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 of 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. When she tells me that the peas we had for Sunday Lunch were a 2 for 1 offer at Tesco's, 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, knows a thing about bargains, having helped engineer the corporate hostile takeover of Allied Gasses last year in a £154 million raid, leading to a £600 million increase in share value over the last twelve months. "When I go round, it's very tempting to talk about my work, but mum always knows best - and somehow the discussion always gets on to the price of tea bags, and which brands can be used more than once without taste degradation. She's a genius."
Edward, 28, is 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's for 7 pence - yes, 7 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!"