All posts filed under: Household Goods

For the love of coffee

As he promised, a year-end write-up from Mr. Diplomat himself…enjoy! Before finding myself in Hong Kong, I was the desk officer for the European Union in the home office. As luck would have it, my country and the European Union were in the midst of negotiations to conclude a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. This gave me an opportunity to go to Brussels four times in the space of 6 months as part of my country’s negotiating team. Europe afforded me an opportunity to expand my horizons, especially in the culinary aspect. Mussels, foie gras, wines, entrecote and slow food all became things to look forward to. Paris and Amsterdam were only short train rides away, so I also managed to book side trips there as well. Coffee is a big part of the European lifestyle, and I will never shy away from a good cup of this magic brew. I had an inexpensive drip-style coffeemaker back home, but I noticed that the machine’s end product was lacking in taste and the kick that I have …

Ka-ching!

After going through 96 receipts of the past 3 months, our average monthly grocery expenses amounted to ta-da just HKD4,230 yey! These cover for the basics that we usually get from International and Taste but not for household goods we buy from a local shop that does not provide receipts most of the time ssshhh. I’d say we end up using HKD4,600 a month for groceries, which is waaay cheaper than what we anticipated. Good job, Mrs. Diplomat! For me, that means we can save more. For Mr. Diplomat, that means we can eat out more often! But then again, I guess everything will depend on how you shop. I am a thrifty shopper. I almost always start buying the cheapest, and if we don’t like it, I buy the next one up the ladder. By cheapest, I mean the cheapest among products that are manufactured by recognized companies. I check the price, the country of origin, the manufacturer or importer and the label, in that order. (Hah! I know what you’re thinking.) For a …

Ikea-ism

We spent so much time already in Ikea Causeway Bay, with their 2010 and 2011 catalogues, and with http://www.ikea.com/hk that, last night, we recognized an Ikea commercial even if it is in Chinese. What started as a short-term solution to get basic furnishings for our flat has now become our only solution. DSC and Pricerite, as well as a multitude of shops in HomeSquare all the way in Shatin (which is four MTR rides away from our place), offer similar items, but we still find ourselves going for what Ikea offers. (I know, right? Check the links and you’ll understand why.) Ikea is a Swedish company that is now the world’s largest furniture retailer (en.wikipedia.org). Its first branch in Hong Kong was built in 1975 in Tsim Sha Tsui (www.ikea.com). Today, there are three branches existing in Causeway Bay, Kowloon Bay and Shatin and a warehouse in Sheung Shui. In other parts of the world, Ikea products can usually be found in the flats of college students and those who just moved out of their …