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The German tip for saving money

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The German tip for saving money

Post  Panda on Sat 20 Jul - 10:37

Home»News»World News»Europe»GermanyEat less meat and drink tap water: German guide to saving money
Eat less meat, drink tap water and sell your old furniture – a brochure published by a German job centre has been criticised for offering benefit claimants a series of bizarre money-saving tips.

Don't go shopping while hungry, as you end up with more food in your trolley than you can eat
By Jeevan Vasagar, Berlin
5:35PM BST 19 Jul 2013
The tips are included in a booklet featuring a cartoon family called the Fischers, which was published by a job centre in Pinneberg, a town in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany.

The father of the family, Knut Fischer, a 51-year-old office clerk, faces having to go on reduced benefits after being unemployed for one and a half years.

The booklet shows the family discussing how to save money, and coming up with suggestions including not eating meat for a week. Mr Fischer's daughter Laura declares: "I wanted to be a vegetarian anyway."

A scene in a supermarket features the mother of the family being advised by a friend not to put bottled water in her trolley but drink tap water instead.

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The brochure is aimed at recipients of the Hartz IV benefit, paid to the long-term unemployed. This benefit is usually much lower than the unemployment assistance paid immediately after a worker has lost their job, which is a proportion of their final salary.

A spokesman for the Caritas association in Schleswig-Holstein, a Catholic charity, said that while providing saving tips was a good idea, the scheme would be better if "it corresponds with the reality of life and takes potential readers seriously."

Reports in the German press triggered a flurry of interest in the brochure, according to the job centre, which said the booklet had been downloaded 15,000 times by noon on Thursday. The day before, the download count stood at less than 200.

The cartoon tale has a happy ending, with Mr Fischer getting a job in a metal-working factory - where the boss even pays for him to do an English course.

Tips from the job centre brochure:

1. Don't go shopping while hungry, as you end up with more food in your trolley than you can eat.

2. Don't leave electronic devices on stand-by.

3. Buy supermarket own-brand detergents as they are cheaper than expensive branded products. tip

4. Save water by installing modern flushes in old toilet cisterns.

5. Take showers instead of baths.
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