Proving the saying ‘a penny saved is a story to be told’, Redhill resident Mary Kennedy has been delighting her grown-up children with stories of special offers and food bargains every time they have visited her in the last six years.
Eldest son, Squadron Leader Tom Kennedy, who has just finished a three-year posting in the Red Arrows, is full of admiration for his mother’s skills. ‘I think we all understand in these tough times that you have to hunt around for a bargain, but honestly, I can’t believe anyone can do it as well as my mum. You can lose touch with life’s priorities when you spend your days flying precision-engineered jets at more than 200 miles per hour, but a trip to see mum always reminds me what’s important. I mean, when she told me that the peas we had for Sunday lunch were two-for-one at Tesco, and the beef joints were on special offer at Lidl, it somehow made the whole thing taste even better. I’m so proud of her.’
Daughter Lucinda, 33, who is Vice-President of Nitrogen at BOC and knows a thing or two about bargains having engineered the £154m hostile takeover of Allied Gasses last year in a move that resulted in a £600m increase in share value, remains in awe of her mother’s abilities. ‘When I go round it’s very tempting to talk about my work, but I quickly find myself being drawn into detailed discussion about the price of tea bags and which brands can be used more than once without taste degradation. She really does know her stuff.’
Edward, 28, recently came home for the weekend after a three-week shift directing a documentary on lions for the BBC in Africa. ‘When mum told me that she’d bought a pack of toffees from Tesco for seven pence – yes, seven pence! – I thought she’d properly been on crack. Seriously. On crack. But it turns out she was right, and she’d got a whole bag of toffees for only seven pence. She’d even let herself go wild and bought two. Of course, the dental costs afterwards wiped out the savings, but still – what a bargain!’
Mrs Kennedy’s children are reported to be eagerly anticipating the prospect of visiting her at Easter and hearing how the major supermarkets compare on the price of hot-cross buns and Simnel cake.
10th March 2012