The Third Leader: Happy shoppers

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The Independent Online

On your behalf, The Third Leader's tireless relay teams of researchers spent much of yesterday conducting an exhaustive analysis of the nation's household spending revealed by the latest report of the Office of National Statistics.

And while we in this space will always be sparing on advice on how to live your lives, believing there are all too many others to do that (no names, no pack drill, but many of them meet every Thursday in Downing Street), I felt there were, nevertheless, a few gentle pointers.

We did, for instance, notice the interesting finding that Britons spends more per week on takeaways than on fresh vegetables. So, first tip: are you aware that the takeaway containers can be extremely useful in a number of ways, including catching radiator drips, draining washing machines, perking up bathtime, and storing those little bits and pieces that do tend to pile up messily, even in the best ordered kitchen?

Next, I notice that everyone seems to be spending a lot on travel. Have you considered telephoning for your takeaways? And it's not as if there isn't anything to do at home: DIY outlay, for example, has fallen away alarmingly, and that cannot be simply because of the new H&S directive that someone in a helmet must hold your ladder at all times, as I note, too, a paltry amount invested in pins, needles and tape measures.

Equally significantly, spending is higher on pets, buns, cakes, biscuits and buying presents than it is on newspapers. Ladies, gentlemen, the remedy to excessive travelling, spending, and, to be honest, nearly everything, is in your hands.

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