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Top 10 men's shirts at Thomas Pink

1 Solid white.................................................................. 2 Prince of Wales navy check........................................

3 Houndstooth sky check.......... ....................................

4 French blue................................................................

5 Gingham navy.............................................................

6 Pinpoint yellow............................................................

7 Herringbone cream.....................................................

8 End-on-end lilac........................................................

9 Millfield red check........................................................

10 Troon pink check......................................................

All these shirts are in the Black Label range, price pounds 45

Checkout Arndale Centre

Arndale Centre, Manchester

What is it? A vast yellow blob clinging to the centre of Manchester. Inside, around 200 shops, stalls, cafes.

Why go? Because it's there. And because of the bargains.

Such as? Fifty pence for three pots of single cream and pounds 1 for 10 Lyons individual coffee filters (pounds 1.99 at Tesco) from Dee Jay Discount Food; a nice wastepaper basket for 99p at Spoils Kitchen Reject Shop; a lumber shirt, pounds 5.99, and sweat pants, pounds 6.99, from What Everyone Wants.

But I seek higher things: Then go to Situls for a 3ft Lassie in real synthetic fur (pounds 79.99), Beavis and Butt-Head soft-sculpt dolls (pounds 1.99) or Blobby name mugs, down from pounds 3.99 to pounds 1.99.

Should you take kids? Are you kidding? There's the theme-park tableau outside the Warner Brothers Studio Store; Game, a paradise for mouse-driven nerds; the JD Sports/Nike shop opened last week by Eric Cantona and an Early Learning Centre to cool off in.

Hungry? You need the Voyager Foodcourt. There's Baker's Gallery, China Trader, Potato Wharf and Bosun's Grill, where specials include chilli, chips and a regular drink for pounds 2.99. Or splash out at Salford Seaport, where cod, chips, mushy peas, roll and tea will set you back pounds 3.95. Extra mushy peas, 45p; curry sauce for the chips, 40p.

Hot tip: Traditional northern dress (T-shirts, bikini tops, mini skirts) is ideal for the Arndale's microclimate. They could grow bananas in here.

Good thing

Kasbah clock, pounds 25

This clock, made by Jen Ceramics, is one of a range of unusual and fun craft objects that will be on sale at the Covent Garden Apple Market, London, this Sunday (10am-6pm). There'll be colourful pottery, spiky mirrors, flower-shaped tables, all made by businesses set up with the help of The Prince's Youth Business Trust. For further information call the PYBT on 0171-925 2900

Mad thing

Schizan, 33p

Aqua Libra meets Lilt in this new fizzy drink from Schweppes. The can is lurid, but the ingredients are natural, not to say New Age. They include the "berryfruit" of a 1,000-year-old Chinese bush called Schizandra chinensis, hence the stupid name. It has to be said, though, that it tastes rather good. From drinks outlets everywhere.

Where can I ... buy budget food?

This week students all over the country lug their hi-fis back to college, where they will be expected to survive on minimal grant cheques. But a little goes a long way with the supermarkets' cheapest own-brand ranges. Have you ever bought 10 eggs for 55p?

Kwik Save Best buy: No Frills bleach (1 ltr) 8p. From the No Frills range: washing-up liquid (1 ltr) 8p; tea bags (160) 73p; baked beans (425g) 14p; digestive biscuits (500g) 39p; cheddar cheese (1kg) pounds 3.04; crisps (six packs) 36p; sunflower spread (500g) 26p.

Tesco Best buy: spaghetti (500g) 29p. From the Value range: eggs (10, size 4) 55p; fish fingers (10) 39p; ice-cream (2 ltr) 89p; cola (2 ltr) 30p; cheese and tomato pizza (160g) 49p.

Asda Best buy: washing-up liquid (1 ltr) 7p. The following are either from the Farm Stores range or lesser-known brands: plain flour (1.5kg) 17p; dustbin liners (50) pounds 1.59; frozen peas (2lb) 55p; lager (four cans) 79p; toothpaste 19p.

Safeway Best buy: Safeway Savers lemonade (2 ltr) 27p. From the Savers range: Bourbon biscuits (150g) 19p; sunflower spread (500g) 29p; chocolate mousse (4) 65p; white bread (800g) 27p; tomato soup (392g) 23p; frozen peas (907g) 67p.

Co-op Best buy: Co-op Everyday dog food (400g) 19p. From the Everyday range: cat food (400g) 19p; straight-cutchips (1.81kg) pounds 1.81; burgers (20) 79p; tea bags (80) 38p; quiche 99p; fish fingers (10) 39p.

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