Basking in Baskets

*guest post*

The nights are drawing in and the leaves are falling from the trees, all signs that Christmas is creeping up on me again. Last year I had great fun making bespoke Christmas baskets for all my family and friends, full of the type of treats that never seem to make it into the average weekly shop. I really love the simple, rustic charm of the hand crafts of our past, either in their natural state or with the addition of some shabby chic embellishment.

I also practice the art of frugal living, I see it as a personal challenge to make the most of my hard-earned pennies and put as much love and thought into buying family gifts as I can. To me, unique gifts are worth so much more than some off the shelf, mass produced item. With all this in mind, I am again in search of the perfect basket.

Baskets Through the Ages

Of course filling baskets with produce is not an entirely new concept, basket weaving is a skill that was forged in the dawn of our civilization. Early man would have found these simple woven receptacles invaluable in their hunter gatherer existence, but due to the nature of the materials used, there is unfortunately, little evidence of these early creations. The Egyptians, however, were rather skilled in the art of preservation and some early examples have been found and carbon dated to be at least 10,000 years old.

Baskets have always played an important role in the history of Britain with the most usual materials being willow, hazel and oak, all chosen for their ability to be woven into the strong, useful containers needed for day to day life. This importance has not diminished over the years with woven goods still being used in homes around the world in the form of laundry baskets and picnic hampers.

The problem Dad

Many families have that one unique person, usually male that is impossibly difficult to buy for. For me that is my father-in-law. He’s a lovely quiet, unassuming man, who will never say what he wants for Christmas. He’s the type of guy that’s usually the receiver of socks, shower gel and endless books on the game of rugby, which is really his only hobby. A Christmas hamper is the perfect solution, a few bottles of traditional real ale and a selection of cheese and chutneys and everyone’s happy.

Basket Heaven

So, I’ve managed to find the perfect solution for all my basket needs at East2eden. Last year I had problems finding the right type of basket, either too flimsy or just not worth the price being asked. East2eden has such a large range that I’ve found the ideal style for every family member. My Mother-in-Law loves the same type of shabby chic as me and there is a traditional, wicker, shopping basket with a gingham cover that will be perfect for her. My brother on the other hand has more streamlined tastes so the vintage style apple crate will be coming his way.

Now all I have to do is fill them to the brim!

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